The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

More St. Louis Cardinals talent inventory rankings

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.

2010 2009
1 Tampa Bay Rays 3
2 Colorado Rockies 8
3 Minnesota Twins 1
4 Arizona Diamondbacks 2
5 Boston Red Sox 10
6 San Francisco Giants 22
7 New York Yankees 29
8 Texas Rangers 19
9 Chicago White Sox 25
10 Florida Marlins 4
11 Los Angeles Dodgers 13
12 Philadelphia Phillies 20
13 Atlanta Braves 9
14 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 11
15 Kansas City Royals 5
16 New York Mets 16
17 Chicago Cubs 26
18 Seattle Mariners 18
19 Milwaukee Brewers 6
20 Baltimore Orioles 24
21 Oakland A’s 12
22 Toronto Blue Jays 28
23 Washington Nationals 23
24 St. Louis Cardinals 14
25 Pittsburgh Pirates 17
26 Cleveland Indians 7
27 Cincinnati Reds 15
28 Detroit Tigers 27
29 San Diego Padres 21
30 Houston Astros 30

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.

Eduardo Sanchez (Jim Donten photo)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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