The Cardinals could opt to accelerate Zack Cox' progression so that he is in St Louis by the end of the season
2010 performance: .429, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 11 SB, 67 R (at Univ of Arkansas)
Cox was considered one of the top hitters coming out of college last spring. He was selected by St. Louis out of Arkansas in the first round of the June draft (No. 25 overall) and will eventually take over as the Cards’ starting third baseman.
The question entering the 2011 season is whether the ballclub, starving for offense in a somewhat punch-less lineup, is prepared to promote him to the major leagues in his first full professional season.
The organization considered promoting him late last year, but ultimately decided not to do so—but that doesn’t mean they won’t give him a shot this year, in spite of the fact he played in just four pro games in 2010.
The club will likely start David Freese at third base as the team heads north out of spring training, but it’s entirely possible Cox will move through the Cardinals system quickly and join the major league team after midseason.
He has exceptional bat speed and is projected to hit for a solid BA and over 20 home runs, but I expect it will take a couple of years for him to get settled in the Show. For that reason, I can only say “buyer beware” if he makes the Cardinals in 2011.