Despite consistently solid performance, Tommy Edman continues to fly under the radar. When will Cardinals fans start giving him the buzz he deserves?
If you asked a Cardinals fan to pick their “shortstop of the future,” they would undoubtedly say Delvin Perez. A first-round pick with seemingly limitless potential, this comes as no surprise. What most fans do not realize, however, is there is another possible answer. To me, that answer may be just as respectable.
Enter Tommy Edman.
A 6th round pick out of Stanford in last year’s draft, infielder Edman was a low-profile pick-up. Despite being an All-American and first-team all Pac-12 selection, most fans and analysts did not seem to give him much attention.
He is versatile and polished, however struggles to emerge from the shadow of Perez. As I will come to argue, maybe 2017 is the year in which this will begin to change.
I fully understand that Perez has immense potential. He is rangey, explosive, and still has a scary amount of room for growth.
With that being said, however, his future is still largely up in the air. As all baseball fans know, you really just never know how a player will turn out. Especially with a player that is just 19, anything can happen, good or bad.
While Perez’s reputation is largely based on potential, Edman’s is built on production. In both college and now the minors, he performs with a quiet consistency. So far, the 2017 season has been no exception.
To be specific, Edman is currently slashing .338/.388/.595. To go along with that phenomenal line, Edman has hit 8 doubles, 4 triples, and 1 home run.
On pace to smash his numbers from rookie ball, Edman continues to perform, all the while gaining little to no recognition. Not to mention, he is nails on defense, capable of playing a phenomenal shortstop or second base. A good base runner as well (20 stolen bases in 2016), Edman can seemingly do it all.
Tommy Edman is an extra-base machine. Doubles with 1 out in the 5th and for the 2nd day in a row needs a HR for the cycle. He's 7 for last 9
— Peoria Chiefs Game (@PeoChiefsGame) April 21, 2017
Ok, so what are the implications? Why should we care about Edman’s success in single A?
As far as I see it, Edman’s performance means two things. First of all, it seems that he has what it takes to progress quickly and without many hiccups. A smart, polished, and mature player, he comes to play each and every day, giving great effort and staying composed.
As I see it, Edman has what it takes to improve upon his current performance, becoming a better player than his 6th round tag would initially suggest. In other words, maybe his ceiling is higher than we thought, a realization that would greatly change his comparison with Perez.
Speaking of Perez, let’s get to my second reason. MLB prospect trades are (mostly) based on sheer potential. While Edman could possibly narrow the gap in this area, Perez will have a higher ceiling until he proves otherwise. As such, Perez is a more attractive trade prospect, for he is younger, and has a better “best case scenario.”
Now getting to the point, I believe that Edman’s stellar performance makes it easier to justify trading Perez. Especially considering some of the holes at the MLB level, perhaps the front office will feel more comfortable with trading Perez given the promise of Edman. A speculative point, it is intriguing nonetheless.
In conclusion, Edman’s performance is not a mystery. He is really good, and continues to prove it. In terms of implications, however, it is a little more complex. The following, though, is definitely the case: if he keeps playing like this, Cardinals fans will begin to hear his name much more.