By Dave Barr
It was a phenomenal season for the Springfield Cardinals. So, it's only fitting that they dominate the top of our Cardinals prospect top 10 list of players with no major league experience going in to the winter.
Oscar Taveras - The Texas League MVP began the season as Baseball America's No. 3 prospect in the Redbirds organization - but after a season that saw him dominate Texas League pitching to the tune of a .321 batting average, 23-home runs and 94 runs driven in - he tops our list.
Carlos Martinez - The hard throwers are coming and Martinez leads that very young and talented group. The cardinals signed Martinez as a minor league free agent in 2010 and he's made the most of the opportunity finishing 2012 with a 4-3 mark and a 2.90 earned run average. The Dominican native started 14-games for Springfield and threw just 70.1 innings while striking out an efficient 58 hitters.
Kolten Wong - The Cardinals second baseman of the future continues to rise up the prospect rankings and looks to continue his hot play this winter in the Arizona Fall League. Since being drafted out of Hawaii in the first round in 2011, Wong has proven that he can hit no matter the level. This past season n Springfield, Wong was named to both Texas League All Star teams as well as the Futures Game in Kansas City all while hitting .287 with 52 RBI and 21 stolen bases.
Tyrell Jenkins - The 20-year old hard throwing right-hander started 19-games this season in single-A ball for Quad Cities, blowing away Midwestern League hitters posting a 4-4 mark and fanning 80 in 82.1-innings.
Michael Wacha - The lanky 6-6 hurler finished the season in Springfield pitching out of the bullpen and striking out 17 in eight-innings after St. Louis selected him in the first round in June's amateur draft out of Texas A&M. Wacha could begin 2013 in Springfield's starting rotation.
Colin Walsh - Walsh could be the heir apparent to Wong at second base for Springfield in 2013. In his third go around at class-A Quad Cities - the light finallycame on for Walsh hitting 16-home runs and driving in 68 while hitting .314.
Carson Kelly - The second-round pick out of Westview High School in Oregon in this past June's draft showed raw power in rookie ball at Johnson City. The third baseman however does have to adjust to professional pitching after posting just a .225 average in 213 plate appearances.
Seth Maness - Maness led the Springfield Cardinals in wins with 11 in 2012 while losing on just three occasions. The former East Carolina Pirate held hitters to just a .241 average in the second half of the season. Maness struck out 89 hitters in 2012 and walked an amazing nine.
Eric Fornataro - Yet another hard throwing pitcher that Springfield Cardinals fans saw up close and personal in 2012. Fornataro looks to be a closer of the future possibility for the Redbirds after going 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 57 appearances. The Houston, Texas native struck out 41 and collected five saves.
Charlie Tilson - The highly thought off outfielder missed all of 2012 with a separated shoulder and will try and get as many at bats as possible in fall instructional league ball. Since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft - Tilson has only 27 at bats.