The minor league seasons are all over, with the notable exception of the Cardinals' Triple A club in Memphis, where the Redbirds are currently but a single victory away from winning the Pacific Coast League championship. As the farm system winds down for the winter, it's time for those of us interested in such things to begin putting together our various annual lists which will haunt us for all eternity, as our chosen prospects flame out and make us look clueless for our fandom.
As part of the United Cardinals Bloggers projec
t, I've put together my list of the top 7 prospects in the Redbird system going into 2010. While I have put a fair amount of thought into these rankings, I still reserve the right to change my mind or pretend I don't know what you're talking about when you bring this list up if things go badly for my selected players.
First, a quick rundown of my picks from last year
- Colby Rasmus, OF -- I'd say I did alright here. Despite some frustration about playing time and Colby seemingly refusing to take a pitch for long stretches of time, Rasmus has established himself as the Cards' center fielder for years to come. Expect big things.
- Bryan Anderson, C -- Gah. Remember just a moment ago, when I mentioned prospects making the listmakers look stupid? Exhibit A: Bryan Anderson. Anderson started the year off slowly, failing to do the one thing he had always done so well: hit. His power still hasn't developed as hoped, and he ended up with a lost season due to injury and ineffectiveness. He's still very young, not turning 23 until December, but he has certainly fallen off the radar a fair amount.
- Jess Todd, RHP -- Honestly, looking back now, I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking when I didn't put Brett Wallace higher. Probably something about his place on the defensive spectrum, I suppose. Regardless, Jess Todd had another outstanding season, pitching at Triple A and even making his big-league debut. Converted from a starter to relief work, Todd was part of the increasingly-looking-to-be ill-advised Mark DeRosa trade.
- Daryl Jones, OF -- The big breakout sensation of 2008 followed with a strong, if somewhat muted, encore in 2009. Unfortunately, Jones fought injuries quite a bit of the year, and his numbers showed it. Even so, Jones is still a great prospect.
- Brett Wallace, 3B -- Like I said, I'm not really sure what I was thinking, putting Wallace this low. Oh, well. The Walrus hit pretty much like he always does, though his power was down a bit and there was some thought the Cardinals had pushed him to Triple A a bit too quickly. Regardless, he was the centerpiece of the Matt Holliday deal, and whatever one might think of the cost, that's proven to be a pretty nice upgrade.
- Clayton Mortensen, RHP -- Mort actually stalled a bit in Memphis, putting up decent but not outstanding numbers. He did make his MLB debut, and was also part of the Holliday trade. A nice low-end starter, but probably not much more.
- Richard Castillo, RHP -- Sigh. I'm a sucker for small right-handed pitchers who put up big strikeout numbers in the low minors, and they get me every time. Going into 2008, it was Andres Rosales, who, well, you know that thing your mother always told you, about what to do if you don't have anything nice to say? Castillo did very nearly the same thing, though his overall numbers aren't the worst. He put up okay stats at Palm Beach, but his K/BB ratio was pretty awful and he basically got by not giving up any home runs as a fly ball pitcher thanks to the big ballparks of the Florida State League. Still an intriguing arm? Sure. Still an exciting prospect? Not so much.
Overall, not a bad list, I think. Rasmus was a no-brainer, while sticking Wallace that low just shows no brain. Jones, Todd and Mortensen all had productive seasons, while Anderson and Castillo were definite disappointments.
And so, I take all the lessons I learned -- and there are remarkably few, to be frank, as I just don't pay much attention most of the time -- and I jump once again into the great abyss. Presenting, for your perusal, enjoyment, and mocking pleasure, my 2010 list of Cardinal Prospects. (Cue fanfare.)