Daily Archives: February 3, 2011

State of the Cardinals Farm System – Part 4

In the first 3 parts we looked at the overall systems pitching, outfielders and infielders respectively. In 4th and final part we will focus on the catchers. Overall we have great depth and upside with the catchers in our system. We have a mix of offensive and defensive oriented catches along with a few that will be solid on both sides. Here’s a closer look into this category…

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.

Catchers:
Star Power – 4 Birds
Depth – 4 Birds
Overall – 4 Birds

I am impressed with the overall catcher category for the Cards. I have 3 catchers in my Top 30 (Perez, Stanley and Anderson) with Steven Hill just missing. Perez has the chance to be the real deal on both sides and to me is our catcher of the future. Still a number of years away but definitely exciting. Stanley is the next best prospect and he tends to project as a solid defensive catcher and should hit enough to be a productive starter in the bigs. We all know the story of Bryan Anderson. Unfortunately for him I see him more as trade bait (if he comes out of the gates well this year) since we passed on him for the backup catcher in the bigs this year. He has improved behind the plate but still leans more on the offensive side. Hill is a very intriguing prospect that has a solid mix of average and good power. Problem is I don’t see him sticking at catcher. I also want to point out I haven’t mentioned Robert Stock as I don’t feel there is any way he sticks at catcher. He is a much more attractive prospect as a pitcher. Also as a side note we have a Jesus Montero as a catching prospect…unfortunately he is nothing close to one of the best prospects in baseball in Yanks catching prospect Jesus Montero!