Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (7) | 2013 (1) | 2012 (12) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [90-72] NL Central
AAA: [79-64] Pacific Coast League – Memphis
AA: [68-72] Texas League – Springfield
A+: [76-63] Florida State League – Palm Beach
A: [72-67] Midwest League – Peoria
A(ss): [48-28] New York-Penn League – State College

Graduated Prospects
Kolten Wong, 2B | Carlos Martinez, RHP | Oscar Taveras, OF

The Gist
Heading into 2015, the Cardinals have another strong farm system featuring interesting fantasy plays for the current season as well as down the road. As always one of the strengths of this system is its pitching, but there are also a handful of attractive outfielders. There’s plenty of young talent emerging on the major league squad as well. Kolten Wong is a sexy pick this year at second base and fellow sophomore Carlos Martinez could break camp in the rotation. It’s hard not to mention Oscar Taveras, who we lost before we really had the chance to see what he could do.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Stephen Piscotty, OF | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
556 70 144 32 0 9 69 7.7% 11.0% 11 5 .288 .355 .406

Piscotty might not be as flashy as some of the other outfielders in the Top 50, but he’s a good bet for a high average and enough power to matter (think 15-20 homers). He handled his business in the PCL as a 23-year-old and his plate discipline numbers really stand out. While he’s a no-brainer in dynasty formats, Piscotty could also get some love in redrafts later this year with a late-2015 ETA. The only fly in the ointment is the arrival of Jason Heyward, who at least temporarily blocks Piscotty’s chance to play right field for the Cards anytime soon.

2. Marco Gonzales, LHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
9 5 2.43 21 21 0 122.0 110 40 33 10 2.0 8.6 .238

Gonzales should have some fantasy value in 2015, but he’s going to be on the fringe of the rotation most likely. He might get the Carlos Martinez treatment – bouncing between the majors and minors, starting in Triple-A while getting spot-starts or relief appearances in the bigs. He should be useful in either role this season, but he’s a better play for 2016 when he’ll have a clearer path to the rotation. Long-term, he has #3 starter upside with a double-plus changeup in his arsenal.

3. Alexander Reyes, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
7 7 3.63 21 21 0 109.0 82 54 44 6 5.0 11.3 .207

Reyes is a farther away than Gonzales which puts some risk into the equation. But he also has more upside with a #2 ceiling and the potential for more strikeouts. If your team is competing now, you’re going to be more interested in the safety and proximity of Gonzales. If your team is in a partial or full rebuild, the upside of Reyes might be more your speed with a bigger payoff down the line. Reyes has a double-plus fastball and a plus curveball and he’ll get a chance to test those pitches against the more advance hitters of High-A in 2015.

4. Randal Grichuk, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
472 73 113 23 2 25 71 5.9% 22.9% 8 5 .259 .311 .493

Grichuk doesn’t have some of the overall tools as the the other hitting prospects listed here, but his proximity to MLB playing time gives his value a boost. Slated as a bench bat to start the 2015 season, the 23-year-old outfielder has plus power and could make an interesting reserve piece in NL-only formats or deeper dynasty leagues. While we wait for the man behind him on the depth chart (Piscotty) don’t overlook the current value of Grichuk. The big question marks are his approach (could limit his power) and of course just how much playing time he’ll actually see. Steamer’s giving him just under 250 plate appearances with eight homers. That’s not too shabby.

5. Magneuris Sierra, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
223 42 78 12 3 2 30 7.2% 13.5% 13 3 .386 .434 .505

Magneuris sounds like one of those strong man contestants, better suited for hauling cars around by his teeth whilst juggling maidens than hitting baseballs. But Sierra is pretty damn good at the latter, so he’ll stick with it I guess. Like the Cardinals needed more toolsy outfielders, Sierra led the Gulf Coast League in runs, hits, and total bases as an 18-year-old. He plays center field and hits from the left side, bringing a nice mix of good contact skills and speed. If you like to get in on some specs at the ground floor, Sierra is a name to grab before he plays his first full season in 2015.

6. Aledmys Diaz, SS | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
179 20 44 10 1 5 24 5.0% 19.0% 7 2 .273 .324 .441

This guy is still kind of a mystery and a shoulder injury limited his time on the field in 2014. The 24-year-old shortstop is set to become a free agent in 2018 – the same year as current shortstop Peralta – but he’ll cost the Cardinals much less money since he’s owed only $2.5 million per year. Although he’s younger, Diaz could be in the same boat as the Dodgers’ Guerrero – solid utility type but might not have quite enough to be the everyday answer. He’ll get some at-bats this spring and 2015 should provide more insight into what the Cards actually have here. Dynasty leaguers are best to hold for now.

7. Jack Flaherty, RHP | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
1 1 1.59 8 6 0 22.2 18 9 4 1 1.6 11.1 .209

Flaherty has mid-rotation starter upside with three potentially plus offerings in his fastball, slider, and changeup. The Cardinals selected him in the first round of the 2014 draft (34th overall) and he’s a good example of the pitching depth in this years’ dynasty first-year player drafts. He doesn’t have the flashy stuff of Kolek or the upside of Hoffman, but there’s nothing wrong with waiting a bit on an arm this year and taking a guy like Flaherty. He could jump to full season ball thanks to his impressive command.

