The Johnson City team lacks a premier prospect in 2012 like it had in 2011 (Tyrell Jenkins) or Oscar Taveras (2010) but there are some position players to watch. Add into that the Johnson City version of Batavia’s Yunier Castillo and there should be something to pique your interest.
Carson Kelly, 3B
The 17 year old Kelly is the Cardinals 2nd round draft pick from the 2012 draft. A two-way player in high school, Kelly will come with questions surrounding his defense but his bat is above average. Kelly is young for the draft and don’t be surprised if he repeats Johnson City or winds up in Batavia in 2012. Kelly does have the arm that, should things not work out at 3B, could transition to the mound with a low 90s fastball.
Sam Tuivailala, RP
That transition from 3rd to the mound is the route that the Cardinals 2010 draft pick is currently making. Tuivailala struggled in two seasons in the Gulf Coast League only to be approached by the organization to try his hand at pitching. The Cardinals have a history of converting players (David Carpenter, Jason Motte, Casey Mulligan, Robert Stock) to pitchers so Tuivailala is in the right place to be guided through the transition rather than experimented upon.
Lance Jeffries, OF
C.J. McElroy, OF
The two outfielders, along with now injured Charlie Tilson, were part of a clear and concerted strategy to inject youth and speed into the Cardinals outfield pipeline. Both players are now 19 years old with OPS hovering right at .800 in Johnson City so far. They’re both capable of playing CF though you’ll find McElroy there with Jeffries sliding to right field. Neither player may put up the gaudy offensive stats that will attract lots of attention but with above average defense and superb speed, these players will contribute in ways that are as easily discerned from minor league stats.