Found January 28, 2014 on Cardinals Farm:
With about a month until the big leaguers report to Spring Training and a month and a half until the Baby Birds report, now is the best time to begin our top prospect countdown. I had a goal of ranking 50 prospects for this list. I knew it would be a challenge getting from about 20-50, as the top 20 was the easiest part. Here is how I came to my rankings: I first created rankings for position groups (you can find those posts scattered throughout the blog). Once I had the position groups ranked, I then started at one and worked my way to 50. There were a couple of adjustments in the positional rankings, but it pretty much was straight forward. The next question I typically get, is how do I rank the prospects? This is the toughest part, deciding on a system for ranking prospects. My goal in the end is to rank them by major league impact. I may rank someone who has high upside higher than someone who may be closer to the major leagues, but whose ceiling is a bench player. I am looking for a player who will contribute a lot to the major league team. What tools do I use? One of the biggest tools I use is age. The age of a prospect versus their level of play is a big factor. For example, Carson Kelly struggled during his stint with the Low-A Peoria Chiefs in 2013, but the 18-year-old did not face a single pitcher who was younger than him. Basically what this means is he was playing above his level, and it showed with his numbers, but he shouldn’t be discouted for that. On the flip side, Zach Petrick faced primarily younger hitters during his ascent through the Cardinals system until he reached Springfield. I also use various scouting reports and also like to watch as much video of a player as I kind. I am not saying that I can break down a swing or a pitching motion, but I feel it necessary to see them before I rank them. Many of the go-to stats are used last. I hardly look at runs batted in or batting average when creating these lists. With all of that said, here are prospects 50 through 46. Hope you enjoy! #50 – Steven Farinaro The Cardinals were able to lure Farinaro away from UCLA with a $750,000 signing bonus, which was the fourth highest bonus the Cardinals issued in the draft. The reason he fell to the 11th round was signability, and the Cardinals were able to arrange things to make sure they had enough money to sign him. Farinaro’s fastball sits around 90 and he has a good 12-6 curve, with a solid change-up. He had a rough debut in 2013, but should be able to bounce back in 2014. I would not be surprised to see a return to the Gulf Coast Cardinals in 2014 for Farinaro. If he quickly catches on there, he could advance to Johnson City. He is definitely a player to watch, and has tremendous upside. #49 – Jimmy Reed Reed was the Cardinals’ 6th round pick in 2013. Many see Reed as a very polished pitcher who could move quickly through the system. I could see an eventual move to the bullpen for him, but with four quality pitches, the rotation will likely be his spot for a year or two. Reed’s rookie minor league season was very successful as he racked up a 3-2 record with a 2.04 ERA in 53 innings. Reed’s ground ball to fly ball ratio was 1.14 which is incredibly high, which will help his future success. Jimmy Reed’s placement for 2014 is somewhat of a question mark at this point. A spot in the Peoria Chiefs rotation could be a possibility, but with the sheer number of pitching prospects at that level, it could be tough. #48 – Ronald Castillo Castillo will turn 22 during the 2014 season and had a pretty solid 2013 campaign. He has a good frame at 6’5″, 200 lbs, which means he could probably stand to add a few pounds. He has solid plate discipline with only a 2.5:1 K:BB ratio, but that could be higher as he could walk more. For Short-Season State College, he only hit 2 home runs in 37 games but still managed a solid .826 OPS. He has decent speed and could develop into a solid speed plus power option. A problem might be the depth ahead of him in the organization. For 2014, Castillo should get a full-season placement, most likely with the Peoria Chiefs, but don’t rule out the Palm Beach Cardinals as a possibility. #47 – Steve Bean Bean was a supplemental first round pick in the same 2012 draft that produced current and future major leaguers Michael Wacha, Stephen Piscotty, Lee Stoppelman just to name a few. Bean was taken as a raw but high upside catcher who would need several years in the system before he would become major league ready. His professional career has not started out the best, but it is too early to throw in the towel. In his 1 1/2 years of professional ball, he has not yet made it past the rookie level, but again he is raw. Bean is a plus defender with a plus arm. He could eventually show plus power at the plate and solid contact. Hopefully he will be healthy for 2014 and can make some strides to eventually end the season with a full-season club. #46 – Ryan Sherriff Sherriff was the Cardinals’ 28th round selection in the 2011 draft, making him one of the most experienced on this list. Sherriff has put together a pretty strong minor league career with a career ERA at 3.10 over 252 innings. In 2013, his innings (105) were limited due to injury, but he still compiled an impressive 2.31 ERA for Palm Beach. In 5 starts for Double-A Springfield, Sherriff had an impressive 3.33 ERA. He has a good fastball that sits in the low 90′s and a decent slider. For 2014, Sherriff should open the season in the starting rotation of the Springfield Cardinals as he has mastered High-A. He should see success at the next level and could see time in Memphis late in the season. TOP PROSPECT COUNTDOWN SCHEDULE: January 28th:  50-46 January 30th: 45-41 February 4th: 40-36 February 6th: 35-31 February 11th: 30-26 February 13th: 25-21 February 18th: 20-16 February 20th: 15-11 February 25th: 10-6 February 27th: 5-1 March 4th: The Best of the Rest  Follow me on Twitter @CardinalsFarm or on Facebook. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me at john@cardinalsfarm.com.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

2014 Cardinals spring training number assignments

The Roster Matrix right here and the St. Louis Cardinals 2014 roster on the main site, The Cardinal Nation, are fully up to date. The former indicates all players invited to Major League spring training camp, 40-man roster players and non-roster invitees, but their uniform numbers are not designated. The main site roster does include uniform numbers, but players are listed based...

