The St. Louis Cardinals’ farm system has undergone big changes over the last couple of years as big leaguers Shelby Miller, Kolten Wong, Carlos Martinez, Matt Adams, Michael Wacha, and Trevor Rosenthal have all graduated to Busch Stadium. This exodus has created a gap in the system. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has called it a doughnut effect. There are a few quality prospects at the top and bottom, with a hole in the middle.
The Cardinals will not have a top 5, maybe not top 10 minor league system in 2015, but that is to be expected after the big hits it has taken over the last 2-3 years. The good news is John Mozeliak and new Scouting Director Chris Correa are in perfect shape to rebuild the once dominating farm system.
I run the website CardinalsFarm.com where we cover the minor league system and a little of the big guys as well. Earlier in this offseason I counted down the top 50 prospects in the Cards’ system. Here, I will just give you my top 10 with some thoughts.
I hope you enjoy.
10. Carson Kelly, 20
Kelly just completed his first full season as a catcher in the Cardinals organization and I think Kelly and the club would consider it a success even though his offensive numbers were down. Kelly displayed some impressive skills behind the plate, especially for someone just learning the position. Offensively, he hit .248 with 6 home runs and 49 runs batted in for the Peoria Chiefs in 2014. While his numbers with the bat were down, he still showed solid plate discipline as he struck out just 54 times over 98 games. Hopefully 2015 will allow Kelly to return some focus on his offense, and I would expect an increase in his numbers now that he has a better feel of the catching position. I would really like Kelly to open the season as the catcher for the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals. 2015 could be a breakout season for Kelly.