Both of the Cardinal’s top prospects took the mound earlier in the week, and gave Cards fans something to be excited about. According to MLB.com and their 2012 ‘Prospect Watch’ list, Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez rank as the top two St. Louis prospects. Both players offer the big league club a dazzling right arm, and a future in the Redbird’s rotation.
Shelby Miller (RHP)– Memphis Redbirds (AAA)
Miller is ranked as the Card’s number one prospect, and has retooled his mechanics following a bumpy transition from Double-A to Triple-A. Miller turned in his best start as a Triple-A starter on Tuesday night, striking out 12 over 7 innings. Furthermore, he has stuck out 50 batters over his last 42 2/3 innings and walked only one. The numbers are sharp and impressive of late, but his ERA still sits at 5.04, a testament to his early-season struggles. The biggest question with Miller involves a September call-up. He likely would not be added to the crowded St. Louis rotation, but is a move to the struggling bullpen an option? Mozeliak calls it “unlikely” for a few reasons. First, the Card’s normally would not add a player to the major league team that is not already on their 40-man roster. Secondly, Mozeliak would prefer to not start the ‘service clock’ for major league time on someone that he feels would not be fully utilized in St. Louis. For Cards fans, it seems that the wait for Shelby Miller will be a little bit longer.
Carlos Martinez (RHP)— Springfield Cardinals (AA)
Martinez is ranked as the Card’s number two prospect at only 20 years old. The Dominican born righty fires a 95 mph fastball along with tough breaking stuff. He also took the mound on Tuesday, and delivered in similarly dominating fashion. Martinez struck out 8 over 6 innings in a win over Northwest Arkansas. He allowed only 1 run on 3 hits, and recorded his first win since July 14th despite not having allowed more than 3 runs in any starts since then. In 12 starts for the Double-A squad Martinez sits at 3-3 with a 2.94 ERA. His season seems to be at a comfortable spot for St. Louis management as well, as he is likely to finish out the year in Double-A.
Tuesday provided a bright spot from the minor leagues for the two best options in the Cardinal’s system.