This is only an excerpt from the actual story. You can read the Cardinals on the Farm @ BEV" target="_blank">full article at the BEV. Enjoy.
Another reason the Cardinals don't have a stacked farm: they don't trade their most expensive talent for young, top prospects.
The Texas Rangers have the top system in the game for this reason. They convinced the Atlanta Braves to trade Elvis Andrus, among others, for Mark Teixeira. In return, the Rangers filled their system out with top talents*.
And it helped that the Rangers pretty much sucked for several years and had top pick after top pick in the draft.
*The Braves actually dealt Teixeira for Casey Kotchman, who was dealt to the Boston Red Sox for Adam LaRoche and was not offered arbitration either, and Steve Marek. Oh, the Braves also received Ron Mahay in the deal. So, if you're following, the Rangers added five top prospects; the Angels received two draft picks for Kotchman and half-a-season from Teixeira; the Braves received close to a full season of Teixeira, half-a-season from Mahay, one draft pick, half-a-season from LaRoche (and no compensation)...all for five top prospects.
Balanced? I think not. Oh, the Braves did it again in the Javier Vazquez swap that sent more top prospects to the Chicago White Sox, and then flipped Vazquez to the New York Yankees for a decent prospect and Melky Cabrerra.
I totally lost myself here.
Ummmm, Cardinals don't trade expensive talent for prized prospects, don't suck, play it safe...
Oh yeah. I remember now. Final reason. Right here.
They actually win.
Yes, it is the same as not losing, but the Cardinals actually win. They play it safe in the draft and receive the role players that help ascend the team to success. Who needs top-tier talent when you win?
When the Cardinals start losing, worry then about the no prized prospects.
Let the good times role, baby.