Category Archives: Prospects

Brandon Buckman

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Jose Martinez

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 mart2.jpg Walking along side Amaury Marti.

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Cards escape with a win and Colby is honored

 First, I hope you like the new layout.  The black was really getting to me.   I hope to continue to update the site with new features over the next couple weeks. 

Colby racks up more honors.  Another former first rounder wins but struggles.  Yet another first rounder gets a step closer to returning to full season baseball while another first rounder has a first at Memphis. 

Colby Rasmus earned multiple honors for the week.  The 21 year old was named the Texas League Offensive Player of the Week and also was Number 1 on Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet. 

 Notice that Milb.com errors in calling him a catcher:

Texas League
Colby Rasmus, Springfield

.611 (11-18), 7 R, 0 3B, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0 SB, 1.111 SLG

Cardinals catcher Colby Rasmus had two more hits than any other player in the Texas League this past week, and his three doubles and seven runs scored tied him for the league lead in that span. The catch? The 21-year-old did all of that in just four games. Rasmus was hit in the first game of the week and did not bat in the rest of the contest. He returned to bat .611 with a 1.111 slugging percentage to finish the week, though. The native of Columbus, Ga., seems to be returning to form. After a torrid May, he batted a mediocre .203 through June and July, but Rasmus is hitting .396 in August. 

From Baseball America:  With all the other 2005 high school first-round outfielders stepping up their play–Justin Upton and Cameron Maybin in the big leagues, Jay Bruce holding his own in Triple-A–Rasmus is the latest to hit a second gear. Rasmus batted .611 with a pair of home runs last week, improving his overall numbers to .260/.373/.507 with 21 homers for Springfield.
Even more impressive is the fact that Rasmus is doing it in a playoff race–Springfield, who won the first half in the Texas League’s North Division, is tied for first place with Arkansas with 16 games remaining in the regular season. And seven of those games are against the Travelers.

More on Rasmus from Kevin Goldstein’s Future Shock:  (Only an excerpt):  Rasmus was a 2005 first-round pick as a high school center fielder who was pushed to Double-A…he struggled at times, showing plenty of power and speed but also keeping his batting average hovering around .250 with plenty of strikeouts…Rasmus is finishing the year with a flourish, going 9-for-14 over the weekend with three doubles and pair of home runs. Now hitting .396/.522/.830 in 16 August games, Rasmus is hitting .267/.378/.520 in 114 games…with 22 home runs and 16 stolen bases. While his hitting skills continue to improve, his power, speed, range, and arm are all above-average, and with the progress Rasmus has made, the post-Edmonds era in the middle of the Cardinals outfield could start as early as next year.

The Cardinals got a much needed win in the final game of the series.  The team looked awful the first 2 games but got the bats going today.  Albert and Ankiel both went deep.  The bullpen was tremendous.  Ryan Franklin allowed 1 baserunner in 1.2 innings while Izzy allowed 2 baserunners while picking up the save.  Even after the Cards were roughed up in the first 2 games, the Cardinals only lost .5 games in the standings over the weekend. 

Anyone else holding his breath when a ball wass hit to the outfield in the late innings?  It is ridiculous that the game continues when the outfielders are splashing to get to the ball.  That is an injury waiting to happen.  I bet Eli Marrero would agree. 

Why do you replace a stadium that has gone through major renovations, has what seems to be a quality drainage system, and has seen more World Series winners than any other  but not a dump that has a tradition of losing?  Wrigley Field is a joke. 

Memphis 4 Iowa (Cubs) 5

Chris Perez blew his first save for Memphis.  Perez struggled with his control, walking 2 of the first 3 batters and then giving up a 3-run walkoff HR to Josh Kroeger.  Mike Smith was shaky as usual, giving up 4 runs in 5 innings. Tagg Bozied had 2 hits including his 24th HR.  Jarrett Hoffpauir had a hit and an RBI.  Joe Mather went 2-4. 

Here is a humurous article about “Joey Bombs”, as he is known in Springfield, and his first trip to Memphis and life in Triple A.

