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  • Luhnow discusses player development on 1380

    From Ben Boyd, the show's producer...

    VP of Player Procurement Jeff Luhnow Discusses Cardinals Minor League System

    Vice President of Player Procurement Jeff Luhnow joined Bernie Miklasz and Randy Karraker Tuesday afternoon from Venezuela where he is recruiting players. He had lunch with the family of a 16 year-old prospect who is looking for a fit for their son. Their main question is if their child is going to be taken care of. Jeff said they will fargo a higher offer if there is a better fit for their child.

    parisiLuhnow is excited about having quality players at AAA-Memphis this year such as Mike Parisi, who was just called up and pitched great last night. Parisi was taken in the 9th round, and is the first player from that draft to make it to the big leagues. Jeff said it's great to not have to look outside of the organization and to move someone up from the level below.

    "In the past if we had a spot to fill, we usually had to comb the wire and didn't necessarily have anyone to bring up," he said.

    Luhnow said he thinks Chris Perez, Mark Worrell, and Chris Motte are all capable of contributing to the big league roster if needed.

    "If there is a need I don't think I would hesitate to tell the guys in St. Louis that they are ready," he said. "All three are a phone call away from the big leagues."

    Peter Kozma is a little ahead of where Jeff thought he would be at this time. He showed in spring training that he was ready for A-ball, and he has impressed the coaches with both his bat and defense. He has also become a team leader.

    Adam Ottavino had some soreness in his arm and hadn't pitched well in his last few outings so he was put on the 7-day DL. Jeff said he isn't too concerned about it. Adam has hit a few milestones already and he should make his next start. Jeff thinks he will be a major league pitcher, but is just going through some bumps in the road.

    rasmuxLuhnow was in Memphis a couple weeks ago and said that Colby Rasmus is going through something he will have to go through at each level. At triple-A the pitchers recognize that Colby is the top prospect, and he just isn't getting pitches to hit. Jeff is confident that he will figure it out and come back strong.

    Jeff said that David Freese's biggest asset is his bat, but he has played well defensively so far in Memphis this year. He thinks that he will be at least an average defensive third baseman.

    Jeff Todd was named pitcher of the year and was just promoted to double-A, and will start tomorrow.

    Steven Hill had a tremendous first year, and is continuing it this year hitting the ball well in a pitchers' league. He has pretty much mastered A-ball a little over a year out from being drafted.

    Rams' draft pick Chris Long's brother is a collegiate pitcher who may be a first round draft pick this year, and Jeff said they are looking at him. Kyle Long who is a 6'7" lefthander, is a good looking pitcher, and we have interest in him. It will come down to where he is drafted and if he thinks his offer is enough to take him away from school.

    The guys also talked about other prospects including Tyler Green, and they talked more in detail about scouting Latin American players.

    Listen to it here

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    Good news on Kozma, we haven't had a legitimate prospect at short in god knows how long. (Cromer!) I remember that pick being a bit off the radar at the time.
    You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

    Comment


    • #3
      Jeff Todd?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by backstop View Post
        Jeff Todd?
        Typo. He meant Jesse Todd.
        http://futureredbirds.com/2008/01/28...ile-jess-todd/
        http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...pbp&pid=519357
        Last edited by dhaab; 05-07-2008, 01:20 AM.
        *Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq

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        • #5
          Peter Kozma is a little ahead of where Jeff thought he would be at this time. He showed in spring training that he was ready for A-ball, and he has impressed the coaches with both his bat and defense. He has also become a team leader.
          I particularly like the last sentence. Very good news.

          jj twiggs - A great family restaurant

          Dear God, KBF here. I'd just like to say thanks, once again, for allowing Dusty Baker and I to live during the same time period. Every time I think he's given me his last gift -- overpitching Prior in the playoffs, getting cocky in Game 6 vs. the Angels, blowing another game for the Cubs -- he does something stupid like pitching to Albert Pujols. Thy will be done, baby!!!!!

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          • #6
            Honestly, shortstop is the only position right now where the Cardinals don't have anyone who could be at least a fill-in player - several guys could use more seasoning, but would could serve as an injury replacement in a pinch. And many are basically ready now. I'm talking young homegrown or acquired hitters, not AAAA roster filler:

            Catcher
            Bryan Anderson - Recently called up to Memphis, he was dominating Springfield offensively (.388/.412/.525). He started slow at Memphis, but he's starting to hit. Also has progressed defensively to the point where he's no longer a liability behind the plate.

