Results tagged ‘ St. Louis Cardinals ’
Prospect ranking season is upon us. It started on Monday with our 2013 Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects list. Each day, we’ll be revealing another Top 10 by position list, until we’re ready to unveil this year’s Top 100 on Jan. 29 (Top 50 show on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET). Here’s the schedule:
Tuesday: Left-handed pitchers
Thursday: Third basemen
Saturday: Second basemen
Sunday: First basemen
You may have noticed a new twitter handle introduced – @mlbpipeline — that we’re using to announce these lists. You may also have noticed that there have been some technical difficulties with it. We’re hoping those will be resolved soon and that can be THE place to find out about prospect info from us on Twitter. So keep trying if you were trying to follow and couldn’t.
In the past, when the Team Top 20 lists have launched (Week of Feb. 4, for those curious), I’ve posted something I called OMG — One More Guy. That, basically, is who would potentially be No. 21 on the list. I thought I should do something similar for the position lists, especially when seeing reaction from some about who is/isn’t on the list.
With that in mind, here are the RHP who would be 11-15, if we were to go that deep:
Julio Teheran, Braves — Star has faded a bit, but still very young and ready for another shot.
Carlos Martinez, Cardinals — Sometimes known as “Little Pedro,” he has electric stuff in smaller pitching frame
Kyle Zimmer, Royals — 2012 first-rounder could move very quickly through the KC system
Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays — There are those who think he has the most upside among all those young Jays pitchers (current and former)
Kevin Gausman, Orioles — LSU star who went No. 4 overall in last June’s Draft, should join Dylan Bundy in Baltimore in the near future
I’ll be back soon with Who’s Next for the lefties….
I’m back in Arizona, watching the final night game here at Scottsdale Stadium, and started thinking about alumni from this league and how they fare during awards season. So I did some digging…
While one was unanimous and one was close, it really shouldn’t have surprised anyone that Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were this year’s Rookie of the Year Award winners.
It also shouldn’t shock anyone that both are Arizona Fall League alumni. For six years in a row now, at least one of the Rookies of the Year played in the AFL previously.
The Trout-Harper perfecta isn’t even that unusual. In five of the last seven seasons, starting with Huston Street and Ryan Howard’s ROY Awards in 2005, both winners cut their teeth here. The other dynamic duos:
Dustin Pedroia and Ryan Braun, 2007
Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto, 2008
Andrew Bailey and Chris Coghlan, 2009
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, 2012
Trout and Harper have something in common with Street and Howard. In both cases, the Rookie of the Year tandems both played in the AFL the year prior to winning the top rookie honor. Not only that, in both instances, the award winners were AFL teammates. In 2004, Street and Howard were Phoenix Desert Dogs. Last year, Trout and Harper played in the same Scottsdale Scorpions outfield.
There have now been 24 Rookies of the Year who once called the Arizona Fall League home.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at Cy Young Award winners.
In case you missed them, here are two more AFL team reports:
The Yankees report focuses on Mark Montgomery. Their video report takes a look at Montgomery, Slade Heathcott and Dellin Betances:
Gary Brown is the focus of the Giants report. In the video report, Brown, Joe Panik and Chris Dominguez are featured.
Finally, Stars of the Day for Monday and Tuesday:
Monday: We’ll go with Kevin Siegrist of the Cardinals, for his four-inning, one run performance. The lefty gave up four hits, walked one and struck out eight. He’s now 10th in ERA (2.37) and second in strikeouts (27).
Tuesday: The aforementioned Slade Heathcott gets the nod after going 4-for-5, including his first homer of the fall. He drove in two and scored a run. Heathcott is now fifth in the league in batting average (.371) and second in OPS (1.084).
Not from my own college experience, mind you, but that of one of the players on a postseason roster.
It was 2008 and I was covering the SEC tournament in Alabama. It’s something I’ve done a few times over the years for pre-Draft coverage. It’s such a loaded conference that you can find a whole bunch of potential first-round picks in one place.
In that conference that year, in fact, was Pedro Alvarez, Gordon Beckham, Justin Smoak, Josh Fields and Reese Havens, all of whom were taken in the first round of that 2008 Draft. But the guy I’m thinking of was a supplemental pick that year, taken No. 39 overall by the Cardinals.
At the time, Lance Lynn was the ace of the Ole Miss staff, though he was coming off a so-so junior year. But he had a terrific tournament, helping his school make it to the finals (losing to LSU) and being named to the all-tournament team.
I remember having a conversation with someone at the tournament, someone who followed the team closely. That year, Ole Miss had more than just Lynn who was attracting scouts. There was another starter in the rotation, who went a little later in that draft. That pitcher, by all accounts, had better pure stuff than Lynn. By a lot. But he didn’t have a good year, either.
The biggest difference was how they performed under pressure. Lynn stepped up and was fantastic in the tournament. This other guy, not so much. In fact, we were watching this other guy pitch during this conversation. This unnamed pitcher was under the weather and, if memory serves, came out of the game fairly early as a result. I’m not saying this guy wasn’t sick, but it was what this Ole Miss observer said that really stuck with me.
We were talking about Lynn and how competitive he was on the mound. This conversation-mate said that if it was Lynn who was sick and it was his turn to pitch, he’d simply walk off behind the mound, throw up, then get back on the mound and keep pitching.
Disgusting? Maybe. A little too graphic? Perhaps. But you get the point. There was a certain amount of — to borrow a phrase from old colleague Billy Sample — intestinal fortitude with Lynn. So it’s not a surprise at all to me that he’s thrown three shutout innings across three appearances in the NLCS, even getting a win in Game 2. This after not having pitched since Aug. 9 and being left off the NLDS roster (oblique injury).
The setting wasn’t going to faze him. Success or failure, after seeing him in that SEC tournament, after having that conversation about his toughness on the mound, I knew Lynn would face that kind of challenge without fear.
I don’t know if Lynn is now permanently a reliever. His success in relief might point to that. He certainly has the right mindset.
Oh, and that other guy? He’s had some injury problems… and has yet to make it above Double-A.
Quick update on the postseason review front… You can now read the Houston Astros prospect review. Mariners review should be running later today and I’ll pass that link along when it’s live.
Here’s the Cards’ Top 10 and, as always, OMG (One More Guy) from their system:
Eduardo Sanchez, RHP: Signed out of Venezuela in December 2005, Sanchez spent his first three seasons moving slowly, but in 2009-2010, he’s picked up the pace, pitching at two levels in each season (he went back to Double-A last year after finishing there in 2009).
Listed at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Sanchez doesn’t look like much, but then you see him throw. He’s got a power arsenal perfect for the back end of a bullpen. He can get his fastball up into the upper-90s and he’s got a pretty nasty power slider to go with it. He’s struck out 9.9 per nine innings in his career (9.8 in 2010, but 10.3 once he moved up to Triple-A). Right-handed hitters didn’t stand a chance against him last year, hitting just .157 against him, thanks largely to that slider (Lefties hit a much more robust .293).
He’s shown he doesn’t flinch in pressure situations and calmly retired the side in order at the Futures Game last July. His biggest issue has been command/control as he’s given up a few too many walks over the course of his career. At his size, people will always worry about his endurance and durability. He’s had a good spring and is still sort of in contention for one of the open bullpen spots. Even if he goes down to Triple-A Memphis, where he could get some more closing experience, he should be ready to help out in St. Louis at some point this season.