Baseball America Top Cards Prospects

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  • #178064
    BlackHillsCard
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    Does anyone have a sub and willing to share who they named as the top Cards prospects?

    #178075
    Cardinals27
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    1 Walker
    2 Borman
    3 Liberatore
    4 Mcgreevy
    5 Herrera
    6 Nootbaar
    7 Baez
    8 Winn
    9 Yepez
    10 Burleson

    McGreevy and Winn too high and low IMO.

    #178096
    BlackHillsCard
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    Nootbaar at 6? I wonder why they ranked him considering his rookie status is expired.

    #178108
    PadsFS
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    Rookie cutoff is 150 PAs and Nootbaar only had 124.

    BA doesn’t go by service time if I remember correctly.

    I’m surprised Herrera isn’t #4. I figured he would be borderline top 100 and I know McGreevy won’t be. I think Baseball Prospectus is the one that’s high on Herrera though.

    #178109
    David Greenwald
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    I don’t really get Nootbaar at No.6, he seems like a fringe/ fourth outfielder type.

    #178113
    stlcard25
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    Herrera is very underrated by many services. A legit starting catcher (and he certainly looks like one) is very rare and worthy of a top 100 statua alone. His offense will continue to improve just as his catching skills do. I believe there are four surefire starting players in the Cards system right now…Gorman, Walker, Liberatore, and Herrera. If you assume the DH, then add Yepez.

    #178125
    PadsFS
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    Top 100 players for the Cards:

    31. Liberatore
    38. Walker
    40. Gorman

    I believe their team rankings are done independently of their national rankings, hence the Walker, Gorman, Liberatore ranking above.

    #178126
    Brian Walton
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    Did BA just update their top 100? Or is that list sourced from their mid-season 2021 update? Looks like it may be the latter to me…

    From our long running BA thread, at the end of July, the three were 39, 45 and 46. Above, they are the same order and interval with the improvement by each potentially reflecting late season graduations from the list.

    Traditionally, BA drops its new national top 100 for the season in mid-to-late January…

    Baseball America Cardinals prospect rankings

    #178145
    PadsFS
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    My mistake – I was relying on Twitter.

    After looking at comparables though, I’m inclined to say that Walker had a lot better year than I gave him credit for. There just aren’t a whole lot of high schoolers that were drafted, ever, that even made it to A+ ball the year after being drafted, let alone put up a 124 wRC+.

    Among other A+ ballplayers, his 124 wRC+ is 45th overall. But only Francisco Alvarez (Mets) is the same age. Only Anthony Volpe (Yanks), George Valera (Cleveland), and Andy Pages (Dodgers) are 20 years old. Only Sebastian Espino (Jays) is even 21 years old, among the 44 players that had higher wRC+.

    Also, among 1st round position player HS draftees from 2020, he is one of three that even played in A+ ball this year (along with Nick Yorke of the Red Sox and Robert Hassell of the Padres)

    #178181
    Bob Reed
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    Don’t reproach yourself too much, Pads. Jordan Walker had a lot better year than anyone has given him credit for, from what I’ve seen. Lemme see if I can put his season into its proper historical context.

    (Just to get one potentially confusing matter out of the way. I have to keep reminding myself that Palm Beach is now Low-A, and Peoria is High-A. What follows will focus on Palm Beach.)

    Jordan was just 18 on Opening Day, 2021, and he thoroughly obliterated full season A-ball. How rare is that? Well, over the past 15 years just 10 batters other than Walker posted an OPS of at least .888 in Low-A at that age. Here’s the 10, alphabetically, with their Low-A OPS:

    Wander Franco (.896), Freddie Freeman (.899), Vlad Guerrero Jr. (.888), Bryce Harper (.977), Corey Seager (.918), Juan Soto (.950), Giancarlo Stanton (.992), Fernando Tatis Jr. (.910), Oscar Taveras (1.028), and Mike Trout (.979). Some list. Taveras, Wander Franco, and a bunch of superstars. And they all hit between .888 and 1.028.

    Jordan Walker just did THIS in Low-A:
    .374/.475/.687 for an OPS of 1.162

    I went back 50 years in the Midwest League and 40 in the Sally League, and among his age peers, Walker’s Low-A OPS is easily the highest (Taveras is 2nd, actually). The catch is, Jordan Walker had just 122 trips to the plate for Palm Beach. And of course, when a ballplayer dominates over a relatively small number of at-bats, it’s reasonable and responsible to aggressively question whether the performance can be sustained.

    ————————————–

    Well, I believe Walker was no small-sample fluke, and I’m nearly certain he would have kept right on doing what he was doing. I believe this for four reasons.

