The St. Louis Cardinals have seen an abundance of young players within the past two seasons being called up. Kolten Wong made his debut last season close to last season’s playoffs. Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal all made their debut in 2012. Now the new crop of Cardinals prospects have fans buzzing.
Oscar Taveras, OF (AAA Memphis)
Taveras has been sitting atop the Cardinals’ prospect list for the last two seasons. Fans got a sneak peek as to what to look forward to for the future of the ball club during this year’s spring training. Many thought he would get his call up during the first interleague series with the New York Yankees, hoping to see him perform in the outfield or simply as a DH. As fans know, this was not the case. But, the wait was short lived. Due to the Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams being sent to the disabled list, Taveras got the call to the show.
Taveras will be making his first debut today against the San Francisco Giants. He will be debuting in right field as Allen Craig fills in at first as Adams is away.
Taveras brings more than youth and speed to the Cards’ outfield; he brings a solid bat as well. This lefthanded hitter has been dubbed the nickname “Baby Vlad,” swinging out of his shoes much like former Los Angeles Anaheim Angels outfielder Vladamir Guerroro. Power hitting has been something the Cardinals have been lacking, leaving many runners on base. With a .325 average, seven homers and 40 RBIs in 49 games with the AAA affiliate Memphis Redbirds, Taveras is nothing short of a major leaguer.
This 21 year-old will perform at a high level for Cardinals and fans will most definitely get a great showing of baseball with Taveras in the roster. I give him a solid A- and can’t wait to see what he does in his debut.
Rob Kaminsky, LHP (A Peoria)
Rob Kaminsky is a 19 year-old left-handed pitcher who is showing signs of Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha, minor leaguers themselves not so long ago. In 4 starts with the Peoria Chiefs, Kaminsky has an 0-1 record, but has only posted a 1.83 ERA and 19 strikeouts.
This New Jersey native southpaw has got a fantastic curveball, backed up with solid high 80s, low 90s fastball. Rounding off his three pitch rotation is his progressing changeup. If Kaminsky stays healthy and doesn’t overthrow his curveball, it won’t be too long before fans hear his name during a Baseball Tonight recap.
I give Kaminsky a B- in the hopes that he continues to shut down hitters the way he has been as of late.
Stephen Piscotty, OF (AAA Memphis)
Piscotty joins Taveras as another top outfielder prospect within the Redbirds farm system. With 53 games with Memphis, Piscotty has had a promising .292 average and a .426 slugging percentage. While he doesn’t have raw homerun hitting power, he does hit for line drives, which has allowed him to bring in 29 RBIs already this season.
Since being drafted out of Stanford, Piscotty has transitioned from his original third base position to right field. With being a versatile player, he improves his opportunity to be brought up to the bigs and be moved around between third and outfield. This gives general manager John Mozeliak more depth in the positions the Cardinals has seen some injuries at.
I give Stephen Piscotty a B- in anticipation that he improves his average and continues to bring in runs.