Are The St Louis Cardinals Developing Prospects Too Quickly?


Nov 2, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty against the West during the Fall Stars Game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The St Louis Cardinals are one of the best organizations in baseball. It has a great farm system, it has “brand name” players that the casual MLB fan would know and the Cardinals consistently win at a high level. The Cardinals have a big budget but not they are never going to be the New York Yankees when it comes to payroll spending. So to keep playing at a high level, the Cardinals need to have an outstanding scouting staff to find the best players to win baseball games. The Cardinals have been very good at that recently with players like Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Matt Carpenter, and Matt Adams making an impact on the Major League level.

Now with the emergence of Kolton Wong, Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty (pictured above) getting major praise by baseball writers across the country, the question must be asked. Are the St Louis Cardinals developing their prospects too quickly?

In a perfect world, you would like to have your top prospects ready for the major leagues when your aging players are past their prime for a smooth transition on the depth chart. However, the world is not a perfect place. There seems to be a log jam in the outfield if these projections of these top prospects become true.

Oscar Taveras was supposedly ready last year to be the starting right fielder. With Carlos Beltran gone in right field, you would assume Taveras would just step in at right field. However, because another former prospect Matt Adams has a power bat that the Cardinals need at first base, Allen Craig will make the switch to right field. With Peter Bourjos playing in center field and Matt Holliday in left field, there doesn’t seem to be much playing time to go around for Taveras or Piscotty who are both listed as right field prospects.

This is obviously a good dilemma to have but it’s still a dilemma you must solve. Do you trade these prospects away for a similar top tier prospects at shortstop or catcher where the farm system depth isn’t there? Do you wait to see if these players will develop? Do you keep these prospects down in Triple A another year when it’s known they can produce at the MLB level? I believe the Cardinals will let this play out in Spring Training and see where the development is on both of these prospects. Then they will make a decision around June or July on which prospect they would shop around.

I do not believe the Cardinals are developing prospects too quickly because you can never predict when injuries can occur and players are not producing at the level you projected them to produce at. It’s good to keep the farm system stocked full of talent to keep winning at a high level.

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