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St. Louis Cardinals Top Pitching Prospects | Touch’em All 2012

With Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Tyrell Jenkins, and Michael Wacha in the system, there’s no shortage of star potential arms in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.  With 7 Leagues in full swing for the Cardinals for us to cover, there’s no time to waste either.  Keep your eye out for some developing talent at the lower levels as well.  This is a very good organization for talent spotting .

AAA Memphis Redbirds

Shelby Miller RHP – Age 21 – It’s been an up and down ride in 2012 for Shelby Miller in the AAA PCL.  He’s 4-7 with a 6.00 ERA and has a 86/39 K/BB ratio over 75 innings.  His BABIP, FIP, and everything else that you don’t want to see up is indeed up.  The good news is that he’s tremendous talent and once he strings together a couple of quality starts back to back, things should turn around quickly. Tom Belmont mentioned “Keep in mind he is still leading the PCL in k/9 as a 21 year old and the Cardinals just put the youngster on a “no shake” rule. So he’ll be throwing what the coaching staff calls with no need to think about what or why.”

Nick Additon LHP- Age 24 – Selected back in 2006, deep in the drafts 46th round. He pitched decent at AA last season, but was below average at AAA.  He returned to the PCL this season and while he isn’t terrible, he’s below average.  He’s 3-7 with a 4.88 ERA and has 67/35 K/BB ratio over 79.1 innings on the season.  He shouldn’t get a call to the majors this season and when he finally does it will probably be in the bullpen.

Joe Kelly RHP – Age 24 – Kelly was 2-5 with a 2.86 ERA and had a 45/21 K/BB ratio over 72.1 innings with Memphis before getting the call to the show about a month ago.  He’s currently 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA and has a 16/8 K/BB ratio over 27.1 innings. Possibly pitching over his head with a 4.42 FIP, but you got to love the effort there with a solid GB% and the low walk rate. He isn’t beating himself at this point. Major League hitter will adjust though eventually.

John Gast LHP – Age 23 – The owner of one of the nastiest pick off moves in baseball, Gast started the season at AA before getting promoted to AAA.  He’s 10-4 with a 3.72 ERA and has a 84/34 K/BB ratio over 109.0 innings split nearly evenly between Springfield and Memphis.  As with other Cardinal pitchers at AAA, he can’t seem to find a groove. He’s got to lower his ERA and walk % before a call to the majors is considered. On the positive side, his FIP is below the ERA and his BABIP is somewhat high. In time he should adjust to AAA.

AA Springfield Cardinals

Carlos Martinez RHP – Age 20 - If you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen our video from last season on Martinez, I suggest that you watch it and you’ll understand why we are so high on him. For this season, he was 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and had a 34/10 K/BB ratio over 33 innings in his 2nd time around with the Palm Beach Cardinals. He was then promoted to AA and is 1-2 with a 2.93 ERA and has a 15/2 K/BB ratio over 15 innings. Check out the video:

 Trevor Rosenthal RHP – Age 22 – Rosenthal ranked higher on our pre-season list than any other out there.  The Cardinals also thought highly of him as they skipped him right over the High-A FSL to the AA Texas League.  He’s 7-6 with a 2.97 ERA to go with a 79/36 K/BB ratio over 88 innings.  Those are pretty good numbers, however we can’t help wonder what they would have looked liked with the Palm Beach Cardinals and pitching coach Dennis Martinez. Keep in mind the jump from Low-A to AA is a huge one.

Seth Maness RHP – Age 23 – My contrast to Rosenthal, Maness did start out at High-A and the results were excellent for the 2011 11th round draft pick.  He was 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA to go with a 29/1 K/BB ratio over 46 innings.  You read that right, 1 walk in 46 innings in the FSL.  He then was promoted to AA where he’s 5-1 with a 2.12 ERA and has a 37/5 K/BB ratio over 59.1 innings.  6 walks in 105 innings.  He is shaping up to be someone who could fit nicely into the back-end of a rotation.

 High-A Palm Beach Cardinals

Anthony Ferrara LHP – Age 22 – A 2010 injury cost him all but 8 innings on the season, putting his progress on hold.  He came back strong in 2011 with a 13-7 record and a 3.03 ERA.  On the 2012 season, he’s 5-6 with a 3.33 ERA and has a 62/40 K/BB ratio over 78.1 innings.  He’s been inconsistent at times, but could be at the end of a rotation or find his way into a MLB bullpen down the road.

Ryan Sherriff LHP – Age 22 – The Sherriff is 5-0 with a 2.74 ERA and has a 21/6 K/BB ratio over 46 innings on the season. He’s had a couple of nagging injuries and doesn’t strike out a ton. Still, he doesn’t get himself into too many jams and pitches very effectively.

Low-A Quad Cities River Bandits

Kyle Hald LHP – Age 23 – Hald made an impressive debut in 2011 by going 7-0 with a 1.84 ERA and had a 63/12 K/BB ratio over 53.2 innings in the APPY.   He’s 4-4 with a 3.14 ERA and has a 70/13 K/BB ratio over 83 innings in the MWL.  The Cardinals are giving him extra rest between starts.  He’s doing a nice job, however his window is closing quickly.  He needs to move to High-A this summer and realistically needs to be in AA next season to have a shot at sticking as a starter.