Counting down to Cardinals Truck Day

A good way to sense if someone you know has a confirmed case of St. Louis Cardinals Spring Baseball Fever is if they are counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter, Florida. While many of the players will be there well in advance, the mandatory arrival date for batteries is Wednesday, February 12. Some fans have a particularly-acute strain of the fever,...

Meet Oscar Taveras (Again)

You've heard about Oscar Taveras. And if you haven't, I have no idea what you're doing on this website during the doldrums of the off-season. Even the Google News and #STLCards Twitter feeds are dead. So we're grasping at anything to write about at the moment. And about the only intrigue that's left for the Cardinals Spring Training is Oscar. Oh, Oscar...

Cards' Motte stays focused on healthy return to mound -- whenever that might be

ST. LOUIS -- Nearly nine months after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Cardinals reliever Jason Motte doesn't know when he'll return to the mound. "It won't be a normal spring training," he says, and that's about all the specifics he knows regarding his comeback. Motte headed to Camp Jupiter last week to begin a throwing program that, barring setbacks, would...

Cardinals, Descalso come to terms, avoid arbitration

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' most versatile infielder is under contract for the 2014 season. Daniel Descalso, who is one of only two major leaguers to have made more than 90 appearances at third base, second base and shortstop over the past three seasons, and the Cardinals agreed to terms on a one-year contract, the club announced Wednesday. Descalso was the last of three Cardinals...

How Cardinals’ prospects fare on national top prospect lists

Baseball Prospectus released its top 101 prospects on Monday and the Cardinals placed four prospects on the list. The usual suspects, Oscar Taveras, Kolten Wong, and Stephen Piscotty appear on the list. The “surprise” is that Alex Reyes appears on the list at 98. To date, MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and Scout.com have released their top prospect lists. ESPN.com and Baseball...

Cardinals, Descalso avoid arbitration

The Cardinals and infielder Daniel Descalso avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.29 million, one-year contract, the midpoint between the $1.65 million he had asked for and the $930,000 St. Louis had offered. St. Louis settled with all three arbitration-eligible players, agreeing earlier this month with outfielders Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay. The 27-year-old set career bests with...

New Cardinals Theme Night

The St. Louis Cardinals announced their 'theme night' schedule last week. What is a theme night? Here, take a look.  Beyond the normal 'Mizzou Night' or 'Jewish Community Day', the Cardinals have been adding in dates that aren't just the typical 'pander to a particular group and get them to sell tickets for games that aren't traditionally...

Player Profile #104: Shelby Miller | SP | STL

I find Shelby Miller to be one of the harder pitchers to rank this preseason. On the one hand, he’s an enormously talented, highly touted prospect in an organization known for developing young hurlers, and Miller’s rookie season couldn’t have gone much better. On the other hand, Miller posted sort-of-lucky .280 BABIP and a definitely-lucky 80.1% strand rate, resulting in a...

St Louis Cardinals Lineup Analysis: 2014 Fantasy Baseball

2014 St. Louis Cardinals Offensive Outlook The Cardinals had an incredibly prolific offense last year and will likely continue to put up runs in 2014. With MVP candidate Matt Carpenter entrenched in the leadoff spot, and fantasy studs Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Yadier Molina filling out the middle of the order, there are a [...]

Tony La Russa logo case serves new reminder of complex, varied Hall of Fame rules

Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa caused a bit of discontent among Cardinal Nation this past week, and he hadn’t even made a trip to the pitcher’s mound to bring someone in for the bullpen. La Russa announced Thursday his Hall of Fame plaque would not feature the STL logo or that of the Oakland Athletics or Chicago White Sox, which he managed for a combined 19...

Milwaukee Brewers offseason moves and outlook

The Brewers continued their slide in the standings in 2013.  After winning the division in 2011, they fell to 3rd in 2012 before finishing 4th in 2011.  The only thing keeping them out of the NL Central basement was the woeful Cubs.Here's a look at what they did this offseason to try to prevent further slippage:Key LossesNorichika Aoki, Corey HartKey AcquisitionsMatt Garza...

Could the Verducci Effect turn Wacha from rescuer to rescued?

Some gain insight from the Verducci Effect, while others have been critical of the annual work from Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci. In a nutshell, the theory is that young pitchers who throw an increased workload in year one compared to prior years are more likely to suffer injury in year two. Among the 10 Major League hurlers aged 20-25 on Verducci’s recently-released...

DeWitt III: Ballpark Village in home stretch

“Living room of the city” scheduled to be ready for St. Louis Cardinals home opener on April 7.

St. Louis IF Daniel Descalso: No hearing required

Hot News for 2B Daniel Descalso
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.