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The prospect staff at Fake Teams continues their fantasy prospect rankings and system reviews with an in-depth look at the St.
Just like last year, the prospect staff here at Fake Teams will be taking an in-depth look at each major league organization, including our top 10 fantasy prospects, an overview of the organization's minor league system as a whole and potential opportunities for playing time in 2015. On November 17th, the Cardinals sent former top prospect RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Tyrell Jenkins to the Braves for RF Jason Heyward.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the major organizational loss the Cardinals took during the World Series when news of the death of Oscar Taveras rocked the baseball world. Drafting well has always been another trademark of the Cardinals' ability to stay at the top of the National League. Free agency has always been a realm where the Cardinals are seemingly never aggressive when it comes to the highest priced players in baseball.
Led by General Manager John Mozeliak, the Cardinals front office may not have the name recognition of someone like Billy Beane in Oakland, but the organization's track record of excellence is really second to none in baseball. The following players have surpassed their rookie maximums of 130 AB, 50 IP, or 45 days of service time. Stephen Piscotty, our top prospect for the Cardinals, was a shoe-in for pretty significant playing time in 2015 after the passing of Oscar Taveras. Marco Gonzales had himself a cup of coffee with the Cardinals in 2014, after quickly progressing through the minor leagues as a 2013 first round pick out of Gonzaga.
Xavier Scruggs just has the feel of a AAAA type hitter but I am out of ideas for Major League opportunities and the College Football playoff announcement has really put me in a foul mood, so lets take a look at Xavier for fun. Our top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are based upon standard 5x5 fantasy baseball leagues, with a balancing of ceiling and present value. A supplemental first round pick back in 2012, Piscotty was drafted as a third baseman out of Stanford, but was moved to the outfield following his professional debut.
Piscotty's bat will carry him to the major leagues, primarily on the strength of a high batting average. It's not clear where the Cardinals will find playing time for Piscotty this season as of yet.
The 19th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Marco Gonzales has moved quickly since signing with the Cardinals.
Gonzales features a three pitch repertoire with a fastball, curveball and changeup, with the changeup being his best offering.
The Cardinals cleared a spot in the rotation with the Jason Heyward trade, but it's not clear yet if that spot will go to Gonzales, Carlos Martinez, or potentially another acquisition. Reyes took a rather unusual path into the minor leagues, but it appears to have worked out well for both him and the Cardinals. The Cardinals gave him a bonus of nearly $1 million, and he debuted the following year in short season Johnson City. Reyes will likely head to High-A Palm Beach in 2015, and remains an extremely interesting fantasy prospect. A supplemental-first round pick in the 2014 draft, Flaherty attended Harvard-Westlake in Southern California, and was the third first rounder taken from that school in the past three drafts (Lucas Giolito and Max Fried were both taken in the 2012 draft). Flaherty is considered a bit more advanced than your usual high school pitcher, on the strength of a four-pitch repertoire consisting of a low-90s fastball, changeup, and both a curveball and slider.
Flaherty will likely be in a starting rotation when he gets to the majors, and could be an above-average mid-rotation type for fantasy owners when he arrives. Taken in the first round of the 2013 draft, the Cardinals gave Kaminsky an aggressive full-season assignment for the 2014 season, and performed extremely well there despite being three years younger than the average player in the Midwest League. Kaminsky features a three-pitch mix of a low-90's fastball, an excellent curveball, and decent changeup. The tools are all there for him to be a mid-rotation starting pitcher, especially if the changeup does develop into an effective third pitch. After trying Kelly at third base for his professional debut and first full season, the Cardinals went to work to convert him to the catcher spot instead. Kelly profiles well as a potential above-average contributor for fantasy owners as a catcher. A 2012 3rd round draft pick, Cooney pitched the full season in 2014 at AAA, and posted solid but not spectacular numbers.
Cooney profiles as a back-end starting pitcher, which limits his value to fantasy owners except for deeper formats. Then we had the injuries, oh the injuries, the injuries that wound up being too much for the Cardinals to overcome in the postseason.
