No Rest For Redbirds Prospects
by Dave Barr, Special to Springfieldcardinals.com
It's been less than a week since the Springfield Cardinals hoisted the Texas League championship trophy in Frisco but some members of that first title team as well as other top prospects from around the Cardinals organization are getting ready to get right back to work.
The Redbirds - along with the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers make up the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League which gets underway in it's 20th season on October 9.
St. Louis will send six prospects to the desert- a contingent that includes three pitchers, a catcher, one infielder and an outfielder. All but two-called Hammons Field home in 2012.
Boone Whiting (1-0, 2.31 ERA) pitched in just nine-games at three different levels in 2012 finishing the season in Springfield. He along with fellow Cardinal teammate Kevin Siegrist (7-2, 2.77 ERA) and young righty Seth Blair (1-3, 5.40 ERA with the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Florida State League) make up a 19-member pitching staff.
Those three Cardinal prospects will be throwing to another St. Louis farmhand behind the plate in former fourth round pick Cody Stanley (.280 BA, 3 HR, 35 RBI at Palm Beach).
The AFL will allow both Whiting and Stanley to make up for lost time this season. Whiting was limited to just seven starts because of a shoulder injury and Stanley missed the first 50-games of 2012 serving a suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention Program.
The Cardinals No. 5 overall prospect Kolten Wong (.287 BA, 9 HR, 52 RBI, 21 SB) sparked the potent Springfield offense all season long and will now try and do the same for the Saguaros at second base.
Mike O'Neill (.359 BA, 40 RBI in 121-games between Palm Beach and the Cardinals) hit .563 in 13-games after being promoted to Springfield at the end of the season. The southern California native joins a Surprise outfield led by the Boston Red Sox No. 2 overall prospect Bryce Brentz.
This fall and winter - Dave Barr will keep you updated on the Redbirds in Arizona as well as in winter leagues throughout the Caribbean. You can follow Dave on twitter @daveabarr.