Springfield 4 Corpus Christi (Astros) 8

The Cardinals gave up 7 in the seventh to let this game get away. Mitch Boggs gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings. Mike Sillman gave up 5 of those runs in only 0.2 innings.  For the first time since moving to the leadoff spot, Colby did not get a hit to start the game. He did have a hit but he also struck out 3 times.  Rico Washington had 2 hits and has provided a little spark since his return.  Reid Gorecki has not as he put up an 0-4 with 3 Ks and is hitting .087.  Mark Hamilton collected 2 hits. 

Palm Beach 9 Vero Beach (Devil Rays)  2 Game 1

Adam Ottavino got the win, but really struggled getting it.  The former first rounder gave up 2 runs in 5 innings, but walked 6 while only striking out 2.  A.J. Van Slyke had a double and 3 RBIs.  Mark Shorey had 2 hits, an RBI, and 2 runs scored.  Brandon Yarbrough had 2 hits including a 2-run HR.  Allen Craig had 2 hits, an RBI, and 3 runs scored.

Palm Beach 1 Vero Beach (Devil Rays) 6 Game 2

After putting up big offensive numbers in the first game, the Cardinals were only able to muster 2 hits in the night cap.  Jim Rapoport did not have a hit but walked twice and scored a run.  It doesn’t seem like I have put Rapoport’s name in an update in a long time.  Luke Gorsett and Dan Nelson each had a double to account for the only hits.  Stu Pomerantz made his season debut at Palm Beach and got really roughed up.  Pomerantz gave up 5 runs on 6 hits including 3 HRs in 2.2 innings. 

Quad Cities and Clinton (Rangers) were rained out.

Batavia 2 Mahoning Valley (Indians) 3

The Muckdogs got 3 in the eighth thanks to a wild pitch and then a 2 run triple by Daniel Descalso, who also singled.   Domnit Bolivar had the only other hit.  Thomas Eager struck out 6 in 3 innings to pick up his first victory.  Josh Dew picked up his 12th save. 

Johnson City 7 Bristol (White Sox) 4 Game 1

Pete Kozma moved to the 3 spot and responded with 2 hits, a walk, and 2 runs scored.  Jon Edwards went 2-5 with 2 runs scored and 5 RBIs including a 3-run HR, his seventh.  Travis Mitchell had 2 more hits and his average stands at .303.   Andres Rosales gave up 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 8 in 4 innings.

Johnson City 3 Bristol (White Sox) 4 Game 2

Pete Kozma was back in the leadoff spot and went 0-2 but did walk twice.  Mike Folli hit his fourth HR, a 3-run blast.  Omar Javier gave up 4 in 4.2 innings to pick up the loss.

GCL Cardinals 4 GCL Marlins 5

Mark McCormick got another rehab start, pitching 2 perfect innings.  The concern here is McCormick, a supplemental first round pick in 2005,  had no strikeouts.  Scott Thomas had a pinch hit and 2 RBIs.  Brian Buck also had a hit and 2 RBIs. 

I am doing a little research for a couple items I am working on while I was watching the Yankee/Angels game.  Do you realize the Cardinals passed on Phil Hughes in the 2004 Draft and selected Chris Lambert?

Blake Dewitt returned to the lineup in high fashion.  Blake went 1-4 with a 2 run HR that proved to be the game winner.   Dewitt had missed a couple games due to a hamstring injury.

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Cards drop Game 1

18 year old Deryk Hooker is dominate for the GCL.  Surprise, Steve Hill continues to hit.  Mark Shorey warms up to his Palm Beach surroundings and Colby likes his new spot in the lineup.   

 So the Cardinals drop game 1 to the Cubs, 2-1.  Looper was superb, he just made one mistake because his offense left him out to dry.  Pujols had 2 of the 4 Cardinal hits and drove in the only run on his solo HR.  The Cardinals can’t win if their 4-5-6 hitters, Juan Enc., Rolen, and Edmonds on this day, go 0-12.  This offense does not have enough weapons. 

I was really hoping the Cardinals could get this game.  My biggest fear is that LaRussa will get caught up with Pinella, the Cubs, et al, and get so wound up he causes his team to come out too tight.  The Cardinals face another lefty on Saturday, Sean Marshall.  Up for the Redbirds is Anthony Reyes. 