Bid on the opportunity to attend a game between July 24-August 2, 2015 (mutually agreeable date) and get your photo taken with the St. Proceeds from the 2014 PR-Winter Meetings Auction will go to LUNGevity in memory of Monica Barlow, the Baltimore Oriole's Director of Public Relations who lost her battle with cancer this past February.
Monica Pence Barlow began her career with the Orioles in 1999 as an intern in the Public Relations department. The Royals will play 20 Interleague contests over eight series, four at home and four on the road. The home Interleague schedule also includes visits from the Cincinnati Reds (May 19-20), Milwaukee Brewers (June 17-18) and Pittsburgh Pirates (July 20-22). The Royals will have three holiday home games in 2015, hosting the Boston Red Sox on Father’s Day (June 21) and the Minnesota Twins on both July 4 and Labor Day (September 7).
The Cardinals will open interleague play with a three-game series at Cleveland (May 12-14), before hosting Detroit during a brief three-game home stand (May 15-17).
The 2015 schedule has the Cardinals at home for 16 of their 25 July games, hosting the Padres, Mets, Braves, Reds and Rockies during mid-summer series, before embarking on 10-game road trips in both August and September. The 2015 home slate includes several attractive weekend series, with division match-ups against Cincinnati (April 17-19), Pittsburgh (May 1-3 & Sept.
Our goal is to provide you with more information as you prepare for minor league drafts for dynasty and keeper leagues, as well as look at players that could potentially be worth watching during the spring, as they could be in line to potentially help your fantasy team. Louis Cardinals finished the 2014 season with yet another appearance in the National League Championship Series. Heyward has always been an elite defensive right fielder and a well above average base runner, but he has always been a bit of enigma with the bat. Taveras was an elite talent with an extremely high ceiling and a very bright future, and a player the Cardinals were counting on to man right field for at least the better part of a decade. A perfect example of this came about when the team let Albert Pujols walk for huge money to the Angels prior to the 2012 season.
The Cardinals are seemingly always getting better every offseason and so far this offseason has been no different. But then everything changed for him when the organization moved Shelby Miller to Atlanta for Jason Heyward.
Gonzales will be an interesting roster piece in all formats if he is able to nail a spot in the Cardinals rotation in 2015. The offensive numbers on the surface have been pretty good in his minor league career, but there has to be a reason that this 27 year old has never had a real shot at the Major League level. While we are having discussions regarding these lists as a collective group, the top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are finalized by the writer listed above. He missed significant time in 2013 due to injuries, and it was hoped that he would be able to stay healthy for the full year in 2014.
He's capable of providing batting averages above .290 on a regular basis, and also provide value in OBP leagues. Jason Heyward has played center field in the past, although just a total of 22 games in the majors.
He finished his first pro season at High-A Palm Beach, and returned there to start the 2014 campaign.
His other two pitches are at least average offerings or better, and overall his repertoire should play very well as a starting pitcher.
If it doesn't go to Gonzales, he'll likely return to AAA Memphis to start the year, and could be the first call should the team need a starting pitcher.

He grew up in New Jersey, but instead of waiting around for the draft, moved to the Dominican Republic well before graduating. He pitched well there, and was rewarded with a full-season assignment in 2014 to Low-A Peoria. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and multiple reports have him touching the high-90's as well. The range of outcomes is too wide at this point to move him past #3 on this list, but if it all clicks you have a potential top 25 starting pitcher for your fantasy team. He played both third base and pitched in high school, but the Cardinals were able to sign him for a bonus of $2 million and will keep him on the mound long-term. All four have the potential to be at least average offerings, with his changeup getting the best grades of his offspeed pitches.
