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

Reviewing Cardinals Prospects with Rob Rains

With five weeks of the 2013 minor league schedule on the books, there have been enough games played to begin to assess the seasons of some of the St. Louis Cardinals’ top prospects.

That was the subject of my Thursday afternoon discussion with Rob Rains of and In our 10-minute chat, we touched on over a dozen of the best players in the Cardinals minor league system. That includes all the big names plus some other promising players working on their games down in Class-A ball.

Link to audio: Brian Walton and Rob Rains (10:04)

Also, make sure you check out Rob’s new book, “Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith that Drives the St. Louis Cardinals.” With the book now available and signings beginning this week, I will be reviewing it in this space very soon.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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13 Responses to “Reviewing Cardinals Prospects with Rob Rains”

  1. blingboy says:

    Bernie’s article cites stats showing that MM’s policy of aggressiveness taking the extra base is doing more harm than good. He also points out that the Cards have the most sac bunt attempts and almost the lowest success rate.

    I accept that getting this team to do Whiteyball made sense to Mike somehow. Like two years of Wiggy made sense to Mo. We will have to see which of them cuts his losses first.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      In December, the market for Wiggy was two years, so Mo had to offer two years.

      By January, the market for Wiggy would have been one year, but Mo did not want to wait and see Wiggy sign with another team. Mo wanted to ink the right swinging reserve early and not leave the roster gap unfilled. Walt would have waited longer and gotten a cheaper deal.

      • Brian Walton says:

        How would you or any of us know that the “market” was two years one month and could project it to drop to one year the next month? Pure speculation on your part misrepresented as fact. Two years might have been Wigginton’s agent’s initial asking position, but even if it was, which we don’t know, that is not “market” value unless someone is willing to pay it. I could find nothing publicly connecting Wigginton to any teams before he signed with the Cardinals.

        An interesting theory, but that is all it is. For all we know, Mo got overanxious and simply over-bidded against himself.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Cesar Izturis’ brother signed early as a reserve with the Jays and received 3 years. There was a healthy market for reserves, around the time of the winter meetings. Wigginton getting 2 years, given an early signing, is not surprising.
          Contract duration is often the first parameter players and teams decide. Mo is not going to offer anyone 2 years, if he thinks no other team will go 2. Mo must have wanted to settle on a right swinging veteran reserve at an early point during the free agency season and was willing to match or go to 2 years, to get the Wigster inked. Mo must have felt the Cards were a strong contending team and wanted Wiggy as the one extra piece to make the Cards a powerhouse. This was a seriously deluded thought, of course, but it fits the facts.
          My position has been that if Wigginton was the answer, Mo asked the wrong question.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    An interesting Mike Matheny statistic: Tony Cruz has collected just 6 at bats.

    Its like Jason Motte collecting every save during 2012. Mike will ride one guy, in this case Yadier Molina, while Cruz sits on the pines. Last October, Molina did not look peppy versus the Giants. He needs more off days during the season.

  3. blingboy says:

    Maybe MM doesn’t think its good to sit the guy who is outhitting all other starters by 40 or 50 pts. He can sit later when he cools off.

  4. blingboy says:

    Earlier today on 101FM Chris Duncan said when Mo became GM, a couple years after drug testing started, he envisioned that players would not continue to produce into their later 30s like they had been. He decided that developing young players would become more important so he focussed on that, while other GMs continued to sign free agents in their prime to big long term contracts counting on them to remain productive just like in the pre-testing days.

    This theory seems right, and also meshes with what we have been seeing with all the big FA fiascos lately.

    Obviously, Arte didn’t get the memo.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I thought it was driven by economics, not drug testing.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Baseball has little to do with it……………… Driving the collective bargaining agreements to a profit advantage for owners was ……….. salaries and arbitration were all based on comparisons……. they didn’t account for who juiced and who didn’t……………the attack on the record books by Bonds and MM and Sousa created huge profits………….. they wanted the Lions share to stay with ownership………….. question is? did it work…….. the answer is yes…….. the inflationary cycle is always controlled by the powerful ………. something they may not have occurred to you…… players pay 40+% in taxes…… Congress leaves the baseball apparatus on welfare …….. that’s why they keep there anti-trust status and are havens for those looking for tax shelters ………. enter the hedge fund ownership structure… (censored)……………..

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