Memphis 3 Oklahoma (Rangers) 4

Blake Hawksworth had a good outing, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits including a HR while striking out 8 in 5 innings.  It is his second consecutive good outing.  Maybe he is turning the corner.  Edgar Gonzalez and Jarrett Hoffpauir each had 2 hits.  Hoffpauir add 2 BBs.  Nick Stavinoha had 2 hits. 

Springfield 2 San Antonio (Padres) 1 Game 1

Pop Warner shook up his struggling lineup and put Colby in the leadoff spot.  Well he paid off as Colby led off the game with his 21st HR.  He was 3-3 and scored both runs.  Keep’em in the leadoff spot.  Amaury Marti had 2 hits and an RBI.  Mark Hamilton had 2 hits.  P.J. Walters rebounded from a rough outing last time out to pick up the win.  P.J. pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits.  Jason Motte picked up his eighth save.

Springfield 0 San Antonio (Padres) 1 Game 2

Reid Gorecki was in center to rest Colby and went 0-3.  He is now hitting .056 since his return from the DL.  Jose Martinez went 2-3.  Casey Rowlett and Rico Washington had the other 2 hits.  Eric Haberer went the distance, giving up 1 run on 2 hits but walked 5 and is now 11-7.

Palm Beach 6 Daytona (Cubs) 4

Mark Shorey had 2 hits including a 3 run HR.  Luke Gorsett also had 2 hits with a 2-run blast.  Brandon Yarbrough added 2 hits to get his average up to .275.  Tyler Norrick gave up 2 runs in 7 innings while striking out 6.  Luke Gregerson got 2 outs in the ninth to pick up his 23rd save. 

Quad Cities 3 Kane County (A’s) 1

Brandon Dickson gave up 1 run in 6 innings of work.  Kyle Mura pitched 2 more scoreless innings and his ERA sits at 1.69 in 48 innings.  Guess what?  Steve Hill just keeps on hitting.  Tonight he had 2 hits and 2 RBIs.  Kenny Maiques picked up save number 28.

Batavia 4  Auburn (Blue Jays) 8

Blake King gave up 4 runs in 3 innings but only walked 2.  Daniel Descalso had 2 hit, 2 BBs, and 3 runs scored.  Will Groff had 2 hits and 2 RBIs. 

Johnson City 4 Elizabethton (Twins) 5

Pete Kozma had a hit and a run scored.  Kozma has hit in 5 straight.  Nick Vera had 2 hits and an RBI.  Travis Mitchell added 2 more hits to get his average up to .300. 

GCL Cardinals 5  GCL Dodgers 12

Jairo Martinez was 3-5.  Edwin Conde and Luis De La Cruz each had 2 hits.  The worst line of the night belongs to Francisco Samuel who gave up 6 runs on only 2 hits and 7 BBS in 3 innings.  Deryk Hooker gave up a run on 2 hits while strking out 11 in 4 innings.  Yes, 11 Ks in 12 outs.  Impressive. 

Another 2005 HS outfielder has been promoted to the big leagues.  First, B.J. Upton and now the Tigers have promoted Cameron Maybin.  Remember, Colby Rasmus was a member of that loaded HS outfielder class. 

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Russell back to Austin

Here is the link.  Derrick Goold is reporting the same.  He, also,  sounds pessimistic about getting a deal for Stutes done.

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Brian Barden

  

Brian Barden was selected in the sixth round of the 2002 First Year Player Draft out of Oregon State University.  Barden stand 5’11, throws right and bats right.  The Diamondbacks assigned to Yakima and after 4 games he was promoted to Lancaster. 

The Diamondbacks designated him for assignment on Aug. 3. Barden was hitting .269 with two homers and 29 RBIs in 83 games at Tucson. 

