St. Louis Cardinals rank 2nd in ESPN’s MLB Future Power Rankings

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The St. Louis Cardinals ranked 2nd when ESPN released their MLB Future Power Rankings covering the next five Major League Baseball seasons.

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The Cardinals were second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

ESPN MLB analysts Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney were asked to rank all 30 teams in Major League Baseball and had to weigh five different categories into those rankings. The five categories are Majors, Minors, Finance, Management, and Mobility with Majors and Minors playing a big role in the rankings. The details on how the categories breakdown can be found on this page.

When it comes to the Cardinals, Olney writes that the team’s “inherent stability will help it cope” after Sunday’s tragic passing of Oscar Taveras. Olney is right in this regard that the team is stable. In an interview, staff ace Adam Wainwright tells Bernie Miklasz that the Cardinals “get through this as a unit.” However, the team’s long-term plans for their outfield and roster have certainly changed to say the least.

The dilemma for the Cardinals, writes Bowden, is that the club will “simply need to improve their depth in the bullpen and on the bench, as well as continue to stock the system through the draft and with international signings.”

This is an area where the Cardinals won’t have a problem, especially considering their success in the Major League draft. With the bullpen, the Cardinals can pluck arms from the Minor League system. The bench, as Cardinals fans should know, is a different story. The Cardinals will have to do better than a Shane Robinson or a Daniel Descalso when it comes to bats off the bench. It’s one thing for defense in the late innings, it’s another for offense. Fortunately for the organization, they will have some solid prospects closing in on their debuts in the seasons to come.

One prospect that Law has an eye on is second baseman Jacob Wilson, a product of the Memphis Tigers drafted by the Cardinals in the 10th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. Wilson had a shorter than preferred season after tearing his meniscus. In 66 games split between Palm Beach and Springfield, Wilson hit .302/.362/.460 with 5 home runs and 41 runs batted in. Defensively, Wilson has seen time at both second and third base.

Law believes that Wilson “should project at least as an everyday player.” With Kolten Wong playing second and Matt Carpenter covering third, the question is where.

Wilson is making up for lost time and playing for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League. In 15 games so far, Wilson is hitting .268/.328/.393

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