8. Rob Kaminsky, LHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
8 2 1.88 18 18 0 100.2 71 27 21 2 2.8 7.1 .194

Kaminksy has the potential for a plus fastball that pairs with a double-plus curve, promising enough strikeouts to be fantasy relevant even in the middle of the Cardinals’ rotation. He’s a smallish lefty with some bullpen risk, but Kaminsky handled his first full season of pro ball in 2014 and should join Reyes in High-A to start this season. I’m partial to lefties – especially when they’re from Jersey – so I’m sure I’ll own shares of Kaminsky at some point for those reasons alone.

9. Charlie Tilson, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
547 73 147 12 9 7 53 5.5% 19.0% 12 10 .289 .333 .389

Tilson’s big ticket tool is his speed (and defense but who cares), which grades as plus and could lead to 20+ stolen bases at the major league level. He got his first taste of Double-A in 2014 after slashing .308/.357/.414 in 89 games at High-A Palm Beach. He’s likely to return to Springfield to start 2015 and could see another bump in value with a good year there. St. Louis gets a lot of praise for their development of pitching, but Tilson is a good example of the depth the Cardinals system has in the outfield as well. A comp that probably won’t get you too excited is Peter Bourjos (defense, speed).

10. Malik Collymore, 2B | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
201 34 59 7 8 1 34 9.0% 21.4% 9 5 .333 .403 .480

I love a good high-upside/distant ETA prospect as much as the next guy, but by the time Collymore makes it to the majors I will have likely overstayed my welcome here at Razzball, ending it all in some epic flame war on a message board after losing my shizz with a commenter. But I digress. Collymore has a nice combination of power and speed to possibly make it worth the wait. Best case scenario he stays at second base and continues to show solid offensive skills as he climbs the ranks. Dynasty leagues with deep farms should grab him before he gets more attention in full season ball.

Cardinals Previews: 2014 | 2013

NL T10 Prospects Index

  1. Wake Up says:
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    IMO, Taveras is an avoid…he looks a little stiff…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      you’ve been patiently waiting all winter to bust that one out

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Mike: I’ve never been accused of being patient!

        “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” ~ JFOL

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          My JFOL off-the-wall desk calendar has been such a blessing. Every morning it gives me the strength to take on a new day.

  2. Mark says:
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    So I guess i should have drafted sierra ahead of flaherty in february huh?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I don’t think it will kill you. They are both pretty far away.

  3. Yescheese says:
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    The Cards still get a lot of hype for their magic fairy dust, but I don’t see how an objective observer would consider this a top system anymore. Really I think the Cards have a system on par with the Brewers, and the Brewers are universally considered to have a bottom-5 system. Your thoughts?

    • Yescheese says:
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      @Yescheese: I mean maybe that’s a bit harsh. The cards have proven time and time again they can draft and develop better than the rest!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      This order is based on pre-2014 BA org. rankings, so it’s a bit dated. BP has them 13th, and I think that’s pretty fair. It’s a balanced system with some depth even if it doesn’t have the potential superstars like some of the other top farms.

  4. Cruz says:
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    A deep sleeper in this farm is Daniel Poncedeleon. I think this kid will move fast and will be one of those “where did he come from” kind of prospects.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks Cruz! good info

      That’s an 80 name too :)

      • Birdmann says:
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        @Mike: Holy Fountain of Youth name, throw in a Juan I am sold

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Cruz: beastie boys had a song about him.

  5. Dr. Sauce says:
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    Unrelated to the Cards, but what is your sense of Corey Dickerson this year? Is his playing time secure? Is he a product of Coors or is he a good young talent? Along those lines in a 6 man keep forever league which pair would you prefer; Desmond/Dickerson or Donaldson/Braun (also have Kipnis/K. Bryant/Baez)?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think he’s both a good young hitter and a product of Coors. In some ways all of those guys are. I’d take the Desmond/Dickerson pair there.

  6. Whatever says:
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    Hey Mike,

    What do you think?

    Have to decide between the following available minors/cuban players being signed in an upcoming minor league draft. Would appreciate a quick idea on ranking:

    Peraza, Olivera, Yoan Lopez, Despaigne, Steven Matz, Souza,Aaron Judge.

    I have a pretty good pipeline of minors already so I can be patient with my picks and dont need to pick only guys who will contribute this year. Looking for the highest ceiling first and then maybe opportunity. Olivera scares me with his health issues. Peraz, Matz, Souza seem most MLB ready.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d rank them Peraza/Judge (kind of a coin flip and much different profiles), Souza, Matz, Olivera, Lopez

      which Despaigne?

