05/19/2004: The state of the Cardinals farm system...
may not be as dire as I feared. The Cardinal Nation gives us an organization report which has some good news, I think. First, Part IIB of Our Prospect Watch, on Tennessee Smokies' hurler Brad Thompson:
Finally we get to the biggest story coming out of the Cardinals farm this season. Brad Thompson has been absolutely stellar through his first seven starts. The 22 year old has yet to yeild a run through his first 43.1 innings this season and will be looking to break the alltime minor league record in his next outing. Thompson hasn't just been getting lucky either he has simply dominated the AA opposition. He has more strikeouts than walks and hits combined (22 hits 5 walks and 32 strikeouts). When the guy gets behind or lets men on base he buckles down and handles the pressure extremely well. His last outing was rusty, but he held his composure, took a linedrive off the ankle, and still left the game without a blemish on his era. His next start will be Wednesday so check the site for the live game feed.I wonder if Brad could wind up in Memphis in the latter half of the season, with a September cup of coffee in The Show? Stranger things have happened (though there's a small warning horn sounding off in the back of my mind saying, "Rick Ankiel"; let's hope that Thompson is given sufficient time to mature). And despite the 11-2 shellacking Tacoma was handing us by the top of the 8th inning last night (which is when I turned off the TV and decided to put a dent in the book I'm reading), apparently things aren't completely dismal in Memphis:
The Cardinals future lies with in the ranks of AAA Memphis. Next years lineup will most likely consist of Dan Haren, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and John Gall. Haren and Wainwright are currently polishing their game with the club while Molina and Gall continue to rip the cover off of ball. In 28 games Molina is batting .340, is slugging well over .400, and has 12 walks compared to 8 strikeouts. The only problem I see with Molina right now is the passed balls he has allowed this season. He is the younger brother of Benji and Jose Molina though, so his lackluster performance behind the plate shouldn't hold up. John Gall should be a solid contender for a starting job in the outfield next season. Through 35 games he is batting .328 and is slugging over .500. He has 8 homeruns, 28 RBIs, and 22 runs. He doesn't steal many bases, but his production at the plate will more than make up for it. Gall should see significant playing time with the club next year and be a solid contributor. The pitching has been what's peaking peoples interest in Memphis. The rotation in St. Louis next season will consist of their top two pitchers Adam Wainwright and Danny Haren. Haren has been pretty solid with the Memphis club. He has been prone to the long ball so far though, giving up 10 homeruns in 52.2 innings. [*sarcasm mode on* This means that he'd fit right in in the current starting rotation; I wonder why they haven't called him up to St. Louis yet. *sarcasm mode off --LRC] Other than the homerun stat Haren has been fantastic. As most of you know he currently leads the PCL in strikeouts with 69, he boasts a 3.59 ERA, and allowed only 15 free passes. His k/bb ratio is over 4 so his control has been fantastic. Wainwright has been almost toe to toe with Haren. Other than the ridiculous strikeout totals tallied up by Haren they have comparable stats. Both are in the top 25 in the PCL in WHIP and their ERAs are only seperated by .3 of a point. Wainwright has done a better job of keeping the ball in the park giving up only 3 homeruns so far. He has pitched 37.2 innings in 7 starts.
Len on 05.19.04 @ 08:59 AM CST