            1st Base
            Joe Mather - Playing the outfield currently but is good enough defensively to play at first if needed. Currently hitting .315/.464/.556 (!) at Memphis. I me some Joe Mather...

            2nd Base
            Jarett Hoffpauir - Honestly, he reminds me of Adam Kennedy. Good but not great with the glove, he's a very good singles hitter who's just doing OK at Memphis this year, hitting .277/.339/.337. He hit better last year at Memphis, though, and I've no doubt he's capable of more than he's showing this year. I wouldn't hesitate to call him up as an injury replacement.

            Third Base
            David Freese - Acquired in the Edmonds trade, Freese is hitting well enough (.283/.324/.475 overall, but .320/.346/.547 against RHP) and apparently doing well enough with the glove. He needs more time, but could do OK at STL in an emergency.

            Joe Mather - See 1B. He's played here before, but my understanding is he's adequate at best defensively, and more likely to be a liability.

            Shortstop
            ?? - Honestly, the best option is already on the team in Brendan Ryan. Kozma's been impressive at A ball, but is some time away from being ML-ready. There's no one else in the minors who's hit well enough to merit consideration.

            Outfield
            Colby Rasmus - His Memphis initiation has been miserable - he's hitting .220/.307/.358. That said, it's encouraging that his OBP is nearly 80 points higher than his average - he's drawn 18 walks already - and his BABIP is a low .220, indicating he's hitting into a bit of bad luck. He's also stolen five bases already, despite not getting on base much. He's still our best outfielder and will be a star for years in the bigs, but would not be the first OFer called up were there a need right now.

            Joe Mather - See 1B for the offensive numbers. He's turned himself into a creditable defensive outfielder, too.

            Nick Stavinoha - Poor Nick. All he's doing in Memphis is hitting .350/.393/.534. Despite that, he's the third best (!) outfielder in Memphis, and eighth on the ML Depth chart. He's just destroyed LHP historically, but this year despite a .400 OBP, he has only two extra-base hits against lefties this year. The knock on him is defense - he's just OK.

            Starting Pitchers
            Mike Parisi - We saw what he's capable a couple of nights ago in relief, but he was a starter in Memphis. He had a bad year at Memphis last year, with a 4.91 ERA and 192 hits allowed in 165 IP, good for a 1.56 WHIP. That said, he had nearly a 2/1 K/BB ratio, and when pitching well he's a groundball machine. He's got good stuff - he just needs to show he can use it effectively.

            Mitchell Boggs - Mitch grabbed Dave Duncan's attention with an impressive showing in ST. In his first year at Memphis, he's 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA and has a 1.03 WHIP, holding batters to a .198 average. His only black mark this year is three HR allowed in six starts.

            Hugo Castellanos - Hugo also opened some eyes in ST. He's been just OK in Memphis this year, going 1-0 in three starts and seven relief appearances with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. He's been better as a starter, posting a 3.18 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Three starts is a small sample size, but it's in line with what he did last year at Memphis.

            Jaime Garcia - There was concern about Jaime's health after he ended the '07 season on the DL with a stiff shoulder. He's allayed those concerns by going 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in six starts in Springfield. He also struck out 41 in 35 IP, allowing only 16 walks. He's just been promoted to Memphis, but has yet to start.

            PJ Walters - He has trouble breaking 85 mph with his fastball, but he continues to miss bats. An eleventh-round pick in the '06 draft, he's rocketed through the system. This year he's gone 1-2 with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP and a 34/8 K/BB ration in 36 IP in Springfield, and allowed two earned runs, walking one and striking out four in 5.0 IP in his first start at Memphis.

            Relief Pitchers
            Jason Motte - Drafted as a catcher, he was good defensively but couldn't hit Izturis' weight, much less his own, in the low minors. If I remember the story correctly, his manager (Maybe Pop Warner?) recommended he use his rocket arm on the mound instead of behind the plate, and a prospect was (re)born. Jason hass struck out 42% of the batters he's faced. The numbers: a 1.76 ERA, a .93 WHIP (!), and 24 Ks against only 4 walks in 14 appearances covering 15.1 innings pitched at Memphis. I'd say he's ready.

            Chris Perez - The knock against Chris has always been his control. He seems to have made some progress there without affecting his effectiveness. In his first year in Memphis, the closer-in-waiting has put up some fantastic numbers: a 1.84 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and a 18/7 K/BB ratio in 15 appearances covering 14.2 IP. Batters are hitting just .189 against him.