He could potentially be in line for a full season assignment, if the Cardinals want to try to push him. While the strikeout total was not as high as you might expect, he did post an excellent 53% groundball rate, leading to just 71 hits allowed in his 100 innings. The curveball has the potential to be a strikeout pitch, but there are questions about how well the changeup will develop. If it doesn't, you're likely looking at a reliever, albeit one who could work at the back-end of a bullpen. He appeared in 98 games in 2014, with 79 of them behind the plate, and there were reports that he wore down as the season moved along. He's capable of providing solid power production, and should provide at least a solid batting average to go with it. The strikeout rate leaves a little bit to be desired for fantasy purposes, but he gets grounders at a high rate (47% last year), and limits walks effectively. He's an interesting name for NL-only leagues simply because he has very little left to prove at AAA, and could be in line for starts should the Cardinals need additional starting pitchers. It really is unfortunate that we are going to be without Cardinals’ baseball for the next 5-6 months. We saw a team go through so much this season and it all started about a year ago, when they lost a teammate in a tragic fashion. To work through that had to be hard on the team, especially for the guys who played with him in the minors. I want to talk about surprises, top performers, disappointments, and a piece on where the team goes from here.
She was later named Director of Public Relations in 2008, becoming one of the few women to hold that role in Major League Baseball.
Louis Cardinals stand for the National Anthem while an American Bald Eagle flys around Busch Stadium before a game against the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day in St.
The Royals swept three-game series in the last home meetings against Cincinnati (2009), Milwaukee (2012) and Pittsburgh (2006).
The club will be in Detroit on Mother’s Day (May 10) and in New York on Memorial Day (May 25). Louis opens the season in Chicago against the Cubs on Monday, April 6, and plays three games in Chicago and three in Cincinnati before making their 2015 home debut at Busch Stadium on Monday, April 13, when they begin a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. This will be the Cardinals’ first trip to Cleveland since 2009 as well as Detroit’s first visit to St.
The team’s final home stand, September 21-27, consists of seven potential pennant race games against Cincinnati and Milwaukee. Louis will play 43 games at home before the All-Star break next season, which falls on July 13-16, and 38 home games after the break. We will be reviewing two teams per week until we are through all 30 teams, and you can see the schedule of when your favorite team will be reviewed below. The organization continually churns out above average Major League talent which has been its' trademark for what seems to be generations. For his career, Heyward has posted a wRC+ of 117 so nobody can call him a poor hitter, but much more was expected during his time in Atlanta. With Taveras' death the Cardinals were missing a key piece of not only their future, but also of their immediate plans. After letting Pujols leave, the Cardinals received the 19th pick in 2012 draft and turned that pick into Michael Wacha. This strategy has suited them well as the organization is never saddled with albatross contracts that affect their ability to add payroll at the trading deadline or put them in a situation where they are paying big money to players that are well past their prime. I still expect them to bring in another buy-low starter and perhaps a bench bat that could eat some innings in the infield, but nothing drastic. Piscotty is now going to be behind a group of outfielders that include Heyward, Matt Holliday, Peter Bourjos, Jon Jay and Randal Grichuk, so playing time will not be coming his way easily.
What I like most about Gonzales is his plus changeup though he didn't get a chance to show it off much at the Big League level this year.
Just doing some video scouting Scruggs is strong, his swing isn't especially quick and pitch recognition seems to be an issue which has lead to a ridiculously high strikeout rate. Players are no longer considered prospects once they exceed either 130 at bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days of service time in the Majors. Despite playing just 49 games at AA the previous year, he was promoted for the 2014 season to AAA, to play right field with other top prospects Oscar Taveras and Randal Grichuk. How much power he develops will determine whether he is a top 25 outfield option or a bit behind that, as he has not hit more than nine home runs in a season yet. If the team leaves Heyward in right field (where he is an excellent defender), it's hard to see consistent playing time for Piscotty in 2015. After six starts, he moved up to AA Springfield, where another seven starts went well enough that the Cardinals promoted him to the majors when they needed a starting pitcher. He isn't going to be an overpowering pitcher, so his command will be key to his overall success in the bigs. His best-case scenario in terms of fantasy value is as a top 40 starting pitcher, capable of providing solid but not spectacular numbers in four categories. He established residency there, and as such was eligible to sign as an international free agent in 2012 rather than be subject to the draft. Reyes was dominant at times, and while he struggled at some times during the season, finished on an excellent string of four starts where he went at least six innings, struck out at least eight, and walked only six batters total.
His curveball is also a strong pitch, with absolutely filthy break when it is working best.
He made eight appearances in the Gulf Coast League this season, throwing a total of 22 innings. If not, he's looking at heading to another short-season assignment, with both the Appalachian or New York-Penn League as options.
