2013 Cards Top Prospects – Behind the Numbers

Carson Kelly leads a 3B resurgence

Sourcing of players and mix by position of the St. Louis Cardinals top 40 prospects compared to prior years.

In this, our 47th installment of the series, we will dive into the numbers behind the 2013 The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Top 40 Prospect List in terms of sourcing of players, distribution by position with comparisons to recent years.

First, we will start with the breakdown of our top 40 prospects by the year in which they became professionals. Seven prior years of data is provided.

The top 40 population is broken out in two ways. The rows indicate how the players were acquired – via the draft, as free agents from the Latin American program or in the US, their contracts having been purchased from other leagues, acquired in the Rule 5 Draft or in trade.

The other dimension, in the columns, is the year the players became professionals, where N equals the most recent year/draft, N-1 being the prior year, etc.

Top 40 Cardinals Prospects – Sourcing - 2008-2013

Sourcing   Curr   N-1   N-2   N-3   N-4   N-5 N-6 N-7
2013 Top 40  2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Tot 
Draft  7 5 9 6 3 2   0 32
Latin Am FA  2 2 2   1 7
US free agent
Rule 5 acquire
Trade  1 1
Total   7 5 11 8 5 2 1 1 40
Sourcing   Curr   N-1   N-2   N-3   N-4   N-5 N-6
2012 Top 41  2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Tot 
Draft  4 7 8 4 5 3 1 32
Latin Am FA  2 1 1 1 1 6
US free agent 1 1
Rule 5 acquire 1 1
Trade  1 1
Total   4 9 9 6 5 6 2 41
Sourcing   Curr   N-1   N-2   N-3   N-4   N-5
2011 Top 40  2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Tot 
Draft  7 7 3 9 5 2 33
Latin America  1 1 1 2 1 6
Purchased  1 1
Trade  0
Total   8 8 4 10 7 3 40
Sourcing   Curr   N-1   N-2   N-3   N-4   N-8        
2010 Top 40  2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2001 Tot   
Draft  8 6 6 8 4 1 33  
Latin America  1 2 1 1 5  
Purchased  1 1  
Trade  1 1  
Total   8 7 9 1 5 1 40  
                         
Sourcing  Curr  N-1  N-2  N-3  N-4  N-5  N-7   
2009 Top 40  2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2001 Tot
Draft  5 7 8 9 1 1 31
Latin America  1 3 1 1 6
Purchased  1 1 2
Trade  1 1
Total  6 11 1 9 2 1 1 40
                         
Sourcing  Curr  N-1  N-2  N-3  N-4  N-5  N-6   
2008 Top 40  2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 Tot
Draft  6 12 1 3 2 2 2 37
Latin America  1 1 2
Purchased  1 1 2
Trade  1 1
Total  6 14 1 5 2 2 3 42

We will start with the rows. In terms of draft years, an obvious is the increase in the number in players from the most recent draft that made the top 40. The total from the 2012 draft of seven is the second-most represented draft this year, after 2010 with nine.

#14 Seth Maness
In the case of the 2011 draft, the top three picks made last year's top 40 – Kolten Wong, Charlie Tilson and C.J. McElroy – along with a long-shot, 34th-rounder, Tyler Rahmatulla. This year, Rahmatulla dropped off, but Adam Ehrlich and Seth Maness came on.

The number of top prospects in the N-1 and N-2 years is very strong at 14, but that is mostly an indication of that 2009 class. That total of nine ties for the most of any draft class in any top 40 over the last four years. The Class of 2007 also had nine players on the 2011 list.

After a flat 2012 in terms of the number of top prospects from the Latin American program, the 2013 total is up by one to seven. Still, it remains a bit concerning that the top prospect pipeline from overseas is apparently not flowing more heavily. Perhaps the arrival of Oscar Taveras and Carlos Martinez will soothe that, at least temporarily.

For the first time, there are players acquired in several non-traditional manners - as a US free agent, Brandon Dickson, via the Rule 5 Draft, Erik Komatsu, and as the result of a trade, Maikel Cleto.

