Updated: Dec 2, 2017
**For the introduction of what we are doing here and how we are doing it, click on THIS LINK**
THE GUY YOU KNOW
Alex Mejia: Age 26, MLB - 46 AB, 5 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB/0 CS, 13 SO, 5 BB, 109/146/174/320
PROSPECT GRADE: D-
Honestly, there isn't much to talk about in regards to Alex Mejia. At least, the Cardinals didn't think enough of Mejia to keep him on the 40 man. The good news is, Mejia is still in the organization and he'll offer fine defensive depth at the three most important spots in the infield, short stop, third base, and second base. We'll never be able to take away the beautiful game winning 2-run home run that he hit against the Nationals on July 1st. That was easily one of my favorite moments of an otherwise sad season.
Also, quick shout out to Aledmys Diaz. I don't have the slightest idea what you are, but you're there. So there's that!!
*Mejia's stats are MLB only*
TOP 5 PROSPECTS
1. Delvin Perez: Age 19, Rookie Level JC - 118 AB, 24 H, 2 Doubles, 3 Triples, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 5 SB/0 CS, 10 SO, 5 BB, 238/320/357/677
PROSPECT GRADE: B+
I'm only 31 years old, but Delvin Perez makes me feel like Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino, but instead of the classic line "Get off my lawn" I'm shouting "Stop posting selfies on Twitter".
The deal on the field with Delvin during the 2017 season is simple: he struggled at Johnson City, threw a temper tantrum, struggled some more, received a demotion to the GCL to work with instructor Jose Oquendo, ironed some things out, and finally ended the season back in Johnson City. It was an absolutely brutal season for Perez, which is heartbreaking. He's too talented to struggle like that.
There's a lot of talk in the industry about the physical look of Delvin. It has some scouts and teams questioning how his past steroid use has affected him. I guess those are fair concerns, but it's important that we take those concerns as speculation and not as facts. What I know about Perez is that he's the type of 19 year old KID that is awfully concerned with his image and there's reason to believe that he is smaller, leaner, because that's what looks best when you take selfies.
So, yes, there's a maturity issue with Delvin. That is a fact. However, that alone should not tank his stock. Also, his struggles should not tank his stock the way that they have. He just turned 19, and to see so many people jumping ship in regards to Delvin is the perfect example of how reactionary the industry is. The talent is still there. The ability is still there. Now it's a matter of if and when this boy wants to become a man.
And if there's one thing that the rise of Oscar Mercado, and Tommy Pham to a different degree, has taught us it's that we shouldn't be so quick to give up on the ultra-talented just because they haven't been able to put it all together at the ripe age of 18.
But now is the time for him to get his stuff together.
2. Edmundo Sosa: Age 21, Double-A - 219 AB, 63 H, 11 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 3 SB/0 CS, 36 SO, 14 BB, 288/332/361/693
PROSPECT GRADE: B- (It was C+ before his showing in the AFL)
Something unforeseen has happened and I am back on board with Sosa. For the last two offseasons I have been a naysayer, but something has changed and I'm excited to talk about it.
The last two season have been weird for Sosa. He entered the 2016 season coming off of a great 2015 season. He had even found his way into most organizational top 10 lists. He started 2016 in Peoria and really really struggled. The raw talent was evident, but it still needed a lot of work. Then, to start 2017, he was sent to Palm Beach and it was believed that he would be in Springfield by the end of the season. However, he struggled mightily in both the field and the batters box. Then he got hurt. Then he watched Tommy Edman jump over him on the organization's depth chart. His defense, which was/is his bread and butter, looked suspect before the near season-ending injury, and you never want to see a players calling card fall off.
Now, under most circumstances I'd have jumped ship with Sosa (and I did in my mid-season rankings), but what I've seen out of him in the Arizona Fall League has really impressed me. He didn't exactly hit the cover off of the ball to start, but by the time that the AFL ended he was taking walks, hitting a few extra base hits, and playing really great defense at three different defensive positions; third, second, and short.
