Kevin Goldstein comes out with his Cardinals top prospect list today. Click away!
This entry was posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011 at 11:13 am and is filed under Prospect rankings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Really surprising list in a lot of way. I expected a bit more love for Cox and Martinez (Matias — how long until we’re positive everyone knows who Martinez is?). I was surprised to see Jenkins rated over both of them.
Also, the Lance Lynn write-up was pretty interesting. I thought the fastball switch might explain the jump in HRs, and I was pleasantly surprised to see KG project him as a possible #3 guy. I always had him as a #4 at best.
I wouldn’t really disagree with much outside of the low ranking for Cox and Martinez. Doesn’t look like they’ll be on his Top 100.
He likes Martinez just fine (quote: “Martinez’s ceiling matches that of any pitcher in the system” — and remember, KG loves Miller), he just considers him too far from the majors to be projectable yet. I think that’s an entirely reasonable position. If Martinez mows ‘em down at QC the way Shelby did, his stock will rise next year, believe me.
One thing that caught my eye is that of the seven pitchers on the top-11 list (in itself an interesting observation), every last one has his “best tool” listed as “fastball.” Three of the four pitchers in the “next 9″ (Gorgen is the exception) are also described as having power arms. It looks like the days of highly polished nibblers in the farm system are over. That’s good.
Yea, I just expected him to get at least four stars. I think he also got dinged a bit because of his size. I’m not implying that KG hates Martinez or anything, I just thought he’d have him as a potential Top 100 prospect. His three star guys don’t usually make it, iirc.
“It looks like the days of highly polished nibblers in the farm system are over. That’s good.”
totally agree, but I think the polished nibbler phase was a necessary interim step to get where we are now. from 06 through 08 they deliberately focused on fast movers because there was such a dearth of options at Memphis and Springfield. they didn’t even have true replacement-level options in the pipeline. in ’06 they got 90+ starts at memphis from Travis Smith, Randy Leek, John Webb, and Dennis Tankersley, who were all career minor leaguers (27 or older) and not even effective at AAA anymore. in ’07 the top four starters at Memphis were Mike Parisi, Blake Hawksworth, Mike Smith, and Randy Keisler.
in ’08 Luhnow’s boys started to arrive at Memphis — PJ Walters, Mitch Boggs, Clay Mortensen, and Jaime Garcia all got there (along with Salas and Todd in the pen), and Ottavino joined them in 09, with Lynn at Double A already. that made it safe to start taking riskier picks. they had enough replacement-level talent in the upper end of the system that they could start taking risks with the high draft picks and know that the pipeline wouldn’t run totally dry if (when) a risky 1st-rounder goes awry.
Jenkins’ knock is that while his ceiling is ace of staff, but his rawness in baseball makes him a far riskier thing than someone like Miller. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything on Martinez’s projection as a starter, much less ace–he’s always been a guy with an incredible fastball and great control. My take is that Goldstein is waiting to see if Martinez is actually starter material before ranking him above Jenkins, who doesn’t throw as hard but has more pitchers and has pitched starter’s innings. That’s probably all it is.
Cox…some scouts have expressed worries about his defense (hence the talk of him moving to second, where he has played a bit) and some prospect evaluators (like John Sickles) for some reason aren’t enamored with him despite his bat.
>>Jenkins’ knock is that while his ceiling is ace of staff, but his rawness in baseball makes him a far riskier thing than someone like Miller. <<
I was jazzed by the Jenkins pick. The knock on the Card's drafts under Luhnow (at least in regard to pitchers) has been the preponderance of supposedly polished college arms who lack high upside. That Shelby fell to us was something of an aberration. If the Cards want to draft potential top 3 starters, many say we need to take the occasional risk early in the draft with high upside high school arms. Enter Tyrell Jenkins. That he is listed as our #2 prospect, unfortunately, probably says more about the upper end talent in our system than Tyrell Jenkins, as he is just a bundle of potential right now. Cox is more like Walrus than most of us would care to admit (minus the horrible body). He plays corner infield with polished bat but without plus power and said to be a average to poor defender at 3B. I can see why Goldstein isn't that high on Cox given the lack of power combined with the less than stellar defensive rep. Cox shifted to 3B from 2B in college so perhaps he is still learning the position.
Just did a quick check, and Goldstein isn’t a big fan of Cox. In his 2010 mock draft (where he had the Mets, he says this about Cox: “Zach Cox might be best pure hitter in the entire draft, and if the Mets think he can become just acceptable at second base, his questionable power ceiling becomes less of an issue.”
And in his BP draft day chat, he expressed doubts about Cox’s power ceiling, comparing him to Bill Mueller (“lots of average, lots of walks, not a ton of power”), says maybe 12-18 HRs a year, and says he’s a future second basemen. In the same chat, he mentions that Jenkins has good upside. So there you go.
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