With the minor league season hitting its half way point in mid-June, our July top 20 prospect list has not changed much this month. We lost Seth Maness and Kevin Siegrist from the top 20 due to extended major league playing time. Maness falls out of the top 10 and Anthony Garcia, who was our June Player of the Month, re-enters the top 10 at #9. The top 8 from June stay the same.
We have two new members to the top 20 with the losses of Maness and Siegrist. Tommy Pham enters the list at #14 and Alex Reyes at #15. Pham received a promotion to Triple-A Memphis in June and, I believe, could see some major league time late this summer. Reyes, an international signee from 2012, unexpectedly began the season with Johnson City. Reyes is just 18 and has one of the highest upsides of any pitcher not names Martinez or Wacha.
Here is how we view the Cardinals top 20 prospects for July:
Prospect – Last Month Rank – Stats
1. Oscar Taveras – 1 – .306, 5 HR, 32 RBI
Taveras only played in 15 games in June and is currently on the disabled list but there is no reason to remove him from the top spot. While his injuries haven’t removed him from the top spot, they have delayed his MLB debut, I believe.
2. Carlos Martinez – 2 – 4-2, 2.05 ERA, 44 K, 52.2 IP
Martinez may be closing the gap between himself and Taveras. He had a 2.20 ERA in 6 June starts and appears to be fully stretched out. Look for Martinez to get extra rest like Wacha is getting. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Martinez in St. Louis again this season.
3. Michael Wacha – 3 – 4-2, 2.71 ERA, 49 K, 63 IP
The Cardinals have really slowed things down with Wacha in June. After making 3 major league starts, Wacha has only made 1 start since his return to Memphis and only 1 start in June. Could the Cards be saving Wacha for a late summer call up?
4. Kolten Wong – 4 – .306, 7 HR, 29 RBI
Wong is in a holding pattern right now as he is major league ready but there is no spot for him. The Cardinals’ May Minor League Player of the Month hit .276 in June but had a nice OBP of .366. Wong is doing a much better job of drawing walks.
5. Tyrell Jenkins – 5 – 4-4, 4.70 ERA, 40 K, 59.1 IP
Jenkins earned a promotion to High-A Palm Beach on June 22nd and has had 2 decent starts for the Beach Birds although the numbers may not show it. Jenkins has been battling shoulder problems all season and was removed from a start on July 6th after only one batter and was placed on the DL the next day.
6. Carson Kelly – 6 – .227, 3 HR, 24 RBI
The 18-year-old has gotten off to a slow start since getting sent down to State College, but again, he is just 18. The power numbers are a little concerning, but Kelly’s strikeout numbers are down, which is good. I expect the power to return for Kelly very soon.
7. Stephen Piscotty – 7 – .295, 11 HR, 39 RBI
Piscotty received a well deserved promotion to Double-A Springfield on June 22nd. He is on pace for over 20 home runs if it were a major league season. The power is a bonus as it wasn’t quite there last year. Piscotty should be a top 10 prospect across the board next year.
8. James Ramsey – 8 – .279, 9 HR, 24 RBI
Ramsey could have moved up in the rankings if it weren’t for the players ahead of him. Ramsey had a very solid month with Double-A Springfield. He hit over .270 and had 5 home runs. The power numbers will come down but it is interesting. Ramsey’s OBP also came down in June which is not the best for a top-of-the-order guy that he is.
9. Anthony Garcia – 12 – .238, 11 HR, 36 RBI
Garcia is one of the biggest climbers from last month. In June, Garcia only played in 17 games due to injuries but still hit almost .400 with 7 home runs and had an OPS approaching 1.300. Garcia had a horrendous April and May but appears to be adjusting the new level quite nicely.
10. Patrick Wisdom – 10 – .229, 13 HR, 50 RBI
Wisdom stays in our top 10 mainly due to his power numbers. He is on pace for roughly 25 home runs if it were a 162 game major league season. We would like him to bring his average up, which he has over the last month, and improve his defense. His defense has typically been a strength, but getting back to full-time third base will help improve that.
