August 24, 2017 at 3:22 pm #31515
Look st some of the “big bats” and tell me how people knew they would be “big bats” at the MLB label. Votto hit 22 home runs at AAA the season before he was called up. He had hit 22 the year before at AA.
McCutcheon had an OPS of .791 in his 780 at bats at the AAA level.
14 total home runs and 75 total RBIs.
You never know. So to
say we don’t have any “big bats” in our system could come back and bite. It takes time for players to develop.August 24, 2017 at 5:04 pm #31518
Uh, it didn’t take your examples very long to develop at all. McCutchen was only 21 years old at Triple-A. Votto was 23. They were ranked among the top prospects in the game as they came up through the minors. Their success was not surprising.
The last position player the Cardinals had like that was Oscar Taveras. The next sure isn’t likely to be Wisdom, who turns 26 this weekend or Voit, who is already 26, for example.
But if something wonderful happened and an all-star power hitter developed in the system down the road, would it be bad to have two? Or maybe a new MV3? (Remember that two of them were acquired via trade and the third one made his MLB debut at 21 years of age.) The current team doesn’t even have an MV0.5.
The club has been in decline for several years. Waiting and hoping should not be Plan A.August 24, 2017 at 5:27 pm #31519
OT was riding on a reputation he garnered at Peoria in 2011 and to a certain extent at Springfield in 2012. His numbers went downhill from there, if you are referring to him as a “big Bat” on the rise –
2009 – Dom – – 272 PAs – 1HR/42RBI/.357/.338/.731
2010 – GCL/JC – 260 PAs – 8 HRs/45RBI/.303/.342/.828
2011 – Peoria – 347 PAs – 8 HRs/62 RBI/.386/.444/.828
2012 – Springfield – 531 PAs – 23 HRs/94 RBI/.321/.380/.953\
2013 – Memphis – 188 PAs – 5 HRs/32 RBI/.310/.348..819
2014 – Memphis – 262 PAs – 8 HRs/49RBI/.318/.370/.872
2014 – Cardinals – 248 PAs – 3HRs/22RBI/.239/.278/.590
Plus he had some limitations on defense and on the bases. He was anything but a surefire star in the making. The jury was still out, just like it’s out on Piscotty, Grichuk, Bader, O’Neill, etc.
You can point to age, but that still doesn’t give you any assurances.August 24, 2017 at 5:35 pm #31521
This discussion isn’t about Taveras anyway. You can write off all the scouts who ranked him among the top prospects in the game for multiple years, but it does not change the key points made about the current team.
Let’s forget Oscar entirely and call Albert Pujols the last legitimate big bat the Cardinals developed. How does that help your argument that the next one is in the system now and just needs more time to develop?
And I honestly have no idea how citing McCutchen and Votto has any relevance to your assertion.August 24, 2017 at 5:49 pm #31522
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Taveras could mashAugust 24, 2017 at 6:03 pm #31524
How about going to the MLB.com list of Top 100 prospects in all the minors. I believe that represents the top 1-2% of all the minor leaguers. In 2012 Piscotty was ranked #51. In 2016 O’Neill was #60 and Bader was
#83. At mid-season 2017 Kelly was #36, O’Neill #96, and Bader #99. What makes you so sure that they won’t become a “big bat” at the major league level. My point in bringing up others is that their numbers didn’t really reach “big bat” level until they made it to the majors and adjusted to the majors. Their numbers were pretty similar to our top prospects right now.August 24, 2017 at 6:08 pm #31525
Taveras had 8 home runs in 262 plate appearances at Memphis in 2014. When he was called up to the Cardinals he had 3 home runs in 248 plate appearances. That’s 11 home runs in 510 plate appearances.
The year before that, he had 5 home runs in 188 plate appearances.
Do you really call that mashing?August 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm #31528
Tyler O’Neill could be the big bat Cards need .He does strikeout a lot but he also walks a decent amount.He just turned 22 this midseason so he should be able to be coached up to cut his K”s and walk a bit more.A younger RG type with better plate discipline.He has slumped a bit lately but the power is very good.Solid defense.
