Hola from Arizona

Hey all —

It only took me a week, but I think I can finally say I’m not sick. Not that this is something you’re worrying about, mind you, but it explains why I’ve been out of communication for a while. Well, I’m here in Arizona and have been going from camp to camp. So, a couple of quick notes here in the Cactus League before getting to our Five Faves for the Cardinals and Rangers. I’ve been to four camps thus far. Here’s a headline from each camp:

Tempe (Angels): Wood happy to move to 3B; Angels wouldn’t move him if they thought it would ruin chances of playing shortstop again in the future.

Phoenix (A’s): Travis Buck thrilled to be in big-league camp and healthy; He reports in very good shape, with added strength; A’s predict doubles will start turning into home runs in 2007.

Mesa (Cubs): Donnie Veal throwing extremely well early on; Poised to make next step to elite pitching status

Peoria (Padres): Will Venable enjoying big-league invite; Outfielder soaking up information from all vets

You’ll have to wait for our Spring Training reports (beginning March 1) to get more detailed information (though I’m sure we’ll discuss some of it on the show tomorrow). Speaking of the show, we’ve got the Cardinals and Rangers coming up. Here are the Five Faves for St. Louis (from me) and for Texas (from Lisa):

Colby Rasmus, OF
Jaime Garcia, LHP
Bryan Anderson, C
Blake Hawksworth, RHP
Daryl Jones, OF

Eric Hurley, RHP
Thomas Diamond, RHP
Edinson Volquez, RHP
John Mayberry Jr., OF
Joaquin Arias, SS


where will Jones most likely play this year, when might he make it to the bigs, and what does his ceiling look like? Also what kept Chris Perez off the list for the Cards, does he look like he could be a future closer or will he top out at an 8th inning guy?

Trevor — Daryl Jones’ ceiling is as high as anyone’s in the system, except maybe Rasmus. Jones has farther to go to get there, but if and when he does, watch out. The sky really is the limit and the Cards are hoping to have to debate over whether he or Colby Rasmus will play center in St. Louis one day. Jones will start the season in Quad Cities.

Perez was very close to being on this list — if I was doing straight top 5 prospects in the system, he’d probably be on there — suffice it to say, he’s No. 6. He’s got the kind of power stuff that could work in a closer role. Obviously, that remains to be seen, but I think of all the Minor League closers the Cards have, he’s the one who has the best chance to hold that spot in the big leagues.

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