1. Oscar Taveras (1) – .311, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 5 SB
Even thought Taveras was out a significant amount of time, there is no need to drop him. He is still, by far, the best Cardinals prospect. For me, there is some injury concern. I don’t think it was ineptitude that cause the Cards to not DL him for 3 weeks. I think they were sending him a message that he needed to get out there and fight through it. I believe Taveras has a lot of maturing to do, but he is still only 20.
2. Carlos Martinez (2) – 1-0, 1.57 ERA, 21 K, 23 IP
Martinez made 8 appearances for the big club before being sent down to be stretched out to start. I hope the Cardinals don’t regret not having him in the bullpen down the road as I think the rotation will stabilize. Why not keep Martinez in the pen for the remainder of this year and stretch him out next spring?
3. Michael Wacha (3) – 4-0, 2.05 ERA, 34 K. 52 IP
Wacha’s MLB debut was nothing short of spectacular, albeit, it was against the Royals. I do believe the hype surrounding Wacha is out of control and probably needs to be brought down some. I believe at Wacha’s peak he will be a #2 or #3 starter. I think he fits in great behind Wainwright and Miller.
4. Kolten Wong (4) – .319, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 9 SB
So how does one win Minor League Player of the Month in May but move farther away from the major leagues? I believe that has happened to Wong with the all-star play of Matt Carpenter and the turn-around from David Freese. What happens to Wong? This is a very interesting situation for me.
5. Tyrell Jenkins (6) – 4-4, 4.74 ERA, 34 K, 49 IP
Jenkins appeared to have turned a corner in 2013 as he had a low 2 ERA for May. Jenkins has been up and down this year and needed some consistency. I think he found it in May, where he pitched a shutout and a 7 inning complete game. Jenkins is up a spot. June has not been as kind for Jenkins. On 6/11 he was placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness.
6. Carson Kelly (5) – .219, 2 HR, 13 RBI
Kelly falls a spot mostly because of the play of Tyrell Jenkins. Kelly, just 19, is one of the youngest players in the Midwest League. The power that we saw last year from Kelly has not arrived and that is OK. The competition is a lot harder this year. I expect things to start turning in his favor. Kelly was sent to State College on 6/11 to get regular playing time. This demotion does not affect his ranking/
7. Stephen Piscotty (7) – .269, 7 HR, 26 RBI
Piscotty got out of the gates quickly by hitting .348 and hitting 5 home runs in April. In May, he came back to earth hitting just .245. I believe Piscotty is ready for the next level even though his stats aren’t there as of late.
8. James Ramsey (8) – .275, 3 HR, 11 RBI
A successful move to Double-A kept Ramsey within the top 10. Ramsey is now playing in a more age appropriate league and has had success. Double-A is typically the hardest jump for a minor leaguer, and Ramsey has made a adjustment. Ramsey’s role in the future is a question.
9. Seth Maness (9) 2-2, 4.32, 18 K, 25 IP
Maness is a couple of days away from losing his prospect status but with the uncertainty of what will happen when Jake Westbrook returns, we will keep him on this list. Maness has been effective out of the major league bullpen, but I would like to see him go back to Triple-A and start again.
10. Patrick Wisdom (11) .210, 9 HR, 35 RBI
Like Piscotty, I think Wisdom is close to a level change. A concern I have with Wisdom is his strikeout rate. Wisdom has struck out 66 times in 60 innings. On the other side, the power is up. He only had 6 HR last year in 65 games, and already has 9 this year in 60 games.
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