Ranking St. Louis Cardinals Top 10 Prospects After the 2013 Minor League Season

Kelsey Shea WeinrichContributor ISeptember 18, 2013

Ranking St. Louis Cardinals Top 10 Prospects After the 2013 Minor League Season

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    The St. Louis Cardinals may currently be in the midst of an intense division race, but their minor league affiliates have wrapped up for the year.

    That means it's time to take a look at the "baby birds" to see how they measured up! Which young players have caught our attention?

    This article counts down the top 10 Cardinals prospects, excluding those who are no longer eligible for rookie status in 2014. (Sorry—no Michael Wacha or Carlos Martinez on this list!) These rankings are based on season statistics, sample size, and scouting reports.

    Read on to find out who may be the next to leave the nest!

    *All statistics are current on milb.com as of September 18, 2013*

     

10. James Ramsey, OF

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2014

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 112 G, .265 BA, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 9 SB, .814 OPS

    Ramsey was a top draft prospect in 2012 and he's moving through the minors quickly, having gotten a promotion to Triple-A Memphis for the last game of the minor league season.

    He hit .361 in Single-A and .251 in Double-A this year.

    He consistently makes hard contact and sprays the ball to all corners of the field. Ramsey is a base-stealing threat, and a solid outfielder with a good arm.

     

9. Charlie Tilson, OF

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2016

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 109 G, .302 BA, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 15 SB, .740 OPS

    Tilson was drafted out of high school, and is just beginning to hit his stride. He played in just eight games in 2011 before being sidelined in 2012 due to shoulder surgery.

    A lefty, he has a line-drive approach without much power, but with some pop.

    Naturally, in his nine games with Single-A Palm Beach, his numbers are much better against righties (.364) than southpaws (.167).  

8. Rob Kaminsky, LHP

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2017

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 8 G, 5 GS, 3.68 ERA, 22.0 IP, 23 H, 9 BB, 28 K 

    Drawing comparisons to the Dodger great Sandy Koufax in an article from New York Daily News, Kaminsky was one of the top high school lefties available in the 2013 draft. The Cardinals took him 28th overall.

    He followed that up with joining the Rookie-Level GCL Cardinals. His initial troubles on the professional bump seem to be with runners on base—his ERA in this situation is 7.36. So he has something to work on in the offseason.

    That being said, he has the stuff that will eventually get him to the majors. His fastball sits between 90 and 94 miles per hour.

7. Carson Kelly, 3B

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2016

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 113 G, .257 BA, 6 HR, 45 RBI, 1 SB, .679 OPS

    Kelly is known for his strength and his youth—he's just 19 years old. He is supposed to have a decent amount of power, but with six home runs, it seems as if his abilities in this area didn't quite manifest this year.

    In 70 games with the State College Spikes, he was much better at home (.358 batting average) as opposed to away (.197 batting average). 

    If he can find the bat that he's expected to have, he'll be a good asset in the future.

6. Stephen Piscotty, OF

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2014

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 112 G, .295 BA, 15 HR, 59 RBI, 11 SB, .819 OPS

    A Stanford product, Piscotty's bat is what will drive him as he makes his way to the majors. 

    At the plate, he has exceptional numbers against lefties in his 49 games with Double-A Springfield, hitting .415. And in his last five games, he finished off strong, going 8-for-19.

    He has a good line drive approach that will serve him well at the plate. 

5. Marco Gonzales, LHP

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2016

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 8 G, 6 GS, 2.70 ERA, 23.1 IP, 18 H, 8 BB, 23 K 

    Gonzales was ranked by MLB.com as the 14th best player available prior to this year's draft, and the Cardinals nabbed him in the first round.

    He impressed in his first handful of professional games and could rise through the system at a fairly quick pace. 

    Gonzales is known for his bat in addition to his arm—winning the John Olerud Award for two-way players at Gonzaga. His pitcher's arsenal includes a fastball in the low 90s, a slider and an advanced changeup.

4. Tyrell Jenkins, RHP

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2013

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 13 G, 13 GS, 4.70 ERA, 59.1 IP, 64 H, 25 BB, 40 K 

     

    Jenkins had a bit of a rough year, posting numbers that didn't quite meet expectations and ending in a shoulder injury that halted his season in late June.

    That being said, he was a Single-A All-Star, which is an honor. He's been developing at his own pace, and at 21-years-old, he can afford that luxury for now.

    He has a nice curve and a fading changeup, though he lacks control.

3. John Gast, LHP

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2013

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 7 G, 7 GS, 1.16 ERA, 38.2 IP, 28 H, 13 BB, 35 K

    Gast is one of many Cardinals pitching prospects who got to show his stuff to a Major League audience this year. Unfortunately, he was pulled from his third start and has since had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

    He will have to focus on recovering over the offseason and regaining his command when he returns in 2014, but he could be a valuable weapon for manager Mike Matheny.

    He has a deceptive changeup, a hard curve and a nice fastball.

     

2. Kolten Wong, 2B

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2013

     

    2013 MiLB Stats: 107 G, .303 BA, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 20 SB, .835 OPS

    Wong made his exciting Major League debut in mid-August, but as of September 17, he's rookie eligible for 2014 depending on how many days he remains on the active roster.

    He is falling victim to a learning curve in his first month, hitting just .160 with St. Louis. But the fact that he excelled at every level of minor league play makes him a threat to break out any day.

    A product of the University of Hawaii, Wong was sent straight to Double-A upon being drafted. He's an aggressive hitter who even packs some power into a small frame.

1. Oscar Taveras, OF

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    MLB.com's ETA: 2013

     

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

    Oscar Taveras is currently considered the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com, so it's no surprise people are expecting him to be the next star of the Cardinals. If he can only stay healthy.

    The outfielder has been having ankle issues and was forced to undergo season-ending surgery in late August. Injuries aside, Taveras had his usual impressive season in 2013.

    Throughout his rise in the minors, he has hit at every level and he has impressive bat speed. Additionally, Taveras doesn't strike out often.

    St. Louis is patiently awaiting his almost certain arrival in 2014. According to JJ Bailey of KMOV, Matheny has even stated that he might have played a role this year if not for his injury. It's not clear at which point in the season he'll get the call, but you'll be hearing his name sooner rather than later at Busch Stadium.