It's really encouraging to see Sosa take advantage of those AFL at-bats. Maybe I'm fooling myself (I am) but I could see Sosa making a major league impact in 2018 as a defensive sub come September. And don't underestimate his importance to the organization as a defensive minded short stop.
3. Tommy Edman: Age 22, Double-A - 444 AB, 116 H, 22 Doubles, 8 Triples, 5 HR, 55 RBI, 13 SB/5 CS, 71 SO, 38 BB, 261/322/381/702
PROSPECT GRADE: C+
Oh boy, are you going to love Tommy Edman. Edman is the typical gritty/gutsy, over-performing, small-sized, hustle-first player that's been known to induce fits of wet dreaming in Cardinals Nation.
The only difference with Edman and guys like Stubby Clapp and Bo Hart is that Edman is actually worth having a wet dream about. It's a lazy comp, but there is a lot of Joe McEwing in Edman's game and that's worth being at least a little excited about.
When I first started doing this quick listing I had Edman second and, really, he and Sosa are pretty well interchangeable right now. Edman's stat line is going to lie to you and you need to be ready for that. His stats aren't the best, but he never should have made it to Springfield and the fact that he continued to make adjustments and got better as his time there went on is really the important thing to take from his tour in Springfield.
Edman is a smart and dedicated kid and it will be exciting to see where he start and how he ends the 2018 season.
4. Kramer Robertson: Age 23, Single-A - 215 AB, 58 H, 12 Doubles, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 10 SB/4 CS, 36 SO, 20 BB, 270/351/367/719
PROSPECT GRADE: C+
Robertson was the Cardinals 4th round pick out of LSU in the 2017 draft and he performed well during an aggressive, but age appropriate, assignment to Peoria. He has an arm strength issue that has some wondering how long he will stick at short, but I'm anxious to see how it progresses under the Cardinals tutelage. The Cardinals have had a bit of success helping to boost the arms of middle infielders in the past (both DeJong and Edman) and I wouldn't doubt if the same thing happens with Kramer.
While Robertson has a well trained and advanced bat for the lower levels of the minor leagues, his approach is too aggressive for my liking. He spent a good amount of time hitting leadoff for Peoria and on countless occasions he would swing at the first pitch to start a game. Now, often in the minors a player will hit lead off just to get AB's. It isn't exactly about "leading off". That being said, after watching him a lot, I believe that Robertson would be happy if he only had to see one pitch per at bat. That'll need to change as he progresses. Still, Kramer is one helluva 4th round pick. As a matter of fact, I'm more impressed with him now when I think back on his 2017 season than I was when it was going on.
5. Imeldo Diaz: Age 20, Rookie Level SC) - 115 AB, 34 H, 4 Doubles, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 2 SB/0 CS, 21 SO, 11 BB, 296/377/461/838
PROSPECT GRADE: C-
I really really really like Diaz and there's a good chance that I'm skipping some names that deserve to be here more than he does, but I think he's better than any of us realized.
Diaz was acquired from the Red Sox for International Signing Bonus Money in July. He was a highly thought of International Signee back in 2015, but he struggled in the Red Sox system which made him expendable.
Now, from what I've been told, Diaz is more of a third baseman or second baseman than he is a short stop (much like another Diaz higher up in the organization). The good news is that most scouts have been impressed with the way that his bat came to life for Johnson City after the trade. He received a late season promotion to State College, and while he didn't exactly knock the cover off of the ball in that small sample size, he certainly didn't embarrass himself. 2018 is going to be an interesting test for Diaz.
*Diaz' stats are only from his time in the Cardinals organization*
NEXT MAN UP
Edwin Figuera: Age 2o, Rookie Level SC - 194 AB, 55 H, 11 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 12 SB/2 CS, 27 SO, 6 BB, 284/330/366/696
PROSPECT GRADE: D
I can't help but think that, over the next couple of years, I'll be getting asked about Figuera a lot. He has all of the trappings of a Juan Herrerra-type prospect. That is to say, he's fine. He's fine to the point where you'll find yourself wondering about him. Thinking about what he's capable of. He'll always be just the right amount of average to be intriguing. He does play a fine defensive short stop, and you've got to love that.
Thanks For Reading!