Going into the 2007 season, Barden was rated as the #20 Prospect in a loaded Arizona system.   From the BA 2007 Prospect Handbook:  Barden doesn’t get much attention but keeps plugging away for the Diamondbacks….He has added power to his offensive game and versatility to his defense in the last couple of seasons, making him a legitimate candidate for a utility job.  Barden is the kind of player that grinds out solid performances everyday…He has a nice line drive stroke and is a good situational hitter…In the right situation, he’ll be a great role player for a big league team.  

From Scout.com:  Slick is the best word to describe Barden’s fielding. His defense is stellar, and always has been (he was twice voted the best defensive infielder in college by Baseball America) with fantastic range and a strong accurate arm he saves a lot of doubles and dares even the fastest hitters to bunt on him. 

According to Baseball America’s Recent Best Tools Survey, he is considered to be the best defensive 3rd baseman in Triple A by his peers.   

After a tremendous Spring Training in which he hit .397/.435/.638 with 2 HRs and 7 RBIs in 58 Abs.  He was rewarded by breaking camp with the big league club.   So, he started 2007 with the Diamondbacks but got off to a slow start, going 1-for-12 in eight games before being optioned to Triple-A Tucson in May.  Barden is a notorious slow starter as noted here in an article from BA in 2006:  A slow start is nothing new for Diamondbacks utilityman Brian Barden, whose three-hit weekend for Triple-A Tucson raised his average 20 points…”I struggled at the beginning of last year, too.” ..It takes me a little while to come around.  I am a slow starter but once I get going…”

Barden had a career .297 average, 55 home runs and 393 RBI in his six years in Arizona’s minor league system going into the 2007 season.

In 2006, Barden spent the season with Triple-A Tucson. He earned Arizona’s and Topps Pacific Coast League Player of the Month honors for July 2006 after winning back-to-back Player of the Week honors that month. For the season, he hit .298 with 16 home runs and 97 RBI.  He played 79 games at 3B, 20 at SS, 22 at 2B, and 10 at 1B.   

In 2005, Barden started the year for the first time at Triple A Tucson.  For the year he hit .307 with 15 HRs and 85 RBIs.   He played 115 games at 3B, 20 at 2B, and 2 at SS.   

Barden was barely scouted coming out of high school, but played so well in a tournament in Oregon his senior year that Oregon State offered him a spot as a walk on.  He accepted, and then rewarded the OSU coaching staff by becoming the team MVP, landing honors as a defensive star at third base.

 Although old to be considered a true prospect, he should provide good depth to an organization in dire need of minor league infield help.  With stellar defense and versatility, he should get a good opportunity to not only stabilize the Memphis infield defense, but also, have a shot at a utility role in 2008.

 Here is a great article that appeared in the April 1, 2007 edition of the Arizona Star.

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Rasmus injured and the Cardinals sign Zawacki

Colby Rasmus had to leave the game after his first at bat due to being hit in the elbow.  According to Kary Booher, an MRI was negative and Colby said that he should be fine.    

I am trying to catch up from the weekend.  No Cardinal minor leaguer won player of the week honors.  Seems there is dissention in the Cardinal clubhouse, this time it is Juan and Tony.  It seems it is always Tony and somebody.   Hopefully, the MRI Juan is having is clear and they can ship him somewhere. 

The Cardinals have a big week coming up.  The Redbirds have 7 on the road against the Brewers then the Cubs.   A 6-1 trip would be great but the Cardinals need to do no worse than a 4-3 split.

Derrick Goold is reporting that the Cardinals are still attempting to sign Kyle Russell.  The Redbirds have until midnight on Wednesday to get a deal done.  The fourth round pick out of Texas is holding out for first round $$ and the Cardinals knew this when they drafted him.  A cool million will probably get the deal done.  Also, in the same article, Goold reports that the Cardinals signed prep righty Brett Zawacki.  I have more on Zawacki here.  Check out the pic of Zawacki over at the News Tribune.  He was considered one of the top righties in the country and fell due to signability concerns.  The deal was done over the weekend according to Goold and the deal could be finalized as early as today.  I am sure the Cardinals are delaying the announcement due to the deal being above the recommended slot dollars recommended by the Commissioner’s office.   