            Mark Worrell - His unorthodox delivery has served him well, and he's done a decent job at Memphis. He misses a lot of bats - he's fanned 40% of the guys faced. This year, when he doesn't miss bats, he's allowed a decent number of runners. Despite that, he's kept guys from scoring. His numbers: a 2.87 ERA, a 1.51 WHIP, and 24Ks against 8 walks in 13 appearances covering 15.2 IP.

            The turnaround of this organization's player development in just a few years is nothing short of astounding, IMO. There's truly a wealth of talent to tap.

            -RBB

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a feeling the backstop tandem next year will be Anderson and Molina...

              "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
              Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
              -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

              Comment


              • #8
                GREAT post, RBB!

                Jon Jay is one of my favorites to eventually be a very good major league player and he's not even mentioned in the Mo discussion...at least I didn't see it anywhere.
                Last edited by dhaab; 05-07-2008, 12:44 PM.
                *Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is Kyle Long a hard thrower, or just a big, soft tossing Lummox?

                  Being 6'7" , or Howie's other kid, doesn't mean shit.

                  Mark Mulder is 6'6".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jack Daniels View Post
                    Is Kyle Long a hard thrower, or just a big, soft tossing Lummox?

                    Being 6'7" , or Howie's other kid, doesn't mean shit.

                    Mark Mulder is 6'6".
                    According to Benie, he sits at ~93-94 MPH.

                    -RBB

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RBB, you know what I'm going to say, but...I look at your list, and while they're all fine as 15-day replacements if somebody goes down, I just don't see many full-time guys there. Anderson and Rasmus for position guys, Garcia (thank god his shoulder was fine) and Perez on the hill. There are guys lower down, to be sure -- Mortensen, Kozma, etc. But I'll be happy when these guys are forcing decisions.

                      I know, I'm a big downer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by backstop View Post
                        RBB, you know what I'm going to say, but...I look at your list, and while they're all fine as 15-day replacements if somebody goes down, I just don't see many full-time guys there. Anderson and Rasmus for position guys, Garcia (thank god his shoulder was fine) and Perez on the hill. There are guys lower down, to be sure -- Mortensen, Kozma, etc. But I'll be happy when these guys are forcing decisions.

                        I know, I'm a big downer.
                        On the other hand, we might have thought the same thing a year or two ago about Ankiel, Ludwick, Ryan and Schu, and all are contributing now. Either the Cards have gotten real lucky, or somebody knows something about player development.
                        "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                        --Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kennyboyerfan View Post
                          On the other hand, we might have thought the same thing a year or two ago about Ankiel, Ludwick, Ryan and Schu, and all are contributing now. Either the Cards have gotten real lucky, or somebody knows something about player development.
                          Can we get credit for developing Ankiel? Ludwick came from outside the org. Ryan can't crack Izturis' spot in the starting lineup, and Schu, bless him, spent a long time in AAA, etc. They're all fine, and I'm not taking anything away from them. Just saying I'd rather have fewer blue-chippers than a lot of Hoffpauirs and Mathers and Hugos. Easier said than done, of course.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by backstop View Post
                            Can we get credit for developing Ankiel? Ludwick came from outside the org. Ryan can't crack Izturis' spot in the starting lineup, and Schu, bless him, spent a long time in AAA, etc. They're all fine, and I'm not taking anything away from them. Just saying I'd rather have fewer blue-chippers than a lot of Hoffpauirs and Mathers and Hugos. Easier said than done, of course.
                            Re: Ankiel. Seems to me like we can. Of course, God gets most of the credit.
                            "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                            --Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by backstop View Post
                              Can we get credit for developing Ankiel? Ludwick came from outside the org. Ryan can't crack Izturis' spot in the starting lineup, and Schu, bless him, spent a long time in AAA, etc. They're all fine, and I'm not taking anything away from them. Just saying I'd rather have fewer blue-chippers than a lot of Hoffpauirs and Mathers and Hugos. Easier said than done, of course.
                              Gotta crawl before you can walk though. I'll take having actual major league calibur players in the system right now compaired to the crap we've had in years past that was mostly AAAA players or low level prospects. And the more major league calibur players we get(even if they aren't projected as stars) the better chance you have to find one or two that turns into a really good MLB player.

                              Albert is a prime example of this. 13th round pick. Solid prospect but wasn't projected as a superstar. Then boom. Obviously, he's a once in a generation type player, but you never know. If you can have decent to good talent throughout your farm, some of them will turn into very good MLB players eventually. Or so says the law of averages.
                              Last edited by Cardz82; 05-07-2008, 03:10 PM.
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