Young Pups Report: June

After a lot of dedication to the MLB Draft I am back to give an update on our Young Pups. I can’t remember another year in recent memory that you have seen so much movement of our youth this early in the year. We have guys getting promoted to the big league club due to injuries, guys getting promoted and demoted in the minor league system and others getting released. We also have had the Short Season clubs getting kicked off over the past week or so which gives a lot more players to try and keep your eye on and follow which can get crazy at times…but I love it! Let’s take a look at the good in our system thru late June!

The Good

1) Andrew Brown (OF) – Brown isn’t a high profile prospect but that didn’t bother him in trying to win over the Cards fans. After tearing up AAA (.350+ avg and close to a 1.10 OPS) for over 150 AB’s he got the call to STL with all the injuries. He hasn’t played much in STL but eliminating the stats he sure looks like he belongs.

2) Matt Carpenter (3B)
– After a call to STL where he didn’t do much (though he had a few really good defensive plays) he got sent back to AAA where he is showing he REALLY wants to come back for a 2nd shot! He is an extremely good OBP (around .500 OBP since returning to Memphis)guy though his power is limited.

3) Matt Adams (1B) – The only thing that could stop Matt from hitting was an injury. Before hitting the DL he was absolutely tearing up AA hitting over .350, 1.10 OPS, and plenty of doubles and HR’s. The only red flag is his inability to take a walk which will certainly hurt him as he progressing to Memphis and STL.

4) Alex Castellanos (OF)
– Another Springfielf hitter is trying to keep up with Adams. Avg and OPS is slightly lower than Adams but I will take .320 avg with .930 OPS. Sign me up for that line anyday!

5) Shelby Miller (RHP) – Everyone’s favorite Cards prospect for good reason. Its no secret the jump from High A to AA is the toughest in all of the minors. Miller has made it look easy in 4 starts he only has 3-0 record, 1.38 ERA, 25K and 6BB. He is the best pitching prospect I have ever personally seen in our system. Not only are his stats impressive but he wants to learn, improve and his mound presence is well beyond his years. A legit ace prospects and I don’t use the word ace very often.

6) Greg Garcia (2B) – Garcia was having a fine season at QC but nothing special before getting promoted to PB. He then took off hitting, hitting and hitting some more. I always knew his D would play in pro ball but if he can keep up the solid hitting spree then he will get on my legit Cards prospect list.

7) Kevin Siegrist (LHP)
– Anytime a pitching is leading all of the minors in ERA he has to get a mention. Not really a legit prospect IMO but you can’t deny his 0.99ERA and .183 opponents batting avg so far this year.

8) Joe Kelly/Maikel Cleto/Jordan Swagerty (RHP’s) - This trio has had a great year individually and combined. They all have solid ERA’s and prospect a legit prospects in our system that is quite deep in pitching. I see Cleto and Swagerty projecting more likely as relievers but I see Kelly having a legit shot at staying as a starter. 3 guys to keep an eye on in the 2nd half for sure.

9) Oscar Taveras (OF) – The best upside position player in our system just needs to stay healthy consistently. Needs to take more pitches and walk more as he progresses through the system but he has a great eye at the plate and seems to square up the ball more than most hitters.

10) Justin Wright (LHP) – A small LH reliever but his results don’t indicate it. He uses a motion that makes it hard to pickup the ball out of his hand which makes his FB seem much faster than it is. His hammer curve is also devastating. The sleeper in our system this year for me.

11) Carlos Martinez (RHP) - The 19 year old Dominican pitching sensation has done nothing this year to make you believe he won’t be as good as advertised. He just needs to continue to refine his secondary stuff and learn how to pitch. Be patient with the young man as he will create a dynamite tandem with Miller someday.

Couple Short Season Team Notes:

- Hector Hernandez (LHP) from our ’09 draft is a guy to keep an eye on. Solid FB and plus CB will eventually push him to QC. Off to a good start to the season for Batavia

- Tyrell Jenkins (RHP) made is debut for Johnson City and was impressive. He features a mid-90s FB and secondary pitches that show potential but just need refinement. Tremendous upside but will need to be patient.

- Sam Tuivailala (SS) is an intriguing MI prospect from our ’10 draft. Not sure he sticks at SS but he has the makeup to be a good all around player. Currently on our GCL squad.