After watching video of his last start of the season, I'm not a huge fan of his delivery, as it seemed to be a bit high-effort, but it worked well for him this year and other reports don't seem particularly concerned.
This isn't unexpected, as the transition to catcher brings with it a lot more work both in-game and in preparation.
The big questions at this point stem from his defense, and whether he will be able to continue with the conversion. His repertoire isn't going to light up anyone's radar gun particularly, but gets good movement on all four of his pitches and commands them well.
It's hard right now to see him getting an extended look in 2015 with the presence of Marco Gonzales, Carlos Martinez, or even Jaime Garcia potentially ahead of him on the depth chart, but he looks like one of those pitchers that will find success in spite of not having dominant stuff.
Louis Cardinals players stand for the national anthem before game two of the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. John Mozeliak had to move on and try to replace his prized prospect and that he did with the acquisition of Jason Heyward.
Winner will receive two tickets to the game, two 2015 National League All-Star batting practice jerseys and a photo opportunity with the Cardinals 2015 All-Stars.
Monica passed away on February 28, 2014 at the age of 36 due to complications from non-small cell lung cancer. Louis Cardinals, in a three-game weekend series at home from May 22-24, with a three-game visit to Busch Stadium from June 12-14.

KC’s road Interleague schedule includes trips to Chicago (May 29-31), Milwaukee (June 15-16) and Cincinnati (August 18-19). The club has two 10-game trips, July 27-August 6 with stops in Cleveland, Toronto and Detroit, as well as September 11-20 at Baltimore, Cleveland and Detroit. The club will then host division rival Cincinnati over the weekend (April 17-19) before hitting the road for series in Washington and Milwaukee. The team has 10 home dates in April, 16 in May, 12 in June, 16 in July, 12 in August and 15 during September.
Our desk calendars are filled with challenging trivia and gives you a daily calendar that fits perfectly in small places. The Cardinals' trademark and organizational philosophy are rooted in solid drafting and not overpaying for high priced free agents whether they are outside the organization or internal. Heyward enjoyed his second best season when looking at fWAR in 2014 posting an impressive 5.1 WAR in 649 plate appearances. However, the Cardinals, always proactive, were able to fill the void left by Taveras' death by acquiring Heyward.
Despite the injury riddled 2014, Wacha has produced 3.0 WAR since his Major League debut in 2013. Last offseason, the Cardinals biggest acquisition was Jhonny Peralta who signed before last year for four years and $53m paid off spectacularly as he lead all shortstops with 5.4 WAR (Tulo would have bested that number but he's made of delicate Victorian glass). Piscotty should start the season at Triple-A where he needs to improve on some of his pedestrian numbers from 2014. The repertoire for Gonzales consists of a upper 80s-low 90s fastball that averaged exactly 90 MPH during his brief stint in St. A good base for him is likely to be around 15 home runs, with the potential for more depending on whether his swing moves from more line drives to more flyballs. He made three starts before Joe Kelly returned, and was sent to AAA Memphis until the end of the minor league season.
That said, he's also going to be a little defense dependent at times, only because of his propensity to get weak contact to go along with strikeouts.
The changeup remains a work-in-progress, but is considered to have the potential to be usable in the majors as well.
Reports this year were very good about his progress on defense (other than wearing down), and it sounds like the conversion is likely to stick.
Package includes two premium seat tickets, parking, buffet, and in-seat food and beverage service.
Monica continued to work and live her life to the fullest, even after her diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer in August of 2009. The club then returns home for an 11-game home stand – their longest of the season – against Philadelphia (April 27-30), Pittsburgh (May 1-3) and Chicago (May 4-7). Remaining interleague series match-ups will have the Cardinals playing the Royals, Twins, and White Sox at home (June 12-14; June 15-16 and June 30-July 1, respectively) and on the road with series at Kansas City (May 22-24), Minnesota (June 17-18), and Chicago White Sox (July 21-22). Other weekend series of note include Detroit (May 15-17), Los Angeles Dodgers (May 29-31), Kansas City (June 12-14) and Atlanta (July 24-26). The Cardinals are also always aggressive on the trade market when the organization feels it can upgrade the ball club at the Major League level, and proved that again this offseason when they pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Atlanta Braves. However, despite the impressive overall season, Heyward only hit 11 home runs leaving many to wonder if he will ever tap into the raw power that he possesses and flashed early in his career. Stephen Piscotty was a supplemental pick in the first round of that same 2012 draft and he also appears close to being ready to contribute at the Major League level at some point in 2014 if the Cardinals move an outfield piece. I would not expect the Cardinals to be major players in the free agent market, and I never really believed they were truly in on Jon Lester, but you will see them continue to look for value in lesser additions.
