Before rolling out the 2012 Future Redbirds Top 20 prospects, I trolled everyone inadvertently with a compilation of the 2011 list. There was a lot of turnover from last year with nine players who appeared on the previous list failing to make this years. Who were they, and why did they go drop off?
#5. Allen Craig
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – 9, Jeff Roman – 5, erik – 3
#12. Daniel Descalso
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – 17, Jeff Roman – 12, erik – 11
Not much to explain with these two as they both surpassed 130 ABs in 2011. Allen Craig had a fine year and proved just how steady his bat is offensively. His conversion to the outfield has been mostly successful — we’ve certainly seen worse defense from outfielders before — and, assuming his surgery is successful, Craig should be an important cog as an outfield-first base fill supersub.
Descalso spent time at second and third starting off his time in the majors with some incredible defense that tapered off as the year continues. The defensive metrics weren’t terribly impressed with his performance (small sample size caveat) but Descalso should get the opportunity to fight Tyler Greene for playing time at second base in 2012.
The Bubble Prospects
#20. Steve Hill
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – N/A, Jeff Roman – 13, erik – N/A
#19. Deryk Hooker
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – 14, Jeff Roman – N/A, erik – 19
#18. Adron Chambers
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – N/A, Jeff Roman – 11, erik – N/A
You’ve got three candidates that each had someone rank them in a discrepant way last year. It’s hard to point at any of these guys on the edge as huge misses or hits.
Steve Hill was coming off a 2010 performance where he hit for a .263 ISO as a part time catcher. He had increased his walk rate and power from 2009 after repeating at Springfield with the main deficiency being a defined defensive position. In 2011, he suffered a knee injury and collected just 163 PAs in the minors. Entering his age 27 season with no substantive amount of time in Memphis, it’s hard to see Hill making the majors much less having an impact.
Deryk Hooker was drafted out of high school and started playing for the Cardinals at age 18. In the low minors, he’d flash great results with high strikeout rates and, personally, I liked his stuff as a mid-rotation kind of player. He struggled in 2011 as he advanced to Springfield with the lack of a true out pitch hurt his strikeout rate and the park hurt his homerun rate. A year after being #19 he looks a little tarnished still needing to prove he can pass the Double-A test.
Jeff wrote about Adron Chambers here previously. He’s a player that looks like he can have a nice role as a back up centerfielder or sometimes starter bringing some incredible speed to the bases. With the similarly left-handed Jon Jay in center for the Cardinals, Chambers may be a better fit for another team.
#16. Cody Stanley
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – 16, Jeff Roman – 18, erik – 15
#15. Bryan Anderson
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – 12, Jeff Roman – N/A, erik – 13
2012 was one of the more upside oriented lists we’ve had for top prospects in part because the system is currently filled with high potential players that are still in the low minors. In 2011, both Bryan Anderson and Cody Stanley made the list on the merits of their position more than offensive potential. Anderson had a typically solid year for himself, hitting a little below average relative to the league and maintaining his sub-par defensive reputation. He’s so close to the majors at this point (and it seems like a new playing field with Mike Matheny as the manager) that he may finally get a chance to stick. Surprisingly, Anderson will be just 25 for the entirety of the 2012 season.
Stanley spent 2011 in Quad Cities and proved to be (mostly) what we thought he was: a better hitter than most catchers at his level and a legitimate defensive option behind the plate. For 2012, that wasn’t enough to crack the top 20.
The Gary Daley Candidate
#10. Seth Blair
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – 19, Jeff Roman – 9, erik – 6
It’s not hard to figure out why Blair fell out of the rankings this year. He couldn’t stick in the rotation due to atrocious control and a soaring walk rate. My reservations about Blair last year had more to do with his stuff (which didn’t impress me in college from video or on paper) than with his control. Maybe last year was an aberration but a 6.83 BB/9IP rate is one heck of an aberration.
The “What Were You Thinking?” Guy
#14. Nick Longmire
Individual Rankings – azruavatar – 8, Jeff Roman – 19, erik – 18
Not much I can do but take my lumps on this one. Longmire still intrigues me — I’ve seen him play first hand in the Quad Cities — but in a more fix-er-up kind of way. His numbers (.287/.372/.483) in Batavia were great in 2010 but 2011′s time at Quad Cities was not so kind. His swing has holes and needs a great deal of work to cope with breaking pitches. I can’t justify a #8 ranking on my part other than to say that I missed, better luck next time.