The Cardinals’ system had only one player on this weeks Baseball America Hotsheet, Springfield shortstop Jose Martinez at number 20.  From BA:  Martinez was one of our breakout candidates back in a March edition of Prospect Pulse, and while it’s taken the 21-year-old Venezuelan some time to get rolling after being promoted from high Class A Palm Beach in June, he’s proven to be a valuable commodity in the organization. After hitting .158 over his first eight games, Martinez is batting .391/.404/.696 in August–a month after he drove in 24 runs in July.

In the Not So Hot feature was Blake Dewitt.  From BA: Dewitt got off to a fast start when he was promoted to the Southern League, but is hitting just .138 this month with no RBIs.  It is actually .215 with an RBI.  He hit really well in the 2 hole, struggled when dropped to the five hole, and is beginning to hit again as he was shifted back to the 2 hole. 

From Baseball Prospectus Future Shock:  Daryl Jones is the best athlete in the Cardinals system…… After two up-and-down years in short-season leagues, the Cardinals put him in the Midwest League, and he struggled mightily…. Over the last two week, something is suddenly clicking with Jones, and perhaps Cardinals fans should be excited. On Sunday, Jones hit a game-winning home run as part of his first four-hit game of the year, and in his last 10 games he’s gone 17-for-39. As to whether or not this is real, that’s still a mystery, but this has been his hottest streak of the season by a mile, the potential for a breakout has always been there, and in the end we just don’t know yet.

The Cardinals claimed utility man Brian Barden from the Arizona system.  BA had him rated as the 20th prospect in the Diamondback system.  A natural 3B, Barden can play any of the infield positions and should add more depth to an infield challenged system.

 Memphis 2 Omaha (Royals) 4

Mike McCoy went 2-4.  Nick Stavinoha and Tagg Bozied each hit solo HRs.  Matt Ginter got the loss, giving up 3 runs in 5 innings of work. 

Springfield 1 Corpus Christi (Astros) 6

Adam Daniels was shaky again with 4 runs allowed in 5 innings.  Daniels allowed 7 hits and walked 5.  Matt Scherer gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in 2 innings. Amaury Marti was the only player with 2 hits.  Cody Haerther doubled and drove in the only run. 

Kary Booher has more on Daniels’ recent struggles. 

Palm Beach and the rest of the Florida State League had the day off.

Quad Cities 5 Fort Wayne (Padres) 2

Clayton Mortenson was very impressive allowing only 3 hits with 6 Ks in 4 shutout innings.  At one point, Motenson struck out 6 in a row. Jason Cairns got the win while allowing 1 run in 3 innings.  Saves leader Kenny Maiques notched save number 27.  Steve Hill had 2 hits including a 3 run shot, his tenth.  Jaime Landin went 4-4.  Antone DeJesus collected 2 hits. 

Congratulations to Kenny Maiques who became the Swing’s All-Time Single Season Saves leader over the weekend. 

I have to say that I am disappointed that the Quad Cities will be getting a new name.  I love the fact that this team has such an unique name. 

Batavia had the night off.

Johnson City 7 Bluefield (Orioles) 11

Senger Peralta was rocked for 8 runs in 6 innings.  Pete Kozma had 2 hits and a stolen base.  Mike Folli had 2 hits and 2 BBs.  Matt Arburr had 2 hits and 2 runs scored.  Travis Mitchell had 2 RBIs. 

Those of you sweating out the Kyle Russell signing, it is just not happening in St. Louis.  From BA:  We still have 13 unsigned first-rounders (there hasn’t been a first-rounder who didn’t come to terms since the Orioles’ Wade Townsend in 2004) and 40 unsigned picks through the first five rounds (compared to just four from 2006). Most of those players will sign, and many of them already have agreed to terms that won’t be announced until just before the deadline.

Baseball America is reporting that the Tigers are on the verge of signing Rick Porcello to a $7.7 million contract.  I know most really wanted Porcello when the Cards’ picked, myself included, but that money is totally ridiculous. 

John Sickels on Ankiel:  *Rick Ankiel is like something out of a novel. If you pitched this story to a Hollywood studio or major publishing house, it would be rejected as unrealistic and/or a derivative copy of someone else’s work.

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