In his seven year minor league career Scruggs has posted a wRC+ of 116 or better in six of those seasons and has hit 20 or more homers in each of the last five seasons.
He should also provide solid value in both runs and RBI, along with some token stolen bases each year. He finished the season with the Cardinals, working primarily in the bullpen in September and the postseason. As with most young pitchers, he needs to work on both commanding his pitches as well as consistently repeating his delivery and release point. We're likely looking at him taking at least a year per level, and with Yadier Molina holding down the position for the Cardinals through at least 2017, they can wait for him to develop. In addition, this package includes a hand-quilted lap quilt with colored patches and ribbons representing the various cancer awareness groups.
She had a passion for the outdoors, animals (particularly her miniature Dachshund, Dasher), and for farming (she grew up on a farm in Port Republic, VA).
As a team, the Cardinals' right fielders posted a combined WAR of -1.5, so Heyward is a considerable upgrade at one position of need for the organization even if Heyward doesn't realize that power potential.
I still believe he can hit for league average power with a nice batting average, but he doesn't walk or strikeout a lot so he will be BABIP dependent when he does reach the Show. If Matt Adams continues to flail away at left handed pitching maybe we could see Scrugg and his impressive power in St. Her husband, Ben, her faith, and her love of the Baltimore Orioles served as her inspiration.
The final question for the Cardinals with Heyward is whether or not they traded a developing pitcher that still has top of the rotation potential in Miller, and a solid starting pitching prospect in Jenkins for a one-year rental or an asset that will sign long term, undoubtedly for big money.
The key to Piscotty's value for 2015 will probably be determined by the rest of the moves made by the Cardinals in the offseason.
For a point of reference, Cole Hamels, who has what is considered one of the top change ups in the game had an 8 MPH differential in 2014. Upon her death, Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos issued the following statement: "In her 14 years with the club, Monica was a beloved member of the Orioles family, starting as an intern and becoming Director of Public Relations.
Either way, this trade helped to solidify the Cardinals' still crowded outfield for the 2015 season.
Louis and if the Cardinals fail to sign another starting pitcher in the offseason he should see most, if not all, of that time in the Cardinals' rotation.
Keep an eye on whether the organization moves some of the excess outfielders or Piscotty himself. Now part of what makes Hamels changeup so great is deception and command, so if Gonzales shows the command he showed in his run through the minor leagues I can see that being a truly devastating pitch. I am not sure if this has even a remote possibility but the raw numbers intrigued me and right handed power is right handed power. Over the past four and a half years, the work Monica did to raise awareness and funds for cancer research was a testament to her dedication to helping others. I am still a believer that Heyward has an MVP season in him, but he needs to show some progress at the plate to realize that MVP potential. Gonzales will never blow away hitters with overpowering stuff and does not have a terrifically high ceiling, but he will be a serviceable member of the staff if he remains healthy. The strength and resiliency she displayed by not letting her illness define her was a great inspiration to all who knew her.
There is nothing to suggest that the Cardinals will suddenly forget how to draft, so expect them to keep producing solid major league talent through their strong developmental system.
Her loss will be felt deeply by not only our front office staff, but also our manager, players, and coaches, with whom she worked on a daily basis." Proceeds from the 2014 PR-Winter Meetings Auction will go to LUNGevity in memory of Monica Barlow, the Baltimore Oriole's Director of Public Relations who lost her battle with cancer this past February. If he can earn a starting rotation spot I like his strikeout potential and would look for him as a great value pick at the back end of a draft.

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