Position-by-Position Breakdown of St. Louis Cardinals' Standout Prospects

Kelsey Shea WeinrichContributor IAugust 10, 2013

Position-by-Position Breakdown of St. Louis Cardinals' Standout Prospects

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    The St. Louis Cardinals have great prospects, and it became clear at the 2013 trade deadline that they were with the team to stay—at least for this year. 

    So as we analyze the current team and look for holes during its recent slump, which minor league players may step up and contribute? Now more than ever, it might be important to take a look at a position-by-position breakdown of the Cardinals' best prospects.

    Per MLB.com's rankings, I've listed each position's star, his 2013 season statistics and history with the team.

    Read on to find out which are the future of St. Louis!

    *All statistics are current on MiLB.com as of August 10, 2013*

Pitchers

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    Michael Wacha, RHP

    Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals

    2013 Minor League Stats: 15 G, 15 GS, 2.65 ERA, 85 IP, 65 H, 26 R, 25 ER, 19 BB, 73 K

    Wacha has garnered a lot of attention with his 94 mph fastball and his 6'6" size. His first spring training showed traces of greatness, and after a quick rise through the minors, Wacha made several starts for the Cardinals in late May/early June. He pitched 17.2 innings, putting up a 4.58 ERA.

    He'll be rejoining the club to start against the Chicago Cubs Saturday night, and we can expect much of him in the Cards' future.

     

    Carlos Martinez, RHP

    Current Team: Memphis Redbirds (AAA)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 13 G, 13 GS, 1.87 ERA, 62.2 IP, 51 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 23 BB, 54 K

    The electric pitcher had been waiting for a chance to show his stuff in St. Louis when an injury to Shelby Miller opened the door for a recent spot start. Previously, he's gained some experience with the big league club in the bullpen.

    In the majors this year, he's had a little trouble. He's pitched 16 innings and has a 6.19 ERA. But if he can adjust, he and his fastball (averaging 96 mph) are going to be very valuable.

     

    John Gast, LHP

    Current Team: Memphis Redbirds (AAA) (DL)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 7 G, 7 GS, 1.16 ERA, 38.2 IP, 28 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 13 BB, 35 K

    When Jake Westbrook went on the disabled list this year due to elbow inflammation, it was John Gast who was called up. He was, unfortunately, pulled from his third start and has since had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder. 

    He has a deceptive changeup, and his status as a lefty makes him valuable. It will be exciting to see what happens when he makes his inevitable return.

Catchers

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    Casey Rasmus

    Current Team: Springfield Cardinals (AA)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 45 G, .307 BA, 0 HR, 20 RBI, 12 SB, .345 OPS

    The Cardinals have locked up one of the best catchers in the majors, Yadier Molina, long-term. So grooming catching prospects isn't exactly a priority for the team. But Rasmus has been making himself known lately.

    You may recognize his last name—his older brother, Colby, has a history with the team. 

First Basemen

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    Jonathan Rodriguez

    Current Team: Palm Beach Cardinals (A)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 103 G, .307 BA, 15 HR, 68 RBI, 18 SB, .902 OPS

    Much like with their catchers, the Cardinals are pretty set when it comes to first basemen. They have two young and proven hitters in Allen Craig and Matt Adams. But Rodriguez seems to be a good option for the future. 

    His offensive numbers are impressive, and he seems to be a good baserunner. He's been in the minors since 2009, so I'm sure he's hungry for a shot at the big leagues.

Second Basemen

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    Kolten Wong

    Current Team: Memphis Redbirds (AAA)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 103 G, .302 BA, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 19 SB, .827 OPS

    Wong has been a huge point of discussion for the Cardinals. He's a top prospect blocked by the talent of Matt Carpenter, who only just learned second base during spring training in order to get his bat into the lineup. Some thought he might get dealt at the deadline. Others thought Carpenter might be making a return to third base to make room for Wong at David Freese's expense.

    No matter how he makes it to the bigs, Wong is going to excel. He's an aggressive hitter who makes hard contact and can also field well. He has a surprising amount of power for his size.

Third Basemen

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    Patrick Wisdom

    Current Team: Palm Beach Cardinals (A)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 106 G, .309 BA, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 4 SB, .715 OPS

    Listed on MLB.com as the Cardinals' No. 19 prospect, Wisdom has been having a really good year. He's got some pop in his bat and could become a really consistent hitter in the majors—not to mention he has a strong arm and is a good defender. 

     

    Carson Kelly

    Current Team: State College Spikes (A)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 89 G, .250 BA, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 1 SB, .663 OPS

    Kelly was one of the elite draft picks of 2012 with teams looking at him as both a hitter and pitcher, and now he's listed as the Cards' No. 9 prospect. His strength is his power. He might not always be consistent, but when he connects, the ball can go far. He'll be an adequate defender at third.

Shortstop

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    Ryan Jackson

    Current Team: Memphis Redbirds (AAA)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 103 G, .286 BA, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 7 SB, .722 OPS

    The Cardinals have put their faith in Pete Kozma this year, but he hasn't exactly been consistent. If he were to lose the position, it's probably Jackson who would get the call. Many have argued for his bat, but his limited history works against him. 

    We're sure to be seeing him sporadically at Busch Stadium, as he persistently tries to prove himself. And so far, he's doing a pretty good job.

Outfielders

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    Oscar Taveras

    Current Team: Memphis Redbirds (AAA)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 47 G, .310 BA, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 5 SB, .819 OPS

    His MLB.com scouting report states that he is "next in line" to the Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina throne in St. Louis. And, with a .310 average so far in 2013, I have reason to believe he's on his way. He rarely strikes out and is a consistent thorn in a pitcher's side.

    He's sure to find himself in The Show in 2014 because his bat is undeniably valuable. There's also the question of renewing Carlos Beltran's contract, and if he's out, Taveras is most undoubtedly in.

     

    Stephen Piscotty

    Current Team: Springfield Cardinals (AA)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 90 G, .285 BA, 12 HR, 47 RBI, 5 SB, .806 OPS

    A product of Stanford, Piscotty has a nice habit of getting on base. His bat is strong, and he likes liners and doubles. He started off at third base but seems to be at home in the outfield where his arm is a plus. We're likely to see him in the majors sooner rather than later. But the Cardinals do have an abundance of capable outfielders. He's listed as the No. 10 prospect.

     

    Charlie Tilson

    Current Team: Peoria Chiefs (A)

    2013 Minor League Stats: 88 G, .298 BA, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 14 SB, .721 OPS

    The Cards' No. 12 prospect, Tilson is a lefty with a line-drive approach and not much power, but with some pop. He has decent speed in the outfield and a developing arm. Unfortunately, he played in just eight games in 2011 before being sidelined in 2012 due to shoulder surgery. So we're getting our first real look at the outfielder, and so far, it's pretty exciting.