State of the Cardinals Farm System – Part 2

In Part 1 we looked at the overall systems pitching. 2009 and 2010 have done wonders for the pitching prospects. So how about the Outfielders? Well the OF’s are not as attractive as our pitching but there are plenty of exciting and breakout candidate players. Without further ado…

Rating System:
5 Birds – The elite of prospects. These prospects will be stars in the bigs AND have enough body of work in the minors to justify the top rating. From a category perspective this would be a rare rating if the system had quite a few 5 Birds Rating Pitchers. Basically the elite of elite in a category.
4 Birds – Prospects that will have a solid body of work in the minors and will be above avg players in the bigs OR prospects with the upside of a 5 Birds Rating but not enough service time in the minors to justify the rating. From a category perspective this would be a category with a number of 4 and 5 Birds Ratings players. It would require a balance of depth and stardom.
3 Birds – Prospects that will be a regular in the bigs but won’t be a significant piece to the ball club. These prospects won’t be All-Stars nor will they be top of the rotation or middle of the order players. From a category perspective this would be a middle of the road category with few 4-5 Birds Rating players and plenty of 2-3 Birds Ratings.
2 Birds – Prospects that will be role players in the bigs. These prospects will bounce around from AAA to the bigs and most likely will play for many franchises over the years if they are fortunate enough to stick around. From a category perspective this would be many role/utility type players in the category with little to no star power.
1 Bird – Prospects that will be career minor leagues and may get a cup of coffee in the bigs. From a category perspective this is the ultimate insult. If you get a 1 Bird in any category you basically have very few players in the category that could even be role players in the bigs.

Star Power – 2.0 Birds
Depth – 3.0 Birds
Overall – 2.5 Birds

We don’t have any obvious OF stars in the making. What we do have is plenty of raw toolsy OF’s with potential to be pretty good or better…but many years away. Late in 2008 the Cards signed a 16 yr old OF from the Dominican by the name of Oscan Taveras. 2 years later he is one of the obvious bright spots among our systems OF. In the 2009 draft we snagged an extremely athletic OF in the 6th round named Virgil Hill. Never hurts when both your parents were Olympians! In 2010 we got a few other interesting OF’s including my favorite OF in the system in Nick Longmire. To go along with Longmire we snagged 2 more extremely athletic and raw OF’s in Reggie Williams Jr and Anthony Bryant along with a late rounder with potential in Chris Edmondson. These newcomers join a cast of OF’s that include Tommy Pham, Adron Chambers and Daryl Jones to give some hope to our overall group. Another comeback player to keep an eye on is Tyler Henley who should be ready around Spring Training after missing half of 2010 due to Tommy John. There are no 4 or 5 Birds ranked OF’s but plenty of 2 or 3 Birds with great potential to sky rocket as they mature as players. Toolsy OF’s are hard to predict so only time will tell who will pan out.