First, we will start with the breakdown of our top 40 prospects by the year in which they became professionals. Seven prior years of data is provided.
The top 40 population is broken out in two ways. The rows indicate how the players were acquired – via the draft, as free agents from the Latin American program or in the US, their contracts having been purchased from other leagues, acquired in the Rule 5 Draft or in trade.
The other dimension, in the columns, is the year the players became professionals, where N equals the most recent year/draft, N-1 being the prior year, etc.
Top 40 Cardinals Prospects – Sourcing - 2008-2013
|2013 Top 40||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||Tot|
|Latin Am FA||2||2||2||1||7|
|US free agent|
|Rule 5 acquire|
|2012 Top 41||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||Tot|
|Latin Am FA||2||1||1||1||1||6|
|US free agent||1||1|
|Rule 5 acquire||1||1|
|2011 Top 40||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||Tot|
|2010 Top 40||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||2001||Tot|
|2009 Top 40||2008||2007||2006||2005||2004||2003||2001||Tot|
|2008 Top 40||2007||2006||2005||2004||2003||2002||2001||Tot|
We will start with the rows. In terms of draft years, an obvious is the increase in the number in players from the most recent draft that made the top 40. The total from the 2012 draft of seven is the second-most represented draft this year, after 2010 with nine.
|#14 Seth Maness|
The number of top prospects in the N-1 and N-2 years is very strong at 14, but that is mostly an indication of that 2009 class. That total of nine ties for the most of any draft class in any top 40 over the last four years. The Class of 2007 also had nine players on the 2011 list.
After a flat 2012 in terms of the number of top prospects from the Latin American program, the 2013 total is up by one to seven. Still, it remains a bit concerning that the top prospect pipeline from overseas is apparently not flowing more heavily. Perhaps the arrival of Oscar Taveras and Carlos Martinez will soothe that, at least temporarily.
For the first time, there are players acquired in several non-traditional manners - as a US free agent, Brandon Dickson, via the Rule 5 Draft, Erik Komatsu, and as the result of a trade, Maikel Cleto.
The next view is the top 40 by their primary defensive position.
Top 40 Cardinals Prospects – By position – 2007-2013
|Top 40 by position||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007|
|LH Starting Pitcher||4||1||1||3||2||3||4|
|RH Starting Pitcher||10||11||11||10||13||13||13|
For the second consecutive year, the number of catchers has dropped. Not only are there just two, they are ranked near the bottom of the list – Adam Ehrlich and Audry Perez - at number 34 and 38, respectively. If Yadier Molina did not have four years remaining on his current contract, I would be quite concerned.
|#19 Breyvic Valera|
Corner outfield holding steady at four isn't really a big deal until one thinks about it in terms of a dearth of budding power prospects. After Anthony Garcia, every other outfield top 40 member is of the speedy, centerfield type.
Other than Matt Adams, there are no first base prospects. Given the relative ease of shifting others to the position, it isn't a major concern, except in the power context mentioned just above.
Top 40 starting pitchers are at their highest total in four years. The growth is solely fueled by an increase in left-handers from one in each of the last two years to three in 2013. That is an encouraging sign.
It seems redundant to mention possible focus areas in the 2013 draft as catchers, shortstops, power-hitting outfielders and left-handed pitching, but that seems again the case.
Runners-Up (name/overall ranking)
I will close with this year's "Runners-Up" - those players that made the Top 40, but not the 2013 All-Prospect Team. This also provides a quick visual snapshot of system-wide depth by name and position.
Catcher (1): Audry Perez (38)
First base (0): none
Shortstop (1): Pete Kozma (29)
Third base (2): Stephen Piscotty (12), Patrick Wisdom (18)
Corner outfield (2): Mike O'Neill (32), Colin Walsh (36)
Centerfield (3): Charlie Tilson (21), Adron Chambers (23), C.J. McElroy (31)
Right-handed starting pitcher (9): Trevor Rosenthal (3), Michael Wacha (4), Carlos Martinez (5), Tyrell Jenkins (8), Jordan Swagerty (11), Seth Maness (14), Boone Whiting (25), Seth Blair (30), Victor De Leon (37)
Left-handed reliever (0): none
Again, for more information about these players, click on their highlighted names above to be taken to their free The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com player profile pages with bios, photos, news and more!
To reference our entire list of top 40 Cardinals prospects for 2013 and read about each individual player, click here. You can learn about each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections and much more.
Next up: This article series nears its conclusion as we take a look at the best and worst picks from the 2012 top 40 and the top prospects by level.
Our 2013 top 40 series continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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