St. Louis Cardinals 2016 Top Prospects: #17 Mike Ohlman
The St. Louis Cardinals have been working to groom a catcher to come up to the big leagues sooner rather than later, this prospect is evidence.
Last offseason, the St. Louis Cardinals got themselves quite the interesting Top Prospect for cash considerations. They acquired Mike Ohlman last offseason from the Baltimore Orioles, and are looking to see what he can offer them at the catcher position, as they look to replace the potential hall of fame catcher Yadier Molina soon.
Ohlman struggled with the Orioles in 2014, which made the organization sour on him. A better season in 2015 with the Springfield Cardinals makes Ohlman quite an intriguing player.
So, what makes Ohlman so good?
#17 Mike Ohlman C/1B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Scout Grade: Hit: 45 | Power: 45 | Run: 20 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45
Analysis: I may like Ohlman’s potential, but I do not see Ohlman sticking at catcher. While there really aren’t much in the way of metrics on defense for catchers (especially minor league players), Ohlman does not impress defensively behind the plate.
As I mentioned before, Ohlman had a bounce back season with the Cardinals this season, after hitting .236 with AA Bowie Bay Sox of the Orioles organization in 2014. Ohlman will need to continue to improve his contact in order to make much of a difference at the big league level.
His AFL numbers were a disappointment, despite not playing in only 11 games, he hit .205 with just two homers and two doubles. While it would have been nice to have seen him play in a few more games, but he didn’t prove himself to be worth it
Despite his .273 average in AA this season (hitter’s league and park), many believe that Ohlman will need to become more consistent to be a big league starter. Ohlman is slightly better than Jacob Wilson and Patrick Wisdom right now, being slightly more consistent with the bat than the other two and having the added versatility of being a catcher and being able to play first as well.
Brian Walton of Scout.com says this about Ohlman, “At this point, Ohlman’s skills and development in terms of his value to the Cardinals may very well be secondary to the dynamics of the team’s roster around him and his own contract status.” Meaning Ohlman surprisingly seems to be on this team at the wrong time.
As I mentioned earlier, I like Ohlman’s potential. He has good pop in his bat and a good eye for the ball and ability to get on base. I think that with a little seasoning in the majors, we could be looking at a nice versatile backup.
If things don’t work out with Brayan Pena or an injury to Pena or Molina presents itself this season, maybe he will get his chance to prove his worth this season.
Next: Cardinals' 2016 Top Prospects: #18 Patrick Wisdom
Roster Prediction: AAA Memphis
I think that he could potentially be a player at first base or catcher for the Cardinals in 2016, that is if he steps up and has a good start in AAA Memphis.