Sam Gaviglio RHP – Age 22 – Gaviglio made his pro debut in 210 in the NYP, but only got 4 innings under his belt.  He’s 5-5 with a 4.50 ERA and has a 68/15 K/BB ratio over 80 innings in the MWL on the 2012 season.  He struck out 11 while walking just 1 in 5.1 innings on the 4th of July.  He has a 28/1 K/BB ratio over his last 17.1 innings in 3 starts.  He could be ready for a move to Palm Beach.

Tyrell Jenkins RHP – Age 19 – Jenkins is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.  He’s also been one of the most injured this season.  He’s 1-3 with a 5.11 ERA and has a 47/24 K/BB ratio over 49.1 innings on the season.  He has the stuff, so the numbers aren’t really of concern.  Staying on the field and logging some innings while developing his pitches is though.  He looks healthy now so we look forward to seeing what the 2nd half of the season brings him.

Willy Paulino RHP – Age 22 – The Dominican has spent most of his time in the bullpen in his 4 seasons of pro ball.  He was exclusively a reliever in 2011 in the APPY.  After 21 games in the bullpen with the River Bandits, he’s made 2 starts recently and is making the most of the opportunity.  Over the 10 innings in those 2 starts he’s given up just 2 earned runs while striking out 13.  On the season he’s 2-6 with a 4.56 ERA and has a 51/25 K/BB ratio over 47.1 innings.

Short Season A Batavia Muckdogs

Tim Cooney LHP – Age 21 – The 2012 3rd round draft pick is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA and has a 9/0 K/BB ratio over 12.1 innings on the season.  After coming off of a full college season, the Cardinals aren’t going to push him too hard.  Having said that, he might find his way to Quad Cities before the season is over.

Lee Stoppleman LHP – Age 22 – The 2012 24th round draft pick is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and has a 13/2 K/BB ratio over 9.2 innings out of the bullpen.  He also has 2 saves and is looking pretty dominant.  Card’s know how to find impact relievers to be sure.

Rookie Johnson City Cardinals

Victor De Leon RHP – Age 20 – After a disappointing 2011 North American debut, the 6’2″ Dominican is off to a great start in 2012.  He’s 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA and has a 16/4 K/BB ratio over 16.2 innings.  He’s a player to watch.

Steven Gallardo RHP – Age 19 – The Cardinals 2012 19th round draft pick is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and has a 4/1 K/BB ratio over 6 innings on the season.  He looks better in short stints so perhaps a switch to the bullpen isn’t too far off.

Cory Jones RHP – Age 20 – Jones is 0-0 with a 4.09 ERA and has a 12/6 K/BB ratio over 11 innings for Johnson City.  He was the Cardinals 2012 5th round draft pick.

Ronald Shaban RHP – Age 22 – The Cardinals 2012 33rd round draft pick is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and a 12/2 K/BB ratio over 7 innings on the season.  He also has 5 saves in 7 games.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Cardinals

Michael Wacha RHP – Age 21 – The 2012 19th overall pick has yet to make his GCL debut, but is on the roster.  The former Texas A&M starter won’t need a lot of time in the minor leagues.

Silfredo Garcia RHP – Age 20 – The 6’2″ Venezuelan is making his making his North American debut in style.  He’s 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA and has a 27/0 K/BB ratio over 23.1 innings on the season.  He is very intriguing.

Fidencio Flores RHP – Age 20 – Hailing from Nicaragua, Flores is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and has a 15/2 K/BB ratio over 13 innings on the season in his North American debut.

Jhonny Polanco RHP – Age 20 – Also from Nicaragua, Polanco is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and has a 11/0 K/BB ratio over 9 innings on the season.  Like Flories, this is also his North American debut.

Max Foody LHP – Age 18 – Labrum surgery and signability drop Foody to the 12th round, but that didn’t stop the Cardinals from drafting him and getting a deal done. He’s currently listed on the GCL Cardinals roster, however no time-table has been set for him to debut.

Rookie Dominican Summer League Cardinals

 Luis Perdomo RHP – Age 19 – Perdomo is 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA and has a 24/5 K/BB ratio over 23.2 innings on the season.

Dailyn Martinez RHP – Age 19 – Martinez is 1-1 with a 2.28 ERA and has a 18/8 K/BB ratio over 27.2 innings on the season.

Dewen Perez LHP – Age 17 – The kid from Colombia is 1-2 with a 0.95 ERA and has a 24/6 K/BB ratio over 19 innings on the season.  We don’t know much about him other than he can run his fastball in the low 90’s.  His age and numbers make him at minimum someone to keep an eye out for.

Ismael Brito LHP – Age 19 – The 5’11” Venezuelan is 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA and has a 23/4 K/BB ratio over 17 innings on the season.

Fernando Baez RHP – Age 20 – This is his pro debut, so we will cut him some slack on his age.  He’s 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA and has a 20/8 K/BB ratio over 14 innings on the season.  So far so good for the late bloomer.

That’s our Cardinals organization pitching update for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

 Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon for more Prospect coverage. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects for 2012. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at And while you’re at it head over to Facebook and join the Instinct page.

Closing in on 25 years of following the greatest game in the world very closely. I can remember as a kid how excited I was when a player that I had watched in the minors make his major league debut. The same holds true today. We designed Baseball Instinct with that in mind; getting you the fan excited to get out and see the see the stars of tomorrow - today!


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