    1) He gained zero home field advantage from Roger Dean Stadium. (No surprise there, right?). Per MILB.com, his home OPS was 1.049, and on the road it was 1.272. Yes, 1.272.

    2) Walker was getting better as the season progressed. In his first month at Palm Beach he hit .333/.474/.600.
    In his second month he batted .407/.477/.759. Yes, that’s 1.236.

    3) In Low-A, Jordan Walker’s plate discipline was almost as impressive as his power. He walked 18 times while fanning just 21 — and three of those K’s came against DeGrom and Syndergaard in their rehab appearances. In June, Jordan fanned just 14% of the time, to go with a .352 isolated slugging. That’s not supposed to happen.

    4) The exit velocities for Walker were extraordinary. The first professional pitch he saw, he drove it out of the park at 109.8 miles per hour. A week later he homered at 111.1 MPH. Two days after that he allegedly hit a groundout in excess of 116, but color me dubious on that one. Anyway, the Stone Mountain Sledgehammer crushed the horsehide all year.

    —————————————

    I would trade Jordan Walker for fellow prospect Bobby Witt, Jr. And I would trade him for Adley Rutschman. But I wouldn’t trade Walker for anyone else in the minors; he’s gonna hit and hit and hit, and based on what I’ve seen (and on Walker’s brains, temperament, and work ethic) I think he’ll be a good defensive corner outfielder and a good baserunner.

    #178220
    PadsFS
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    I didn’t look at Walker’s A-ball season. I figured it wasn’t unheard of for guys to dominate in that league. That’s good info.

    One thing that worries me with Walker is his heavy splits. He absolutely destroys LH pitching. It’s not typically an issue long-term if a RH is killing LH pitching, as much as it is the other way, but I’d still like him to even it out.

    #178225
    Euro Dandy
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    Ha, I looked at this list and wondered how do I not know who the #2 prospect is. Then it quickly dawned on me . . . . .

    #178230
    Bob Reed
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    “I didn’t look at Walker’s A-ball season. I figured it wasn’t unheard of for guys to dominate in that league. That’s good info.”

    I know what you mean, Pads. But it is highly unusual when the guys doing the dominating are just 18. Below is the complete list from the years I researched — back to 1970 in the Midwest League, and 1980 in the Sally League. This is a chronology of every Low-A hitter who posted at least an .888 OPS (with at least one homer per 100 at-bats, to eliminate no-power extreme BABIP flukes).

    1973 Chet Lemon .947
    1975 Pedro Guerrero .973
    1980 Don Mattingly .920
    1985 Bob Zambrano .932
    1990 Ryan Klesko 1.008
    1991 Chipper Jones .925
    1994 Alex Rodriguez .984
    1996 Adrian Beltre .992
    2004 Daric Barton .956
    2004 Delmon Young .926
    2006 Fernando Martinez .894
    2008 Giancarlo Stanton .992
    2008 Freddie Freeman .899
    2010 Mike Trout .979
    2011 Bryce Harper .977
    2011 Oscar Taveras 1.028
    2013 Corey Seager .918
    2017 Vlad Guerrero Jr. .888
    2017 Juan Soto .950
    2017 Fernando Tatis Jr. .910
    2019 Wander Franco .896
    2021 Jordan Walker 1.162

    As you can see, even with flameouts like Zambrano and Martinez, and duds like Delmon and Daric, the multi-generational Jordan Walker Peer Group is stunning. By the time they’re done, the 21 non-Walkers will have accumulated perhaps 1,000 career WAR. Nice peers.

    Like you, Pads, I am mildly concerned by the right/left splits. But only mildly, since his line v. righties was .291/.364/.477, which is still very robust for an 18-year-old splitting his time between Low & High-A.

    Add in the excellent speed indicators (more triples than GIDP’s, superb SB/CS ratio) and you have a top 5 overall prospect.

    #178241
    Cardinals27
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    Interesting chat by BA answering fan questions. Most questions were about Perez, Herrera, and Walker. Perez was deemed by BA as never being a good enough hitter to be a starter. Herrera was said to have had a bad 2021. I don’t agree with that as Herrera I thought had a good OBP and more pop than he had shown before. I think his hit tool will improve next year at Memphis.
    Walker was mentioned as a candidate to be BA player of the year in 2022,which says a lot of his potential.
    BA also soesn’t think the our farm system is in the top 15. I disagree with that as well I like the improvement of our hitting prospects like Walker, Burleson, Gorman, and Yepez. Gorman improved his contact while still hitting for power. Walker showed his immense talent, well documented by our esteemed posters. Burleson made it all the way to AAA in his first full year. Yepez went from fringe prospect to possible starter in years to come. Plenty to be excited about.
    I think our last 3 drafts have improved our standing overall.

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