It wouldn’t be hard to sweep this under the rug. We could hide from our picks last year or revel in them whenever we wanted and no one would know better. It wouldn’t be terribly informative and it wouldn’t help our credibility though. Honestly, I enjoy looking back on my own stupidity/prescience. That said, I’m going to walk through my 2008 prospect list in preparation for the 2009 prospect list that should be forthcoming once we finish our behind the scenes wrangling.
I’ll do this in two parts starting at the end.
#25: Blake King snuck onto the end of my list due to great stuff. Neither he (nor the Cardinals) have figured out how to fix command problems though. King has been passed by too many good relievers to warrant a spot on future prospect lists. The command just hasn’t materialized and he remains mired in the low minors. Look for him to be released in the not to distant future.
#24: Should I have had Jones higher? He’d been pretty abysmal prior to this season and ZiPS still only had him at a Francouer-ian projection after his mammoth year in ’08. I probably should have had him a little higher last year but I think his bandwagon got a little too crowded a little too fast this year.
#23: Injury problems, no command. The Cardinals are not good at developing pitching. Should have left him off the list.
#22: The bat fell apart after the Blue Jay-Cardinal waiver war. There’s no appreciable value here moving foward. Comfortable with where I had him on the list and still a little suprised by the collapse. (.863 OPS in ’07 vs. ~.700 OPS in ’08)
#21: Tyler Greene has made a lot of noise in the AFL. It’s important to remember that a) AFL is less difficult than AAA, b) 87 ABs in the AFL and c) K% was around ~30%. He’s still struggling to make contact. Better pitchers will capitalize on that. Comfortable with where I had him last season. Not impressed with what he did in ’08. Nothing more than a replacement level SS, imo.
#20: Ignore shiny things quirks when other issues (lack of command) are more important. Shouldn’t have had him on the list.
#19: Comfortable with where I had him on the list. Maybe could have moved him a little higher. Looks like a Schumaker redux who bounced back nicely after an injury marred 2007.
#18: Todd’s bandwagon got full quickly as well. Pleased with where I had him on the list. I still have lingering questions about his viability as a starter in the majors.
#17: Remember Jose Martinez? He doesn’t even register in the collective mind* of Cardinal SS prospects anymore. The contact ability disguised a complete lack of secondary offensive skills. There was a lot of clamoring over him from analysts at other sites (Goldstein had him at #8, THT’s Constancio picked him as a sleeper, IIRC) but he collapsed as the walk rate plummetted and the BA fell.
#16: Right where he should have been. Great start to the season earned him much acclaim in the blogosphere and much finger pointing at detractors. Things evened out by the end of the season to show that he’s a decent prospect but still not a great choice for a first round pick.
#15: Joe Mather is the counter example to prospect #11. He finally broke through with some big power numbers in the minors and showed that it’s for real in the majors. Probably should have been higher on the list — I was hedging on this one.
#14: I should have left Mark Hamilton off the list. He got a very good review from Keith Law in the AFL last year and he was, by default, the best 1B prospect we had. Should have gone with my gut on a weak bad, no defense 1B prospect. I would have drawn ire at the time but would look pretty damn smart right now.
#13: I still think this was the right ranking. He had a sharp biting fastball and a plus-slider. I have no idea why he fell apart this season but he was a terrific reliever when I saw him.
#12: A little low on Boggs. His fastball is better than I thought and the curveball, while inconsistent, is a major league pitch. He needs an offspeed pitch but he’s more advanced than I thought prior to this season.
#11: Totally biffed on Hoffpauir. The power in AA was a fluke and I got scammed by it. Still one of the Cardinals top 25 last year but not this high.
The good picks: Jones, Greene, Kozma, Mather
The bad picks: Degerman, Martinez, Hamilton, Hoffpauir
*DanUp may secretly be a Borg. I’ve seen no evidence to prove otherwise yet. Consider yourself forewarned.