Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (1) | 2012 (12) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] NL Central
AAA: [57-87] Pacific Coast League – Memphis
AA: [77-61] Texas League – Springfield
A+: [64-72] Florida State League – Palm Beach
A: [68-71] Midwest League – Quad Cities (Peoria beginning 2013)
A(ss):  [44-32] New York-Penn League — Batavia (State College beginning 2013)

Arizona Fall League PlayersSurprise Saguaros
Seth Blair (RHP); Kevin Siegrist (LHP); Boone Whiting (RHP); Mike O’Neill (OF); Colin Walsh (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Matt Carpenter (UTIL); Tony Cruz (C); Lance Lynn (RHP); Joe Kelly (RHP)

The Run Down
This is baseball’s best system, and it’s really not that close.  The amount of high-impact talent concentrated at the upper levels of this farm system is nothing short of remarkable — I ranked seven Cardinals prospects in my Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2013.  Much of the credit here needs to go toward Jeff Luhnow, former VP of Player Procurement in St. Louis, current GM in Houston.  But the impact of General Manager John Mozeliak cannot be denied — since he took over in 2007, he’s brought tremendous balance to this mid-market club, which is primed for big league success for the foreseeable future.  Mozeliak signed a well-deserved three-year extension just a few days ago.  The Cardinals are World Series contenders at Major League level, they possess the best farm in the game, and their fantasy contributions are plentiful, as usual.  Swoon.

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Oscar Taveras, OF:
  Taveras is my #2 fantasy prospect for 2013.  An elite combination of bat speed and bat control makes him a high-impact guy from the get-go.  He’ll likely start the year at Triple-A, but even so, Taveras is the rare sort of talent that is draft-and-stashable in all formats.  Here’s Grey’s Oscar Taveras fantasyETA:  2013

2.  Shelby Miller, RHP:  With Chris Carpenter out of the equation, Miller seems primed to begin the year in the Cardinals’ rotation.  Because of that opportunity, he ranked #1 in my Top 25 Prospects for 2013.  For more on him, here’s Grey’s Shelby Miller fantasyETA:  2013

3.  Carlos Martinez, RHP:  A devastating fastball-curve-change arsenal has Martinez (my #30 prospect for 2013) projecting like a front-line starter.  The 21-year-old was outstanding in 15 starts at Double-A last year, and many industry folks see greater potential with him than with Miller.  He’s a bit undersized, so there are workload concerns.  In any case, he’ll be a major fantasy asset as a starter or a closer once he’s peaked.  ETA:  Late 2013

4.  Trevor Rosenthal, RHP:  The Cardinals used him out of the ‘pen down the stretch last year, but they’d prefer to have Rosenthal starting games for them in the future.  He’ll have a chance to beat out Miller for the #5 spot in the rotation this spring.  More on him in my Top 25 Fantasy Prospects post, where he came in at #20.  ETA:  2013

5.  Michael Wacha, RHP:  #46 on my Top 50 Fantasy Prospect for 2013 post, Wacha has enough stuff and plenty of polish to compete at the highest level.  He could be a safe fall-back option if Miller (or Rosenthal, or Kelly, or Martinez) scuffles, or if there’s injury in the rotation.  ETA:  Late 2013

6.  Matt Adams, 1B:  Adams is ready for an extended look as a regular in the bigs, but he’s buried on the Cardinals depth chart at 1B.  Even so, the slugging first baseman came in as my #27 prospect for 2013 thanks to the fragile nature of the Cards, as well as his big time potential at the plate.  Here’s Grey’s Matt Adams fantasyETA:  2013

7.  Kolten Wong, 2B:  My #39 prospect for 2013, Wong is a candidate for mid-season arrival.  The Cardinals are experimenting with Matt Carpenter at 2B this spring, and Daniel Descalso is also in the mix for playing time up the middle, but Wong is the long-term guy at second, and he’ll be ready to contribute this year.  ETA:  Late 2013

8.  Tyrell Jenkins, RHP:  Since he was acquired in the 1st round of the 2010 draft, Jenkins has been praised as the best athlete in the Cardinals organization.  At 6-4, 192, he profiles nicely as a durable starter, but a very nice fastball-curveball-changeup repertoire has him looking like more than just an innings eater.  The Cardinals are still waiting for all of his talent to translate into success on the field, but they can afford to be patient.  Jenkins will move up to High-A in 2013, and he could be primed for a break-out.  ETA:  2015

9.  Carson Kelly, 3B:  The Cardinals’ 2nd round pick last June, Kelly debuted in rookie-ball and posted a lousy slash line (.225/.263/.399), but still managed 9 homers in just 56 games.  The 18-year-old has all the defensive tools to stick at the hot corner, and plenty of pop in his bat to fit the 3B profile.  Expect better all around numbers as Kelly settles in as a pro.  ETA:  2016

10.  Anthony Garcia, OF:  An under-the-radar guy, Garcia collected 56 XBH (19 HR) in 444 PA in his first year of full-season baseball.  That sort of production is difficult to ignore.  The 21-year-old will move up to High-A to begin 2013, but if he continues to mash, he’ll reach the upper levels by mid-season.  ETA:  2015