As for a homegrown power bat-maybe Bader.August 24, 2017 at 7:13 pm #31532
There is more to prospect assessment/scouting/rankings than just stats. As the prospect rankings cited above indicate, the stock of Bader and O’Neill are both dropping in comparison to others nationally. Guys like Votto and McCutchen were TOP prospects, not down in the #96 and #99 range. Part of Kelly’s value is his premium defense, as much or more his differentiator than his bat.
The 2018 Cardinals will need help on offense and counting on Bader and O’Neill to step in and fill the gap seems incredibly optimistic – especially considering how this year’s gambles (Grichuk, Diaz, Piscotty, etc.) turned out. And by the way, the 2017 flops all came into the season with MLB experience that neither Bader nor O’Neiil has. And of course, Kelly cannot step in since he is blocked by Molina for the next three-plus years.August 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm #31534
That’s okay, Brian. We can agree to disagree on this. I just hold our top prospects in higher regard than you do. And I don’t pretend to know in advance whether they’re going to work out or not. No problem.August 24, 2017 at 7:50 pm #31538
Many teams’ fans feel their team’s prospects are underrated nationally. I am not among them as I don’t profess to know the other 29 teams’ prospects well enough to disagree with national rankings.
On the key point of this thread, if you think Bader, O’Neill and/or Kelly are going to fill the need for a big bat in the middle of St. Louis’ lineup starting in April of 2018, then yes, we will have to agree to disagree.
Or if you think the Cards can afford to wait another year to see if they develop and not address the offensive needs externally, we will again have to agree to disagree.
P.S. I am particularly confused when recalling your comments when the manager was being criticized. You attributed the team’s underperformance this season to the front office putting too much trust in young players and letting Holliday and his leadership go. Yet, you don’t appear to want to improve the lineup other than by adding more unproven young players. Why do you expect the results will be different next time?August 24, 2017 at 8:20 pm #31543
Holliday is missed. He provided leadership in so many ways. He wasn’t a “big” bat ala Votto, Bryant, etc. Just a very solid reliable bat. And quietly set an example off the field.
I wasn’t particularly high on DeJong, but he’s done extremely well this year. That’s one of the reasons I don’t want to prejudge
Piscotty, Bader, O’Neill, etc.August 24, 2017 at 9:31 pm #31552
Holliday was a very solid, reliable bat? Well, maybe a few years ago, but the last couple of years he has hit in the .240s and now the .220s. We have enough reliable bats like that already.August 24, 2017 at 10:15 pm #31559
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BC, you say McCutchen is a big bat and cite his minor league numbers. You then basically write off Taveras because his “numbers went downhill”. Despite Taveras hitting 23 home runs in AA, which is more than McCutchen hit any 1 year until his 3rd year in the majors?
I think the best thing I can do is not continue any more in this ridiculous discussion.August 25, 2017 at 7:08 am #31562
I fail to see why O’Neill ranks higher earlier this season and then gets traded to Cardinals and immediately drops down in the rankings.So I take rankings with a grain of salt.So many ranked prospects never make a impact at all and many end up being role players.Very few become big stars and the Cards haven’t really produced a really big star since Albert Pujols.Molina has been a all-star many times but his defense was his main calling card although the offense picked up over the years.But as for a homegrown Big offensive bat nobody since Pujols.August 25, 2017 at 7:23 am #31563
You honestly believe that O’Neill was dropped in the national rankings from the start of the season to the middle simply because he was traded? Really?
That it had nothing to do with him getting off to a very rough start to the season?
Through the first two months of this season, on June 1 of this year, O’Neill was batting .210 with just five homers. On July 1, he was at .225 with 11 homers.
Since joining Memphis, he is batting .229 with a .275 OBP. He is whiffing at a 32% rate and walking just 6% of the time. Sure looks like he is ready to save the Cardinals!
C’mon folks. The national raters do not have it out for Cardinals prospects. O’Neill dropped because his performance dropped. This spring, the talk was about when he would make his MLB debut this season. Based on his performance, it may not occur.
