No wonder the St. Louis Cardinals are so good.
Their farm system is loaded, as usual, and the Memphis Redbirds, St. Louis’ Triple-A affiliate in town for a four-game series against the Express, showcases some of the finest prospects in baseball, led by center fielder Oscar Taveras.
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CREAM OF THE CROP
A consensus between MLB.com, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus on the top-10 prospects coming into this season, where they are and how they’re doing:
1. Jurickson Profar (2B-SS, Texas): Batting .270 in a utility role for the Rangers after being promoted from Round Rock in May.
2. Oscar Taveras (CF, St. Louis): Batting .293 with 24 RBIs in 41 games for Triple-A Memphis after missing a month with an ankle injury.
3. Dylan Bundy (RHP, Baltimore): On the disabled list with right forearm and elbow pain. Hasn’t pitched a game all season.
4. Wil Myers (RF, Tampa Bay): Made his MLB debut Tuesday for the Rays after hitting .286 with 14 HR and 57 RBIs at Triple-A Durham.
5. Jose Fernandez (RHP, Miami): Made the Marlins’ opening-day roster at age 20 and has dazzled with a 3.11 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 72 innings.
6. Shelby Miller (RHP, St. Louis): Brownwood High grad enjoying a stunning rookie season with the Cardinals with an 8-4 record, 2.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 86 innings.
7. Gerrit Cole (RHP, Pittsburgh): Won his first two starts for the Pirates after posting a 5-3 record and 2.91 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis.
8. Zack Wheeler (RHP, NY Mets): Pitched six shutout innings in his MLB debut Tuesday after compiling a 3.93 ERA and 73 Ks in 68 IP at hitter-friendly Triple-A Las Vegas.
9. Miguel Sano (3B, Minnesota): Destroyed High-A ball at Fort Myers with a .330 average, 16 HR and 48 RBIs in 56 games. Just promoted to Double-A New Britain.
10. Billy Hamilton (CF, Cincinnati): After swiping an astonishing 155 bases in 2012, this converted shortstop already has 43 steals for Triple-A Louisville.