In his “Young Talent Inventory”, now in its third year, famed sabermetric analyst Bill James compiles a list of the top 20 young players across Major League Baseball. Not surprisingly, the inventory, published in “The Bill James Gold Mine 2010”, does not include any St. Louis Cardinals prospects. 23-year-old hurler Felix Hernandez of Seattle is the “most valuable property” at number 1.
James goes further to rank all young MLB talent by organization. In this measurement, the St. Louis Cardinals dropped from number 14 last year to 24 in 2010.
|1||Tampa Bay Rays||3|
|5||Boston Red Sox||10|
|6||San Francisco Giants||22|
|7||New York Yankees||29|
|9||Chicago White Sox||25|
|11||Los Angeles Dodgers||13|
|14||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||11|
|15||Kansas City Royals||5|
|16||New York Mets||16|
|22||Toronto Blue Jays||28|
|24||St. Louis Cardinals||14|
|29||San Diego Padres||21|
Last week, Baseball America posted an article reviewing international signings by organization that they view as being top prospects in their annual Prospect Handbook. The focus is not just this year, but cumulative. It is apparently over the last five or six years, but exact timeframe is unclear.
Also, they don’t list all the names, just three from each organization. Still you can get an idea of where BA’s thinking is. The Cardinals are near the bottom with five such prospects, in a four-way tie for 21st. The best is the Yankees with 12 and worst are Marlins and Pirates with two each.
For the Cardinals, the three players listed are all pitchers: Eduardo Sanchez (pictured), Francisco Samuel and Richard Castillo.
A week later, BA came back with a point-in-time comparison to five years ago. In total, there are 21 more international prospects now than five years ago, an increase of 10-12 percent.
Still, the Cardinals improvement is evident by the fact that Juan Lucena was their only player listed in 2005. That one international prospect ranked St. Louis’ system dead last.
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