Jeff and I rolled out our list prior to the season. After a month of play, how are the top 20 prospects doing?
#20. Boone Whiting
Whiting’s been on the disabled list to start the season and has yet to throw this year.
#19. Brandon Dickson
In 8 starts spanning 47.1 innings, Dickson has struck out just 31 batters — a decreased rate from 2011 — but maintains a nearly 3:1 K:BB ratio by limiting his walks. Dickson looks like a player good enough to get the occasional call up but unlikely to stick in the majors. He continues to be a solid workhorse for Memphis’ rotation this season. Interestingly, Dickson is the only minor league starting pitcher on the 40-man roster.
#18. Tommy Pham
Pham struggled badly to start the season and found his way back to the disabled list where he’s been for almost a month.
#17. Charlie Tilson
It will be another month before we see Tilson start his season with one of the Cardinals short-season clubs.
#16. Adam Reifer
Reifer is on the Cardinals 40-man roster and is in Memphis working to regain his familiarity with live action after missing 2011 due to a knee injury. Reifer walked two batters in his first appearance of the season and has walked 2 batters in the 16 innings that have followed. Recapturing his strikeout rate (currently below 7K per 9IP) will be key moving forward.
#15. Maikel Cleto
Converted from starting to relieving at the beginning of the season in a perplexing personnel decision, Cleto is currently sporting the best FIP of his career. He’s doing it by striking out more batters. So far so good in the conversion. What continues to make this a strange move is that Cleto displayed considerable upside as a starter with good walk rates (basically unchanged in relief) and a healthy strikeout rate. Time will tell whether the move to the pen works for Cleto in the long term.
#14. Jordan Swagerty
One of the most talked about prospects in Spring Training found himself undergoing Tommy John surgery to start the season. He’ll look to make a return in 2013.
#13. Joe Kelly
Kelly has steadily progressed through the system as a starter. His start at Memphis has been good but not great with dip in his walk rate and groundball rate. Kelly’s strong suit remains his ability to get hitters to roll over on his heavy fastball but triple A hitters have proven more resistant to Kelly’s repertoire.
#12. Ryan Jackson
Jackson continues to hit just enough to look like he might not be a complete black hole in the majors. Combine that with above average defense and you have someone that could be a good utility player or stop gap should Rafael Furcal hit the disabled list. The power mirage of Springfield is dissipating in Memphis where Jackon’s ISO is down by 33%.
#11. Eduardo Sanchez
Promoted to the big leagues. Good luck, Eduardo! Despite the promotion, however, Sanchez was off to his worst season thus far with a crazy high walk rate. Mark me down as unsure about the integrity of his arm.