The Cardinals continue to receive plaudits for their farm system and player development.
Here’s the rundown:
— Zachary D. Rymer of the Bleacher Report rated the Cardinals at No. 3 in his offseason farm-system rankings. “Breakout seasons from Tink Hence, Masyn Winn and Gordon Graceffo helped the Cardinals emerge as one of baseball’s elite farm systems, even after top prospect Nolan Gorman moved on to the majors,” he wrote.
— In the updated top-100 prospect rankings at Baseball America, three Cardinals made the top 48: outfielder Jordan Walker at No. 4, pitcher Hence at No. 47, Winn at No. 48. Pitcher Matthew Liberatore was 79th, giving the Cardinals four of the top 80 prospects.
— Baseball Prospectus is out with an updated top-101 prospects for 2023, and the Cardinals have four of the top 58: Jordan Walker was No. 2 overall, Winn 30th, Hence 43rd and pitcher Gordon Graceffo debuting at No. 58.
— Baseball America on Jordan Walker: “The physically imposing Walker continues to hit for power and average at every level and is one of the most complete hitters in the minors. He’ll eventually take his place in the middle of the Cardinals order and has a chance to be one of the game’s premier offensive threats.”
— Over at MLB.com, Jonathan Mayo sought opinions from team executives on “best farm system” and the Cardinals came in third behind the Orioles and Dodgers.
— When MLB.com asked the executives about the team that uses the draft the best, the Cardinals were No. 3 behind the Dodgers and Orioles.
— Most underrated farm system? The Cardinals were named No. 1 when the executives made their choices for MLB.com. Here’s Mayo’s response: “The Cardinals do have a knack for churning out very productive big leaguers even if they don’t always finish that high in farm system rankings (No. 13 in our rankings last August, up from 16).”
— Which team hoards prospects the most? MLB.com wanted to know, and the baseball execs placed the Cardinals third behind the Guardians and Rays.
— Best at developing hitters? The execs had the Cardinals tied for third (with several teams) on the MLB.com list. The Cardinals were in the “also received votes” category for being the best at developing pitchers.
— The Cardinals were third at doing the best job of developing “sleeper” prospects according to execs polled by MLB.com. The Dodgers and Astros were ranked ahead of St. Louis.
— As for the best hitting prospect, Jordan Walker finished fifth in the voting among baseball executives that shared their opinions with MLB.com.
– Jordan Walker was No. 1 in the “most usable power category,” receiving 43% of the vote. No other prospect received more than 11%.
— In other categories in the MLB polling, Graceffo was mentioned in three areas: best fastball, best secondary pitch and best pitchability. And the shortstop Winn was fourth in the voting for best prospect defensively.
More From Baseball Prospectus
BP published a list of each team’s top talents age 25 and under as of April 1, 2023. In order of rankings, here are the best young Cardinals according to Baseball Prospectus:
* Jordan Walker, 3B/OF
* Dylan Carlson, OF
* Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B
* Masyn Winn, SS
* Lars Nootbaar, OF
* Tink Hence, RHP
* Gordon Graceffo, RHP
* Juan Yepez, OF/1B/3B
* Cooper Hjerpe, RHP
* Andre Pallante, RHP
READING TIME 3 MINUTES:
Last week The Athletic put the Blues at No. 20 in the weekly power rankings. Which seems about right. But in addressing the question of “worst thing to happen this season” two analysts offered a scathing review by answering with “Jordan Kyrou’s horrific defense.” Wow.
Here’s the explanation from Sean Gentile and Dom Luszczyszyn: “Kyrou’s defensive game has always been questionable — it’s why he didn’t earn a lot of ice time despite being a point-per-game scorer. This season we’re finding out exactly why. Kyrou has seen a sizable increase in usage and has seen his defensive numbers plummet in lockstep. With Kyrou on the ice, the Blues give up 3.14 expected goals against per 60, up from 2.79 last season. Last year he was at least outsourcing his problems. This year? Not so much with a near team-worst 42 percent goal rate.”
End of Homestand: Buffalo is in town with budding superstar Tage Thompson, who is trying to make everyone up there forget about the early termination of the Bills’ NFL season. The Sabres have won three in a row. The Blues are completing a seven-game home stay, and go into Tuesday’s game with a 3-3 record through the first six games. … Scorer Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Torey Krug are expected to return from injuries and take their spots in the lineup for this one … Thompson – the former Blues’ prospect sent to Buffalo in the trade for Ryan O’Reilly – has 32 goals and 31 assists in 43 games. If only Josh Allen could have produced like that the Bills’ division-round playoff loss to Cincinnati …
Even if the Blues win to finish with a 4-3 record in their last seven at Enterprise Center, they’ve already missed an opportunity to make up ground in the Western Conference wild-card race. On January 9, the Blues had a 49 percent playoff probability per FiveThirtyEight. The seven-game homestand began Jan. 10. And as the Blues go into tonight’s game, their playoff probability is down to 26% …
My hope for the Blues? Tarasenko scores a bunch of goals to increase his market value before the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline …
I keep hearing about goaltender Thomas Greiss giving up too many rebounds in comparison to Jordan Binnington, but the data shows that Greiss gives up roughly one rebound per game more than Binnington per 60 minutes (all strengths) … among 30 NHL goaltenders that have played at least 1,200 minutes this season at all strengths, Binnington ranks 27th in save percentage (.891) and 28th in high-danger save percentage. The idea that Binnington is the team MVP is preposterous. (Sorry, Jeremy Rutherford.)
In advance of Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games, here’s an investment note from Steve Makinen at VSiN: “There have been 10 road favorites in the last 26 years of the Conference Championship playoffs, and those teams are 6-4 straight up and 5-4-1 against the spread.” That’s relevant because Cincinnati is now a 2-point favorite to win at Kansas City … as of this morning VSiN notes that the Bengals were receiving 78% of the bets and 87% of money at the Vegas sportsbooks, flipping from a short underdog to a road favorite … and favorites (home or road) have won roughly 70 percent of the time, straight up, in Conference Championship games over the past 20 years.
After Saturday’s thumping by Alabama, Mizzou basketball needs a win tonight at Ole Miss. Missouri has dropped to No. 64 overall in the KenPom national rankings … the KenPom projection gives Mizzou a 48 percent chance of winning this game, but the projected final score is Ole Miss 75, Missouri 74.
Thanks for reading …