As we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2014 edition of Spring Training, publications and websites are publishing their lists of top prospects.
For an organization deep in pitching, the St. Louis Cardinals did not have a single left-handed pitcher in the top ten left-handed pitchers announced today. The list of shortstops were released yesterday but, as expected, the Cardinals did not have one in the top ten.
Despite the number of rookies that graduated to the big leagues during the 2013 season, not a single pitcher was ranked in the top ten for left-handed or right handed pitchers. Overall, Wong was listed as the top prospect at second base going into the 2013 season.
The scouting report on Wong:
Wong is an aggressive hitter who doesn’t draw many walks, but he also doesn’t strike out much. He makes consistent hard contact and has more extra-base power than most expect when they see his small and compact frame. Wong will use the whole field and has good instincts on the basepaths. He’s also a solid defender at second base, and those plus instincts help him in the field as well.
The report on Taveras:
The St. Louis Cardinals have developed some All-Star-caliber position players in recent years, starting of course with Albert Pujols and including Yadier Molina. Taveras has every chance to be next in line, the kind of talent that doesn’t come around all too often. Always young for his level, he has hit everywhere he’s gone, and in 2012, the power most felt he had started to show up consistently in games. Taveras has a ton of bat speed and rarely strikes out. His improvement in terms of plate discipline has made him an even more dangerous hitter, one who looks like a sure-fire middle-of-the-order run producer. With that offensive profile and his strong arm, Taveras looks like a future right fielder, but he played a lot of center field in 2012 and could see time there as well, at least in the short run. Regardless of where he plays, the Cardinals will have a hard time keeping his bat out of the lineup for too long.
Taveras, despite injury, should be in the top five overall prospects when the 2014 Top 100 Prospects list is unveiled on Thursday, January 23, 2014. An hour-long show will air later that evening on the MLB Network.