The AFL begins today and contains several Cardinals propsects — and it appears there have been some changes since the rosters were initially announced. As a refresher:
- David Kopp (Palm Beach)
- Lance Lynn (Springfield)
- Mike Parisi (rehabbing from TJ surgery)
- Adam Reifer (Palm Beach)
- Gary Daley (Springfield)
- Scott Gorgen (Springfield)
- Bryan Anderson (rehabbing from shoulder surgery)
- Daniel Descalso (Springfield/Memphis)
- Daryl Jones (Springfield)
- Tyler Henley (Springfield)
Daryl Jones is the name to watch here. If he shows that he’s returned to some modicum of health over the last month, it would go a ways to allaying fears regarding his overall ceiling. Leg injuries (allegedly) sapped his power and speed leaving a hitter with decent plate discipline but someone who was reliant on their ability to hit for average due to a lack of secondary skills.
I don’t know what to say about Bryan Anderson. There’s a healthy contingent of disbelievers in the once highly-touted catching prospect. After choosing to rehab a shoulder injury rather than elect for surgery, he watched the punchless Matt Pagnozzi collect major league at bats and praise. To be clear, my issue with this arrangement is not that the Cardinals called up a punchless catcher for a handful fo meaningless at bats. It’s that the Cardinals have routinely and continually seemed to undervalue the ability of Anderson to actually hit due to concerns (which are probably well placed) about his defense. Anderson is only 22 and still young enough to force his way back into the discussion as a offense minded backup to Yadier Molina.
Daniel Descalso would like to show us all that his Springfield numbers are more pertinent than his Memphis ones after being promoted and benched in favor of Jarrett Hoffpauir. Tyler Henley, a personal favorite, continues to make his way up the prospect ladder of left handed outfielders.
Mike Parisi is being sent to get innings, plain and simple. There’s a possibility that the Cardinals could use him out of the major league bullpen next year but right now they’re just trying to get a feel for what they have in Parisi. It’s a similar scenario for Gary Daley who gets some put up or shut up innings to try and claim a 2010 job in the Cardinals system, wherever that may be.
Scott Gorgen and Adam Reifer are the more pertinent arms to the long term outlook of the system. After seeing the former in person, I came away moderately impressed with the arsenal employed. Watch and see if Gorgen fairs well against lefties with a changeup that, at times, looked very good in Springfield. He’s another back end rotation style pitcher when projecting to the majors. Reifer was much lauded for velocity and stuff with his fastball/slider combination heading into 2009. He turned out to be extremely hittable and lacking in refined control of the strike zone.
The Cardinals aren’t sending anyone that would qualify as a “blue-chip” prospect to the AFL. They’ve got a group here that represents a lot of role players with the possibility of one or two becoming league average everyday players in the majors. We’ll have updates of the Cardinals prospects from the AFL periodically to keep track of how the AFL Surprise Rafters fair.