teddy ballgame wrote:
I'm posting this because I am a Cardinals fan, but it's hard to follow them as in depth as the Red Sox, living out of their market and all. So can someone tell me what the feeling is in St. Louis and what other possible MLB ready prospects they have in their system?
if you are having trouble following the cards you may want to make vivaelbirdos.com part of your daily reading. thats my favorite cards blog. lots of good stuff there.
this year seems like 2003 all over again. the team looks kind of lost and the deadline moves that year (dejean, hitchcock) were too little, too late. they ran at a pretty high level in 2004 and 2005 and seem kind of burned out this year. the pitching staff, aside from carp, all seemed to go in a slump/return to earth at the same time. i think that kind of brings down morale, wears out the pen, that kind of stuff. in years past it seemed like the slumps were spread out better.
last offseason walt said the priority was pitching and a young outfielder. i expect the same this offseason. i dont know how he will get it done. the cards will probably be outbid on the free agents and guys like jason bay dont get traded very often (although i am aware bay was actually traded several times).
you are basically seeing the major league ready prospects right now -- reyes, wainwright, and duncan. you saw skip schumaker earlier. he is ready to be the left handed taguchi (late inning defensive specialist who may hit for a decent average but has no power). i dont think they have any potential impact prospects for 2007. most of the talent in the system is from the 2005 and 2006 drafts so it is still a few years off.
in terms of being major league ready the top position player is recent draftee and cuban defectee amaury marti who is somewhere between 27 and 32 years old. he is currently in AA. said to be very strong and a good fielder. he should be in st. louis next year, possibly a september callup this year. i have no idea what to expect from him--backup or potential starter? he is definitely a mystery man.
the most major league ready pitcher is probably chris narveson. he is a lefty in AAA. he was traded to colorado for larry walker, made a stop in boston's system, and then returned to the cardinals. putting up good numbers but not exactly a blue chip prospect. most people dont give him a chance to make an impact next year. probably a bottom of the rotation type starter for 2008. if reyes and wainwright are in the rotation in 2007 i dont know if it would be wise to throw in someone like narveson as well. the royals might do it, but a team hoping to win the world series would probably not want to take that chance. i guess that makes him trade bait. he is left handed, afterall.
guys like falkenborg and kinney could help in the pen now, but arent really considered prospects.
former top prospect blake hawksworth is now healthy (finally) and looking solid in AA. he also probably wont be ready until 2008. could be a middle of the rotation type starter or perhaps solid bullpen arm.
chris perez might move up fast. he was a college closer drafted in 2006. he is still in A ball and i wouldnt expect to see him until late 2007 at the earliest. the cards hope they can fasttrack him since he will be staying in the bullpen. potential set up man or if all goes right a closer.
the top prospect is toolsy outfielder colby rasmus. drafted out of high school and currently in high A. he will take time but could eventually take over in CF. he should make top 100 lists next year, probably even top 50. i've seen him quite high in midseason rankings but that was before a little slump when he was promoted to high A.
jaime garcia is probably the best pitching prospect. pitched for the world team in the futures game. tore up A, but leveled off upon promotion to high A. young kid, still a few years away but lots to like about him. not ace material, but a solid #3 starter.
the other pitching prospect i like is 2006 draftee adam ottavino. again, not likely to see him in 2007. probably mid 2008 at the earliest.
there are a couple other interesting prospects but since they are recent draftees i will just save that list for another time. the important thing to note is that the 2005 and 2006 drafts seem to have a lot more talent than prior drafts.
you can check out these lists if you are bored:http://minorleagueball.com/story/2006/7/3/20565/56191http://vivaelbirdos.com/story/2006/7/24/225213/791
Also, I read some stuff the other day about how the fans are calling for the owners head or something? Is he turning into a cheapskate who just wants to make money out of it now?
its hard to call them cheap when they have a 90 something million payroll, but a lot of the moves kind of give that impression (bigbie, encarnacion, ponson, sosa, miles). the philosophy seemed to be get a new stadium and a new radio deal so payroll could increase. that didnt happen. payroll is more or less the same. of course, it could be argued that the payroll was increased in advance of getting the new stadium. i dont really know since i dont see the books, but the common perception about town is the owners are pocketing cash instead of spending it on the team. big surprise there. investors kind of like to see return on investment. of course its possible the free agent market last year was pretty lousy and walt figured it was wisest to save money for later. i hope thats the case. i think i've heard walt say they had money to spend but didnt see any good investments out there.