The Cardinals are lacking anything resembling depth in their middle infield in the minor leagues and this is no more apparent than at the shortstop position. They have no one in the system that is currently solidly projected to be a major league regular. Tyler Greene at one point was projected that way (and may still become one) but has lost his luster through poor performance and the Memphis to St. Louis shuttle yo-yo. Greene could quite possibly be “Punto’ed” (patent pending) off the major league roster and be back in Memphis for the 3rd straight season. That actually would be a good move for the Cardinals short stop depth as they would actually have a prospect playing shortstop in Memphis.
The other tale of lost luster is former 1st round pick Pete Kozma, who’s story has been told a thousand times, but he has not had the upside of a major league starter since the evening when he was drafted (if even then). Kozma’s play has not done anything to silence his doubters as he has piled up strikeouts at the plate and errors in the field. He still has time to prove people wrong, but the clock is ticking.
Ryan Jackson might be the next best hope for a major league regular just because of his defense and he can pick it. He has never been known for his bat, but he put up a line drive % around 23 last season, which is a good start. If he continues to get solid contact at the plate, his defense will take him to the majors. But as far as projecting him as a major league regular, that is still a long way off.
Sam Tuivailala is a 2011 draftee and highly projectable shortstop out of college. However, he is not a sure thing to stay at short, he might move to third because of his size or to the mound.
Other guys kicking around are Yunier Castillo who was in short season Batavia last year and Ronny Gil (ex-Grabriel Hernandez) . I’ll still always hold out hope for Gil, all his scouting reports and numbers were glowing from the Dominican. He was out last year for false documents (and name). Now that he is all set with his identity and slightly older, he could make an appearance in the US-based system this season. Domnit Bolivar is another, yet smaller name. Cesar Valera is also notable only for the fact that he started at short at Johnson City in his age 18 season.
So all these spilled pixels and names mean the Cardinals are dreadfully thin at short in the minor leagues and have not in quite a long time had a plus prospect at shortstop. Other teams have had big time prospects but for mistakes or players not developing the Cardinals have not had one of their own and they continue the tradition with this motley crew of low upside and imperfectly projectable prospects.