11. Breyvic Valera – 11 – .297, 0 HR, 31 RBI
Valera stumbled a little in June as he only hit .264 with an on base percent just over .300. Valera may be on the verge of being passed on the second base depth chart by teammate Jacob Wilson. Valera’s versatility has been huge this season. For a guy who gets on base, Valera did not do that very well in June.
12. Charlie Tilson – 13 – .289, 2 HR, 18 RBI
Tilson missed time in June and only played in 12 games. Tilson followed up a great May (.343) with an average June (.286). Like Valera, Tilson has to do a little better at getting on base, but he is still very young. Things are looking up for Tilson.
13. Ryan Jackson – 14 – .302, 3 HR, 25 RBI
Like Tilson, Jackson backed off a little from his May numbers. In May, Jackson hit .345 and was on fire. He hit .278 in June but did a better job of getting on base. His OBP was .374 in June which is a good sign. Like his double play partner in Memphis. Jackson may be stuck at Triple-A for a while.
14. Tommy Pham – NR – .288, 6 HR, 34 RBI
Pham makes a huge jump on this list thanks to his promotion to Triple-A Memphis. I think this may be too high for Pham, 25 on a top prospect list, but I do believe he could see a September call-up and he has the tools. He has struggled to .206 average for Memphis out of the gate but should make some adjustments.
15. Alex Reyes – NR – 1-1, 3.65 ERA, 19 K, 12.1 IP
This was the toughest prospect to find a home for. I believe he belongs in the top 20, but where? I chose 15 more because of his upside. Reyes is just 18 and was signed by the Cardinals last December. He has had probably one of the best starts of any Baby Bird pitcher this season. He struck out 11 in just 6 innings while only allowing a hit and a walk. Reyes can bring the heat to the mid 90′s and will move up with more starts like his last.
16. Tim Cooney – 15 – 7-8, 3.64 ERA, 81 K, 94 IP
Cooney has made it all the way to Double-A a year after being the Cardinals’ 3rd round pick in 2012. His transition to Double-A has had a couple of rough spots but has been pretty solid. Cooney had his worst month in June going 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA and opponents hit .357 against him.
17. Colin Walsh – 19 – .270, 4 HR, 32 RBI
Walsh had a horrible May only hitting .167 with 1 HR and 7 RBI and was trending down, but a change happened. Walsh was moved to the lead-off spot. In June, he hit .320 with 12 doubles, 2 triples, and an awesome OBP of .435. Walsh has found a home at the top of the Palm Beach lineup.
18. Lee Stoppelman – 16 – 2-2, 1.79 ERA, 44 K, 40.1 IP
Stoppelman had a very impressive June which followed impressive months of April and May. Like Cooney, Stoppelman has made it all the way to Double-A a year after the draft, in which he was the Cardinals’ 24th round pick. Opponents only hit .091 against Stoppelman in June.
19. Jacob Wilson – 18 – .265, 12 HR, 58 RBI
Wilson has been in the top 5 of biggest surprises this season. He was the Cardinals’ 10th round selected last year and has handled the Midwest League pretty well. Wilson had a solid June, hitting .293 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI. His July has not gone so well, only hitting .105 so far.
20. Starlin Rodriguez – 17 – .274, 6 HR, 31 RBI
Rodriguez was moved to the outfield and demoted to High-A Palm Beach in June and has had success at the Beach. In 15 games since his return to Palm Beach, Rodriguez is hitting .305 with a .382 OBP. Rodriguez could find his way back in the Springfield outfield by season’s end.
The next 10 in no particular order
Tyler Lyons, Zach Petrick, Greg Garcia, Mike O’Neill, C.J. McElroy, Jordan Swagerty, Cody Stanley, Sam Tuivailala, Boone Whiting, Corey Jones
We will have two more prospect updates for August and the final one in September. Let me know what you think!
St. Louis Cardinals: Updated Top 20 Prospects for June
Could Tommy Pham be the Cardinals’ answer in center?
Martinez makes start at Memphis; Taveras to DL