Found July 16, 2013 on Cardinals Farm:
The St. Louis Cardinals had a very solid first half of the season that saw them end the half with the best record in baseball and a one game lead in the division. Rookies have played a huge part in the team’s success. 9 Cardinals made their major league debuts in the first half and 8 of them were pitchers. Starters Tyler Lyons, Michael Wacha, John Gast; relievers Seth Maness, Michael Blazek, Keith Butler, Kevin Siegrist, and Carlos Martinez. Jermaine Curtis was the only position player to make his debut in the first half. So, what about the second half? How many prospects could make their debuts? Here are a few prospects I think will make their Major League debuts in the second half of 2013: 1. Brock Peterson Brock Peterson (pictured) was signed by the Cardinals in August of 2012, where he was playing for the Bridgeport BlueFish of the independent Atlantic League, and was placed with the Memphis Redbirds. All he has done since is hit home runs and lead the team. In 114 total games with the Redbirds, Peterson has 27 home runs and 82 RBI’s. He leads the Pacific Coast League in home runs at their All-Star Break and was just named to the All-Star team. Peterson is no youngster. At 29 years old, Peterson has played in 1,163 professional baseball games with zero at the major league level. How it happens I believe Peterson will be the first to make his debut in the second half, and it could happen immediately after the All-Star Break. The Cardinals have an opening on the 25-man roster since they sent reliever Keith Butler to Memphis. They are also carrying 3 catchers with Yadier Molina recovering. If they send Rob Johnson back to Memphis and Matt Holliday isn’t quite ready, look for Peterson to get the call. The Cards do have 2 openings on its 40-man roster, so there is room. 2. Kolten Wong Kolten Wong would be on the major league roster if it weren’t for Matt Carpenter. Wong has had an excellent season and has shown that he is ready for the big club. In 83 games, Wong is hitting .298 with 7 home runs, 29 RBI’s and 13 stolen bases. Wong, who needed to work on getting on base more, is carrying a quality .360 OBP. How it happens This may be tough without injuries, but he is playing so well, at least a September call-up is likely in my opinion. There have been rumors that he could be involved in a trade, so we will see. The all-star play of Carpenter has muddled Wong’s near future, but he should be able to help this team this season. With Peterson possibly filling one of the 40-man spots and the other likely for Chris Carpenter, a move will have to be made. Look for Marc Rzepczynski to be dealt soon. 3. Oscar Taveras Taveras has had a really interesting season in that he has missed a lot of time with an ankle injury. He has only played in 46 games for Memphis and is currently on the disabled list, but has begun a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast Cardinals. When healthy, Taveras has shown he is ready. In those 46 games, he is hitting .306 with 5 home runs and 32 runs batted in. How it happens Taveras first needs to get healthy and stay healthy, and he is on the right path with a rehab assignment. There may be an opening in the outfield with the up-and-down play of Jon Jay. Again, a 40-man spot will have to open up. Possible DFA candidates include Victor Marte and Jorge Rondon. 4. Tommy Pham Pham has went from a near bust to one of the most impressive prospects in just one half of a season. He began the year with the Springfield Cardinals, where he finished the past 3 years. He has stayed relatively healthy and has excelled, earning a promotion to Class AAA Memphis where he has continued to excel. In 67 combined games between AA and AAA, Pham is hitting .293 with 7 home runs, 39 runs batted in, a .361 OBP, 7 SB, 7 triples, and very high quality play in center field. How it happens Oscar Taveras, if he is healthy, may be in the way of Pham getting the call. Again the Jay thing pops up. I really don’t think there is much drop off at the plate between Jay and Pham and Pham is at least equal, if not better than, Jay in center field. Again, another 40-man move would have to be made. It will be really tough for a pitcher to make his major league debut for the Cardinals in the second half, and I will say that none will. The Cards have so much depth on the mound at Memphis. As we saw in the first half, a lot of things can happen between now and the end of September. Stay tuned. Also, you can look for my mid-season updated positional depth charts coming soon to CardinalsFarm.com. Related articles The Year of Stan Musial: St. Louis Cardinals Get 6 All-Stars (stlcupofjoe.com) St. Louis Cardinals call up Michael Wacha, set to make MLB debut Thursday (stlsportsminute.com) Could Tommy Pham be the Cardinals’ answer in center? (cardinalsfarm.com) Oscar Taveras tops CardinalsFarm’s Top 20 Prospects for July (cardinalsfarm.com)
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