Down on the Farm: End of May
The Cardinals farm system really is proving its worth so far in the young season. Matt Adams has already been promoted and is proving his worth in the majors. Also many other big named prospects are flourishing and giving the Cardinals fans and organizations more hope for continued success in the near future. Here is a look at how some of the Cardinals top prospects are doing so far in the minors:
Miller the teams best prospect has gotten over his rough start and is proving that he is worth all of the hype, coming off of his best start of the young season. The Redbirds 21 year old Ace has a 4-3 record with a 4.38 ERA, and in 49.1 innings, Miller has 55 strikeouts and 20 walks. I would expect Miller to make a brief appearance late in the season and I think he will be in the rotation next season for the Cardinals, it is nice to see good pitchers coming out of the system, Miller will most likely join Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn as a fellow homegrown starter next season.
Cox who was once thought of as the Cardinals top hitting prospect is off to a horrid start in 2012. In 37 games with the Memphis Redbirds, Cox has a .211/.254/.351 line and just three homers and 10 RBI. Cox might have to go down a level to prove he can still hit, hopefully he is just going through a tough slump, but for now I wouldn’t rank Cox as our top hitting prospect, that spot will be given to someone I will mention later.
Gast is a top pitching prospect for the Cardinals and I think he will be a truly good reliever in the majors as well. He started the year in AA where he kept good numbers, good enough to get the promotion to AAA Memphis. For the year Gast has good numbers, but he hasn’t got off to the best start in Memphis. In three games he is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA, and 8 k’s and 7 walks in 17 innings. But for the entire year he has a 5-2 record with a 2.63 ERA, striking out 49 and walking 20 in 68 innings. Gast is a left hander and I could see the Cardinals bringing him up as a left handed reliever instead of a starter.
Wong the electric young second base prospect is on the fast track to the majors and could end up there as soon as next year. He is off to a great start in AA, with a .320/.382/.465 line, four homers, 21 RBI, and 7 stolen bases. Wong is a natural hitter and though he may not have that much power, he might finally fill that gaping whole that the Cardinals have seen at second for a long time, maybe even since Tommy Herr.
One of the most exciting pitching prospects in the system Rosenthal is off to a pretty good start in AA. Don’t let his 4-4 record fool you, he has a great 2.72 ERA, and 45 strikeouts in 53 innings. The only alarming number of Rosenthal is his high walk rate he has thrown 28 walks already this season. Rosenthal is still a few years away but when he reaches the majors he should be a huge asset for the Cardinals.
In my mind, and in the mind of many, Taveras is the best hitting prospect the Cardinals have had, maybe since Albert Pujols. Taveras is still a very young player still 19 years old and he can hit like a player in his prime. Given the jump to AA, Taveras is off to a red hot start batting .309 with TEN homers, 36 RBI, 13 doubles, three triples, and five stolen bases. This kid is exciting stuff and I hope he can develop into a star for the Cardinals.