      • Whatever says:
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        @Mike:

        Odrisamer Despaigne, just signed with Padres

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          gotcha…I’d put him on par with Lopez in the caboose of that list

          • Whatever says:
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            @Mike:

            Thanks Mike. Although I forgot to check some of the pare downs of other teams in my league. Now I see Hunter Harvey, Braden Shipley, Alex Jackson are now available. But I have Glasnow, Owens, Nola, and Aaron Sanchez in my current minors. So I am thinking I would go Peraza and then Judge. I have the #2 and #4 pick in the minors draft. The #1 pick is already going to be Moncado (best available)

  7. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    hey Mike – that time of year again. which 10 am I keeping? 10 team roto keep-forever:

    Salvador Perez
    Ramos
    Napoli
    Pedroia
    Arenado
    Baez
    Bogaerts
    Encarnacion
    Avisail
    Alex Gordon
    Adam Jones
    Matt Kemp
    Marte
    Singleton
    Gallo
    Machado
    Tulowitzki

    Fister
    Gausman
    Hamels
    Kenley
    Porcello
    Scherzer
    Taijuan Walker
    Wheeler
    Heaney
    Latos

    Thank you Sah!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Tulo, Arenado, Bogey, Machado, Encarnacion, Marte, Jones, Baez, Hamels, Scherzer

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Mike: thanks Mike! I guess I’ll see what I can get for Kemp!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem

  8. S>H says:
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    In a forever keeper in a head to head dynasty , who has the better potential degroom or Rodon

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Rodon in a keep forever

      • S.H says:
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        @Mike:
        Thanks Mike.

        Another question , in a forever keep do you keep C.Seager or Giolito and Do you keep Blackmon or M.Ozuna.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Seager, Ozuna

  9. Marley says:
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    Hey Mike, so Im pretty rich with prospects but i still chose Aaron Judge in the first round of my 11 round dynasty draft. keep 25. Now im thinking since im so deep at prospect im considering trading judge and my 11.08 for pick 5.06 and 7.01. I intend to snag semien w the 5.06 and then help my mlb lineup again w the upgrade later. Do you think im ripping myself off or is it a correction i should look into doing? prospect bats on roster are: sano, correa, frazier, dahl, peraza, mateo

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      sounds fine…getting MLB talent for your specs is usually solid

  10. goodfold2 says:
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    my damn league’s draft being so early, and you being so high (right?) on mag sierra (so i never heard of him yet), would i have been better off grabbing mag sierra over d.cozens OF PHI? Sierra is still out there, another name i might mortgage team for in midseason bidding.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      you guys draft super early…Cozens is fine IMO…if anything he’s a little closer. I like Sierra obviously, so grab him midyear if you can. To be honest, I am surprised he was unowned AND lasted through the entire draft

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: he’s 9th at minor league ball, with same C+ as cozens (but they do say he could be top of STL list in 7 months), mlb.com’s prospect lists (which are notoriously bad, usually) don’t even have him top 20

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          gotcha…yeah I think the MLB lists are dated, unless they came out with their 2015s

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @goodfold2: 10th at baseball america.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @goodfold2: there’s still some top 9-10th guys available from some teams, but yeah, usually NYY/BOS/STL prospects aren’t around. that #10 guy here looks good too.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              nice

  11. goodfold2 says:
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    how’s this one look
    ok, finished. 14 team roto with OPS/BB/K’s for hitters and holds/losses/IP/BB’s for pitchers. Keepers slotted into closest draft slot that makes sense by ADP.
    C – OBP wolf (347)
    1B Rizzo (11th)
    2B Altuve (39)
    SS J.Ram (263)
    3B Beltre (46, this late from not being kept)
    CI C.Santana (67)
    MI Lawrie (235, him or Gyorko, who went next, OPS rater likes him better)
    LF – Melky (130)
    CF – A.Jones (18th)
    RF – Heyward (95)
    OF – Revere (158)
    Util – Arcia (179)
    BN Reddick (375)
    SP – Arrieta (74)
    SP – Carrasco (123)
    SP – Wheeler (186)
    SP – Shoemaker (214)
    SP – Salazar (242)
    SP – Peavy (291)
    SP – Hutchison (298)
    SP – Bauer (354)
    RP – Allen (102)
    RP – Cishek (151)
    RP – A.Miller (207)
    RP – Kelvin H (270, probably should’ve gone J.Peralta here)
    RP – Quack (319)
    RP – Strop (326)
    Am i right to stick with (OPS) rankings and keep Reddick (batting 3rd at OAK) or grab who would be my only 2nd LF with Dom Brown (platooning and batting in much worse part of order)?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Reddick, yeah. I really like your infield

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: rizzo/altuve/jones were the 3 keepers.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @goodfold2: oh, yeah, and clearly, i’m gonna grab lindor as soon as he comes up to solidify CLE SS spot, and all their likely steals. Can’t believe J.Ram goes so late in drafts, when he’s in 2 hole. As far as late catcher punting, Ruiz is slotted 2nd at PHI now.

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            nice…yeah Ruiz is one of my fave catcher plug ins

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