The next view is the top 40 by their primary defensive position.

Top 40 Cardinals Prospects – By position – 2007-2013

Top 40 by position 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Catcher 2 3 6 3 2 2 1
First Base 1 2 2 2 1 3 1
Second Base 4 5 1 1 1 2 2
Shortstop 2 2 2 3 3 2 4
Third Base 3 2 3 3 4 2 1
Corner Outfield 4 4 6 6 5 4 3
Centerfield 4 5 3 3 2 4 5
LH Starting Pitcher 4 1 1 3 2 3 4
RH Starting Pitcher 10 11 11 10 13 13 13
LH Reliever 1 1          
RH Reliever 5 5          
Reliever     5 6 7 7 6
Total 40 41 40 40 40 42 40

For the second consecutive year, the number of catchers has dropped. Not only are there just two, they are ranked near the bottom of the list – Adam Ehrlich and Audry Perez - at number 34 and 38, respectively. If Yadier Molina did not have four years remaining on his current contract, I would be quite concerned.

#19 Breyvic Valera
Wong led a 2012 spike in second base prospects that is still solid at four. In fact, they all placed in the top 19. Yet, only two shortstops for the third consecutive year remains a concern, especially considering both are very close to the majors (Ryan Jackson and Pete Kozma). Who is coming behind them?

Though the Cardinals traded away Zack Cox, they restocked the position nicely with three draftees in the first 86 picks in the draft in Stephen Piscotty, Patrick Wisdom and Carson Kelly.

Corner outfield holding steady at four isn't really a big deal until one thinks about it in terms of a dearth of budding power prospects. After Anthony Garcia, every other outfield top 40 member is of the speedy, centerfield type.

Other than Matt Adams, there are no first base prospects. Given the relative ease of shifting others to the position, it isn't a major concern, except in the power context mentioned just above.

Top 40 starting pitchers are at their highest total in four years. The growth is solely fueled by an increase in left-handers from one in each of the last two years to three in 2013. That is an encouraging sign.

It seems redundant to mention possible focus areas in the 2013 draft as catchers, shortstops, power-hitting outfielders and left-handed pitching, but that seems again the case.

Runners-Up (name/overall ranking)

I will close with this year's "Runners-Up" - those players that made the Top 40, but not the 2013 All-Prospect Team. This also provides a quick visual snapshot of system-wide depth by name and position.

Catcher (1): Audry Perez (38)

First base (0): none

Second base (3): Greg Garcia (16), Starlin Rodriguez (17), Breyvic Valera (19)

Shortstop (1): Pete Kozma (29)

Third base (2): Stephen Piscotty (12), Patrick Wisdom (18)

Corner outfield (2): Mike O'Neill (32), Colin Walsh (36)

Centerfield (3): Charlie Tilson (21), Adron Chambers (23), C.J. McElroy (31)

Left-handed starting pitcher (3): Kevin Siegrist (22), Tyler Lyons (35), Tim Cooney (39)

Right-handed starting pitcher (9): Trevor Rosenthal (3), Michael Wacha (4), Carlos Martinez (5), Tyrell Jenkins (8), Jordan Swagerty (11), Seth Maness (14), Boone Whiting (25), Seth Blair (30), Victor De Leon (37)

Left-handed reliever (0): none

Right-handed reliever (4): Eric Fornataro (27), Maikel Cleto (28), Dixon Llorens (33), Keith Butler (40)

Again, for more information about these players, click on their highlighted names above to be taken to their free The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com player profile pages with bios, photos, news and more!



To reference our entire list of top 40 Cardinals prospects for 2013 and read about each individual player, click here. You can learn about each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections and much more.

Next up: This article series nears its conclusion as we take a look at the best and worst picks from the 2012 top 40 and the top prospects by level.




Our 2013 top 40 series continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.



There's more! Monthly and quarterly subscribers who upgrade to our annual pass will receive in the spring the 2013 FOX Sports NEXT Prospects Guide, a $4.95 value, for FREE. The perfect hardcopy companion to "40 Days" includes the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2013 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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