Alec Burleson is one of the three outfielders that currently ride the bench for these Cardinals. Even if that wasn't a weird roster crunch that the club can't possibly stick with forever, there's no reason one of your top prospects should spend the majority of his time sitting on the bench.
Burleson, 24, has some serious pop in his bat and has regularly hit for a high average throughout his minor league career as well. He has made it into just 51 games so far this season and has yet to show much of this offensive prowess that he showed in the high minors, but this could be because he is not being utilized properly.
If the sweet-swinging lefty could spend more time in Triple-A, he could either audition for an expanded role at the big league level or even for another team. If the Cardinals can find a way to get hot and make up some ground in the NL Central, there will be a ton of teams interested in bringing Burleson aboard, and ones that can put him in their everyday starting lineup at that.
Through these 51 games, Burleson has five home runs, 15 runs batted in, a .219 average, and a .647 OPS. He still has displayed an impressive eye at the plate, but he has so much more value to offer than just someone who can draw a bunch of walks.
As is usually the case for a promising prospect, Burleson should not be on the big league roster just to collect big league service time. He should be playing every day and for as long as that is not a possibility for the Cardinals, he should stay down in Triple-A and continue to rake.