This can topic can be debated many people for a long time and very few will agree 100% of the time. With that being said I give you my Top 7 Cardinal Minor Leaguers.
Bryan Anderson- Many are already screaming blasphemy for writing that. The top spot should go to Rasmus. Well, it is close but I figure that Bryan Anderson gets it for this reason:
The position he plays is a hard position to get quality players. Outfielders are plentiful and teams can go several different ways with them. With Anderson we have a catcher. The Cardinals have Molina and he is a top-of-the-line catcher and will not be supplanted from that in his Cardinals years. SO, Anderson is #1 due to the fact that he can be traded for a top of the line player. A proven commodity, at his hard to find position, that some team has because their catchers are not very good. He is our #1 trading chip for this offseason and could possibly bring in a haul.
Colby Rasmus- Well, can’t the same thing be said for Colby? Not exactly. I already mentioned the abundance of outfielders but the underlying facts are that his star has a tarnished edge for two reasons. Tony LaRussa did not see fit to bring him in to the fold for the September call-ups. This is a damning indication that Colby is either not ready or has become hard to work with this year. Possibly, it is the fact that his dad has been a noise maker that has indicted LaRussa a bit this year. Also, Colby didn’t have that absolutely wonderful season in Memphis. The tools may be there but he didn’t get them all out of the shed to be put on display. Colby could bring a good player or players in an exchange but they will point to the absence of major league time to softly backpedal any deal.
Chris Perez- Chris has had a large cup of coffee this year with the big club but spent a majority of time with the AAA affiliate. Chris is the future closer for the Cardinals. He is the heir apparent for Jason Isringhausen’s departure from this team. Chris has proven worthy for a majority of the time. The Cards need Chris to plug the gaping hole of 30 bullpen losses.
Jason Motte- Jason got his chance at seasons end to be the ever important set-up man for whomever the closer will be. He has that mid 90’s fastball that can come in and smoke the 8th inning. This spot is just a tad lower, in my opinion, than the closer. More pitchers can fill this spot than can a closer role.
Brett Wallace- The meteoric rise through the system has been a bright star for the Cardinals and for Wallace. He can hit and has hit at each level. Now he needs to field. Where? Probably third base. With another year of Troy Glaus manning the hot corner coupled with Wallace’s year of seasoning at Memphis, this appears to be where we are headed. Wallace is important to the future of the Cardinals.
Peter Kozma- PK comes from a position of great importance. An up the middle fielder is critical to teams. With the current makeup of the team, the Cards keep shuffling players from the scrap heap into second and shortstop. Kozma will need another 2 years of seasoning to be a viable major leaguer.
Jaime Garcia- Starting pitchers from the left-handed side can hang around for years and years. The Cards don’t really have one and are critical to mix things up. The news that surgery is in the offing is not good. We need Jaime to bring us some relief.
Many players were omitted from my list and not particularly for any reason. Players like Mather, Stavinoha, Boggs and Phelps will make plenty of lists and rightfully so.