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Friday, October 19, 2012

The Cardinals Still Benefiting From the First Farm | FanGraphs Baseball

With their victory tonight, the St. Louis Cardinals are up 2-1 in the NLCS and in good position to defend their National League title from 2011. They are also, by far, the most farm-developed team in the hunt for the World Series. As John Sickels recently wrote, 64 percent of their roster was developed by their farm system, compared to 40 percent for the Giants and 32 percent each for the Tigers and Yankees. The Cardinals famously developed the first modern farm system, under Branch Rickey. They are still, clearly, ahead of the curve.
...
That’s really quite remarkable. If the 2012 Cardinals were to win the World Series, they would be the most homegrown team to do so in well over a decade: the last World Series winner to be more than 50 percent homegrown was the 2002 Anaheim Angels, 13 of whose players were original Angel draftees or signees

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, prospects

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4276832)
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.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: October 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4276848)
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'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.

   3. Portia Stanke Posted: October 19, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4276854)
Of the twelve players who appeared in the game for the Cardinals last night, everyone but Holliday made his debut with the Cards. I don't know if Luhnow was a genius or incredibly lucky, but he's missed.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4276860)
I think that AG#1F has it exactly right. The Cardinals have done an outstanding job in player development; there's simply no getting around that.

There are two aspects of talent development:
1. Ceiling (which as cfb suggests is mostly a function of draft position)
2. Probability of hitting ceiling (which is mostly a function of the player development arm)

Most farm system rankings are based on the first of these. But there should be at least some consideration of the second of these. The Pirates are a really good counter-example to the Cardinals - their players either don't develop or take an awfully long time to develop, and the ones that do make it to the majors are usually fearsome disappointments. McCutchen's the first player since Jason Kendall to come close to his ceiling.

-- MWE
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 19, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4276862)
I don't know if Luhnow was a genius or incredibly lucky, but he's missed.


Probably a combination of both :)

Matt Slater and John Vuch are still there. I think St. Louis will be OK.

-- MWE
   6. steagles Posted: October 19, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4276875)
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.
this is copied from john sickels' post on the tampa bay devil rays prior to the 2005 season.
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-


tampa was the #1 ranked farm system at the time, and of those names, the 10 highest ranked players in the highest ranked system, the best player right now is probably jason hammel.


so, yeah, prospect rankings should be taken with a very large grain of salt.
   7. Danny Posted: October 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4276890)
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.
   8. esseff Posted: October 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4276893)
Part of the measurement is in how you allot credit for Wainwright and Freese. Wainwright was obtained after reaching the Double-A level with the Braves' organization, and Freese after reaching high-A ball in the Padres' organization. Both completed their minor-league development with the Cardinals.

If you're counting how many players made their major-league debut with the organization, you'll get a different number than if you count players drafted and signed by the organization.

   9. phredbird Posted: October 19, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4276901)
Very impressive, but worth noting that those eight include 3 of their 4 SPs and 3 of their top 5 position players.


well ... i see what you're saying but don't most teams have a plus player or two that they got by trade? to me, it doesn't matter how those guys got on the team, because there's always some good free agents out there and every team has a budget set aside for that kind of acquisition. what separates pennant winners from the other teams is the contributions they get down the roster. so if a team is good at player development in the minors, they have a built-in advantage.

isn't that how the cardinals operated last year? pujols walked. the team went out and got beltran, figuring they'd get the rest of pujols-style production from a step forward by any number of guys they had been bringing along or who were waiting in AAA. no doubt they were hoping for one more hurrah out of furcal and berkman, but when those two went down they didn't exactly plug in chopped liver.
   10. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: October 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4276916)
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/redbirds-robber-holds-up-arnold-bank/article_97acb884-0a72-578d-b70f-acb851d84a12.html

I don't use the word "hero" very often, but this man is the greatest hero in American history.
   11. AROM Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4276963)
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.
   12. boteman Posted: October 20, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4277263)
Wow. All this discussion of products of the Cardinals' farm system and not one mention of the things Pete Kozma does.
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 20, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4277267)
The Pirates are a really good counter-example to the Cardinals - their players either don't develop or take an awfully long time to develop, and the ones that do make it to the majors are usually fearsome disappointments.

Hey, that might be true of Lou Collier, Jermaine Allensworth, Kevin Polcovich, Adrian Brown, Alex Hernandez, Craig Wilson, Chad Hermansen, J.J. Davis, J.R. House, Tike Redman, Carlos Rivera, Humberto Cota, Chris Shelton, Jose Castillo, Tony Alvarez, Brad Eldred, Brian Bixler, Ronny Paulino, Chris Duffy, Nyjer Morgan, and Steve Pearce, but there was also Aramis Ramirez. And to a lesser extent Doumit and McLouth.
   14. KJOK Posted: October 20, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4277770)
Wow. All this discussion of products of the Cardinals' farm system and not one mention of the things Pete Kozma does.

kozma's a #1 pick who almost was designated for assignment several times this year per Mozliak, and although making the majors is about all you can expect from any particular pick, he's not actualy a great example of player development.

   15. KJOK Posted: October 20, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4277771)
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.

John Jay would be the other one I think, plus a few pitchers like Rosenthal. Jay was always 'behind' Rasmus all the way to the major leagues.

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