I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the individual parts of what made up the 2012 Texas League Champions. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to feature the top 5 hitters (according to regular season wRC+), the top 5 pitchers (according to regular season FIP), and a few honorable mentions. If you feel like I’ve neglected any players, feel free to discuss them in the comments section.
Need a refresher course on wRC+ or FIP? Check out FanGraphs’ glossary. Read about wRC+ here and FIP here.
Before following the jump to the rest of the post, enjoy a video recap of Springfield’s triumphant season:
Back in January, I asked if Oscar Taveras was underrated. The basic premise of that article was three-fold: (1) scouting reports undersold his actual production, (2) the high BABIP allowed for stat watchers to dismiss the batting line too casually and (3) Taveras is in a farm system with other great prospects who are higher up the food chain.
This past week, Taveras went on a bit of a hot streak and drug his 2012 season line over the 1.000 OPS mark. (It currently sits at .995 as of this morning.) There’s still a lot of time left in 2012 but it’s interesting to see how his work thus far looks like relative to those three items I wrote about in January.
One of the things that those who follow the Cardinals’ farm system right now have to struggle with is that the two top hitting prospects, Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras, have a very similar hitting profile but one that isn’t found among many elite players. This concern, the dearth of walks, has been a common refrain here and it’s a legitimate concern but it’s also one that we’ll simply have to adapt to.
I’ve made comparisons for Matt Adams before based on his statistical profile and while Taveras differs in his defensive capabilities, offensively, he’s not that far off from Adams. Both players hit for elite levels of power, make consistent contact with moderate strikeout rates and don’t walk much. But what exactly does that last piece look like in the majors?
A .310/.373/.512 line in the Midwest League at age 19 is a great performance. A .386/.444/.584 in the Midwest League at age 19 is great enough to lead the entirety of single A baseball in offensive performance as measured by wOBA (min 200 PA).
The first line, Colby Rasmus’ performance in 2006, cemented his position as the Cardinals’ #1 prospect, which he wouldn’t relinquish until graduating to the majors. The latter performance put Oscar Taveras at #4 on the Future Redbirds top 20 and generally in the #3 or #4 spot on industry lists. Is it possible that Oscar Taveras is underrated?
Due to popular demand, I now present you Part 2 of the updated depth chart for the top position player in the Cardinals system for each respective position. In respect of cariocacardinal’s insistent pleadings to PLEEAAAAAASE define what I’m trying to do, each prospect I list represents who I believe to be the top prospect at each position who has the best shot to make the most impact in the major leagues.
I was really fortunate to see a lot of impressive players over a three day trip to Quad Cities. I’ve had weekend trips before that felt like a total bust but this one was pretty good. The starting pitchers were most impressive, relief pitchers were underwhelming and it is something of a mixed bag for the position prospects.