Bonus Cardinals Prospects: Nos. 21-25
Teddy Cahill, Jonathan Mayo and I divided up the responsibilities of writing the Top 20 Prospects lists for each organization. For each of the 10 clubs I handled, I’ll use my blog to give you five more prospects whom I strongly considered for the list.
First up, the Cardinals. Their Top 20 can be found here.
21. Cory Jones, rhp. Blister problems limited him to 11 starts in low Class A last year, but he was very good (8-2, 2.04, 3.3 K/BB, .196 opponent average) when he took the mound. He possesses a low-90s fastball and a hard curveball, as well as a ceiling of a No. 3 starter.
22. Kenny Peoples-Walls, of. One of the better athletes in the system, he’ll move from shortstop to center field in 2014. He showed off his offensive potential by batting .300/.352/.468 at Rookie-level Johnson City last year.
23. Greg Garcia, ss. A steady if unspectacular defender at shortstop, he could help the Cardinals in a utility role in the near future. He doesn’t offer a lot of power and speed, but he does have a knack for getting on base.
24. Breyvic Valera, of/2b/3b. Like Garcia, Valera profiles best as a utilityman. A career .313 hitter in the Minors, he has good hands and has played everywhere but pitcher, catcher and first base as a pro.
25. Jacob Wilson, 2b. Like Dan Uggla, Wilson is a power-hitting second baseman from the University of Memphis. He doesn’t have Uggla’s power ceiling, though Wilson hit 18 homers in Class A last year and is a much better defender than Uggla ever was.
My favorite deep sleeper: Nick Petree, rhp. Petree isn’t imposing with his 6-foot-1, 195-pound build and a fastball that operates at 87-88 mph. But his exquisite command of four pitches, including a plus changeup, allowed him to carve up college hitters. He led NCAA Division I with a 1.01 ERA in 2012, when he went 73 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, and ranked 15th with a 1.61 ERA last spring. After signing for $40,000 as a ninth-round pick, he continued to work his magic, as his 1.62 ERA would have topped the short-season New York-Penn League if he hadn’t fallen just short of qualifying.