Cardinals Young Pups Report – April

After a little hiatus due to a busy schedule I am back to update you on what is going good in the Cardinals Farm System. I will make this a monthly post to keep everyone updated on the latest and greatest from our Young Pups! Let’s jump right in…

The Good

Eduardo Sanchez/Fernando Salas – It was about the time that these 2 guys got called up that our bullpen got much more stabilized. Coincendence? I don’t think so. These guys have been used in critical spots (men on, setup and closer situations). All they have done is come through just about every time. I will also say this once again (been saying it for a year and a half)…Eduardo Sanchez is our closer of the future and the future might not be that far away which is remarkable for a TLR run team. Sanchez has a dynamite FB that runs in the mid-90s with a wipeout SL. He definitely have a closer mentality as well…if you haven’t seen him on the mound make it a point to soon!

Adam Ottavino (Memphis) - Still holding out hope Ottavino can provide us value at the MLB level (probably as a reliever/AKA Boggs) or a nice trading chip. He has 4 starts and hasn’t went deep in any and has walked way too many guys. But he also has a K/IP and has less than a 2 ERA. He also has a respectable WHIP (1.33) for having so many BB (15 in 23IP) which is indicating he is not giving up many hits. I think he could be another power arm in the bullpen.

Ryan Jackson (Springfield) – Do we finally have a legit SS prospect in our system? Not sure I am ready to give him that label but he is extremely interesting at bare minimum. The book on him coming out of Univ of Miami a few years back was his D at SS was MLB ready right then (and yes it is extremely legit – he is SOOOO SMOOTH!) but concerns that he would never hit with wood. Some gave him an Adam Everett label. Well he is showing the ability to hit the past year+. At Springfield he is hitting over .320 with a respectable .854 OPS for a SS and an OBP of roughly .400. You add the fact that he is a legit GG caliber defender and I am asking “Where do I sign up?”!!

Matt Adams (Springfield) – Man-O-Man has he had a terrific first 5 weeks of the season for Springfield. To me he is the April MVP of our Farm System. His rankings in the system to date: 4th in AVG, 1st in H, HR and RBI’s and 2nd in SLG. That’s making things happen! Problem is he is a 1B so he won’t see more than a Sept taste this year. But if he keeps this up he will at minimum be a good trading chip…and heaven forbid we don’t sign Pujols he would be in the discussion as our 2012 1B. Thats optimistic but he is turning heads right now for sure!

Tommy Pham (Springfield) – After a really slow start he is scorching hot the last 2+ weeks. He is in the athletic mold of DJ Tools was being talking about a few years ago…lets hope he doesn’t fall off like Jones. He provides an intriguing level of power and speed with good D in the OF. Keep an eye on him this year.

Nick Additon/Scott Schneider (Springfield) – Both starters are at least intriguing from a prospect standpoint. They have both got off to great statistical starts. Additon has a WHIP of 0.76 and an ERA under 3. He is also striking out close to a batter an inning. Schneider is right behind him with a WHIP just under 1.10 with an ERA under 3…not as attractive of a K ratio though. Not sure either projects as anymore than a back of the rotation type of ceiling but no one is telling them this!

Palm Beach Staff Minus John Gast and Justin Smith – Yes this includes the already famous Shelby Miller. But it also includes Mikel Cleto (acquired from the M’s for Brendan Ryan), Eric Fornataro and Joe Kelly. Out of this group Miller has the worst ERA! Miller and Cleto are strikeout pitchers and their stats are showing that…Miller especially. If I lived in Palm Beach I would try to go see as many games as possible with this staff.

Oscar Taveras (Quad Cities) – What if I told you we had a guys hitting closer to .600 with an OPS of over 1.5 in our system? His name is Oscar Taveras…now with that said he only has 22 AB’s due to an injury (that he just came back from) but this just gives you a glimpse of his talent. Some would say he is the best position player prospect in our system…well he might be in everyone’s mind after this year.

Trevor Rosenthal/Jordan Swagerty (Quad Cities) – If you don’t know these 2 names then you better get to know them in fast order. Rosenthal is a power pitchers that has enough talent to be mentioned with the likes of Miller and Carlos Martinez in our system. He might not be quite as good as either but if you are in the same sentence as those 2…well you get my drift! Swagerty being converted to a starter from closing games at ASU as panned out well so far. I was skeptical so I am excited to date he is proving me wrong.

Justin Wright (Quad Cities) – Anytime you have a 2:1 K/IP ratio you must be mentioned! Definitely walking too many hitters but it appears each outting he has lowered his number of walks which is a good sign.

Other Notes:

  • Zack Cox is fairing fine in Palm Beach but he is showing absolutely no power (3 doubles and no 3B or HR). Its still early but something to keep an eye on
  • Carlos Martinez has not been assigned to a team…speculation is he will either go to Johnson City or Batavia which has not opened the season or announced rostes yet
  • Adron Chambers, Bryan Anderson and Pete Kozma are not fairly very well in Memphis at the moment
  • Lance Lynn has been avg at best so far in Memphis
  • Audry Perez has done fine but nothing outstanding at Palm Beach. My pick for our next solid C in the Bigs
  • Deryk Hooker and Seth Blair have been BRUTAL so far!