P.S. I think the trade to acquire him was a good one. I also think O’Neill will eventually help the MLB team – but not yet. This entire thread is about how to improve this winter for 2018.August 25, 2017 at 7:40 am #31564
Grichuk, Piscotty, and Diaz flops? No, I don’t think it’s quite that bad. Disappointments, sure, but they’re still developing players.
Forsch – the comparisons of players who didn’t do much better than our present guys but matured into big bats at the MLB level must have fallen on ears unwilling to listen. And the stats I gave of Taveras his last 2 years must have hit a wall with you. Plus his weaknesses on defense, that were causing the Cardinal to entertain offers. You’re right, discontinuing the conversation is probably in your best interest.
One last one for Brian – how many players on the recent World Champion Giants had an OPS above 1.000? How many above .900? How many above .800? The answer is zero, zero, and 2. How many on that team had more than 40 home runs? above 30 home runs? Above 20 home runs. The answer is zero, zero, and 1. How were they so successful without a big bat? Balance. Up and down the lineup.August 25, 2017 at 7:44 am #31567
OK, because you found one example of a World Championship team without a big bat, then all teams should be that way. Great logic.
Time for me to join forsch.August 25, 2017 at 7:57 am #31568
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Absolutely no doubt about it, the Cards need a big bat in the lineup. We were spoiled with Pujols all those years and Holliday to an extent after him. There are a bunch of “nice” hitters in the system, including a lot at the MLB level. One *could* turn into a masher but the odds are against it. It’s just as likely that Bader, Kelly, Voit, etc become average offensive types. That gets you a decent floor but limited upside.
The one guy on the farm that I have hopes to become a legit premium bat at this point is Dylan Carlson…and he’s so far away that it’d be silly to project that at this point.August 25, 2017 at 7:58 am #31569
Okay, leave the discussion, Brian, but you and I both know that when you get right down to it, it’s pitching and defense that win championships. Also, I look at a rookie on our roster right now who’s hitting .301 at the major league level with 20 home runs in only 286 at bats and it causes me to not shut the door on our prospects like Bader, O’Neill, Adonis Garcia, etc. and say “we don’t have any big bats in our system”. Just a personal choice.August 25, 2017 at 8:10 am #31572
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Well, they said he transitioned poorly to AAA. He actually dropped from 29 to the 70s prior to the trade and then dropped to 97ish now.August 25, 2017 at 8:12 am #31573
Brian-you misunderstood my point.I did not mean that Cards prospects are intentionally being devalued by the “experts”.I meant to show that the ratings vary quite a bit depending on who does the ratings.I know John Sickels,Baseball America and MLB.com all rate prospects and there are differences of opinions on prospects.That`s what I apparently failed to get across.August 25, 2017 at 8:17 am #31574
As for Tyler O`Neill transitioning poorly to AAA that is true.He was and is one of the youngest players in the league also and is playing opponets who are older and more experienced for the most part.He has struggled but he has produced a RBI per game since joining Memphis and he should improve as he matures.August 25, 2017 at 8:22 am #31576
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If you want an all-around power bat from within the system: take the body of Voit- the speed of Bader- the BA of Martini- the defense of Sierra and the age and AAA power of O’Neill. That there is a solid prospect. I say we would need to go outside to find something like that, but all we really need is a guy that puts fear into opposing teams. Anything other qualities would help.
Finding an all-star major-league caliber player before he becomes one is no easy shot. A lot of highly ranked prospects never convert their potential to MLB. There are many other things to consider besides raw talent and like raw talent some important ones cannot be taught. If you feel that one should go solely on 1.0 to 10.0 subjective numbers of “experts” (power is one of them) I guess that’s one way of ranking prospects and looking for a power bat.August 25, 2017 at 8:27 am #31577
As for improving the team for 2018 I think Free Agency will end up being what the FO does for a bat ( JD Martinez,Jay Bruce,todd Frazier) .I think some OF surplus will be traded for bullpen help.I think someone or two from (Pham,Grichuk,Sierra,Piscotty) will be tradebait.Pham because he is having good season although his eye issues and age might drop his value a bit.Grichuk for his power and potential.Piscotty if he rebounds had a good 2016 and is still younger 27 has some value.Sierra because of his speed and potential.
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