The St. Louis Cardinals once had an up-and-comer who was climbing the ranks. He made it as high as Memphis and even received a few non-roster invitations to spring training, but not in 2017. So where is he?
In case you aren’t aware, I cover the Memphis Redbirds (the St. Louis Cardinals AAA-affiliate) for us here at Redbird Rants and I often share information with you about the prospects from the farm. One of my favorites was Jacob Wilson due to his abilities and the fact that he is Bartlett, TN’s favorite MLB son (I live in Bartlett too).
For a quick review of my showered praise, jump over to this link and read up on why I liked Wilson so much. At this link you can also see the other opinions we have shared at Redbird Rants about him.
After two seasons of non-roster invitations to Spring Training, Jacob Wilson has essentially fallen off the planet. But has he?
I was disappointed, honestly, in him not getting an invitation to Spring Training this season. Having said that, however, I agree with the organization not offering him one.
Wilson showed great promise in his early career. Wilson departed Bartlett, TN bound for a career with the St. Louis Cardinals. In his first season, Wilson appeared in short-A in 2012 posting a slash line of .275/.341/.444. This promoted to a slash line of .243/.336/.424 in 2013 across advanced-A and full-A.
2014 had Wilson playing in advanced-A and double-A and posting a 2014 slash line of .302/.362/.460. This was a great improvement and illustrated the player who the St. Louis Cardinals thought they had signed.
The St. Louis Cardinals took the 2014 numbers to heart and advanced Wilson to double-A and triple-A in 2015. In this season, Wilson witnessed 120 at-bats in AA and 307 at-bats in AAA. In these he posted a .230/.302/.407. A regression to the mean or an ability regression?
In 2014, the year in which Wilson posted impressive numbers, he faced 121 advanced-A at-bats and 131 AA at-bats. Was this a sign that Wilson was excelling as a player or simply showing his prowess at AA?
To this point, his 2014 AA numbers showed him posting a .305/.366/.519 slash in his 120 at-bats. This decreased markedly to .225/.326/.450 in his 2015 AA season. Nevertheless, the St. Louis Cardinals kept high hopes in Wilson and invited him to Spring Training in 2016 but he was reassigned to minor league camp at the first juncture out.
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2016 showed regression as well. Wilson started the season with the Memphis Redbirds where he faced 226 at-bats and posted a slash of .221/.292/.389. An injury in May slowed him and kept him out of playing time until mid-June. Following the injury, Wilson never regained his footing and found himself reassigned to AA.
In 2016 AA, Wilson faced eighty-four at-bats and posted a slash of .226/.316/.476. While this wasn’t a very positive sign, the St. Louis Cardinals placed him back with the Redbirds at the start of August only be placed back with Springfield (AA) at the end of August.
And that is where we find Wilson today– listed to start the 2017 campaign with Springfield. He did not receive an invitation to Spring Training this season.
What’s in store for Jacob then? Best guess is that he will need to show that he has recovered from his injury enough to get back up to and/or over the .300-line. If he can do this then look for him to promote back to Memphis.
Will he be a super-star for the Cardinals? I’m beginning to lose hope and that’s not a great thing. I like Jacob Wilson a lot and think he can be a really great utility player. The time has come then for him to start believing that too.
What do you think? Do you like Wilson? Is he being unjustly eclipsed by Patrick Wisdom or is Wisdom all that better of a player? Check back in with me tomorrow for a closer look at Wisdom and his trajectory plowing into 2017. Thanks for reading!