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And yet it seems, every year for the last decade until very recently, their farm system was always lowly ranked. There is something to be said for minor league development.
I don't know if Luhnow was a genius or incredibly lucky, but he's missed.
I've railed against the Cardinals ranking by those polls for years. The Cardinals minor leagues usually develop about one legitimate major league starter a year on average, and a handful of useful players annually(not to mention that it had enough talent to generate trades of some note). Yet it constantly got rated below other systems that are lucky to produce two major leaguers in a decade. (maybe an exaggeration) The rating of a farm system that seems to overly rate all star players(which is arguably as much a function of draft position as the system) vs major league starters and filler is the problem.
Delmon Young, OF A-
Scott Kazmir, LHP A-
Jeff Niemann, RHP B+
Wes Bankston, 1B-OF B+
Chad Orvella, RHP B+
Elijah Dukes, OF B
Reid Brignac, SS B
Jason Hammel, RHP B-
Joey Gathright, OF B-
James Houser, LHP B-
Sickels looked at all 25 players on the Cards’ 25-man roster, and all but eight were originally drafted or signed by the Cardinals.
Very impressive, but worth noting that those eight include 3 of their 4 SPs and 3 of their top 5 position players.
Wow. All this discussion of products of the Cardinals' farm system and not one mention of the things Pete Kozma does.
I view Allen Craig as the poster boy for the St Louis farm system. Not a high draft pick, not that toolsy, never made BB America top 100, one hell of a ballplayer.
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