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2003 Wrapups: St. Louis Cardinals

With the 2003 season coming to a close, we will be providing a brief wrapup of the season for all 30 minor league teams. In each report, we will take a look at how the team's Top 10 Prospects performed, identify some emerging prospects and organizational leaders, and report on the performance of their top draft pick.
Complete index of Team Wrapups               2003 League Wrapups

By Kevin Goldstein
November 20, 2003

Season Results

Level Team League W L PCT
AAA Memphis Pacific Coast 64 79 .448
AA Tennessee Southern 72 67 .518
A+ Palm Beach Florida State 54 84 .391
A Peoria Midwest 65 73 .471
SS New Jersey New York-Penn 31 42 .425
R Johnson City Appalachian 27 36 .429
TOTAL 313 381 .451


Performance of Top 10 Prospects

Here's how our top 10 prospects entering this season performed in 2003.

1. Dan Haren, rhp      Age: 23
Haren started the year at Double-A Tennessee and was absolutely untouchable, allowing just one run over 29 innings in his final four starts for the Smokies. He delivered quality starts in five of eight outings for Memphis, and was called up to the Cardinals in late June to provide help to a decimated St. Louis pitching staff. Was 2-2, 3.38 after six starts, including seven shutout innings against the Expos on July 30, but his ERA was 6.42 thereafter and major league hitters knocked him around to the tune of a .293 batting average.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Tennessee (Double-A) 6-0 0 0.82 8 55.0 36 8 5 6 49
Memphis (Triple-A) 2-1 0 4.93 8 45.2 50 25 25 8 35
Cardinals (MLB) 3-7 0 5.08 14 72.2 84 44 41 22 43

2. Jim Journell, rhp      Age: 25
Journell started the season in the Memphis rotation, but was sent to the bullpen after going 1-5, 5.54 in seven starts. In a relief role, Journell was able to depend primarily on his plus fastball/slider combination, and had a 2.43 ERA in 33 games out of the bullpen, averaging nearly a strikeout per inning. Struggled significantly in a pair of major league trials, specifically with his control.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Memphis (Triple-A) 6-6 5 3.92 40 78.0 80 38 34 32 70
Cardinals (MLB) 0.00 0 6.00 7 9.0 10 7 6 11 8

3. Chris Narveson, lhp      Age: 21
Now two years removed from Tommy John surgery, Narveson was allowed to cut loose at Palm Beach and received a mid-season promotion to Double-A Tennessee after putting up a 1.93 ERA in his final six Florida State League starts. Tossed seven shutout innings in his Double-A debut, and allowed more than three runs just twice for the Smokies.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Palm Beach (High Class A) 7-7 0 2.86 15 91.1 83 34 29 19 65
Tennessee (Double-A) 4-3 0 3.00 10 57.0 56 21 19 26 34

4. Justin Pope, rhp      Age: 24
Pope seemed on the verge of a breakout season after pitching 78 dominating innings in the Midwest League in 2002 following a return from elbow surgery. Pope struggled with his already sub-par velocity at Palm Beach and at one point went 14 starts between victories. Had his best start on Aug. 12 with seven shutout innings, and was shipped to the Yankees for Sterling Hitchcock less than a week later, delivering two solid outings for Tampa at the end of the year.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Palm Beach (High Class A) 4-11 0 4.92 20 106.0 123 68 58 33 69
Tampa (High Class A) 2-0 0 0.96 2 9.1 7 3 1 1 3

5. Blake Hawksworth, rhp      Age: 20
A high profile draft-and-follow who received a $1.475 million bonus last summer, Hawksworth clearly overmatched Midwest League hitters, pitching shutout baseball in half of his starts to earn a mid-season promotion to the Florida State League. Despite a 1-3 record for Palm Beach, he limited opposing batters to a .235 average, before missing the final month of the season with an ankle injury.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Peoria (Low Class A) 5-1 0 2.30 10 54.2 37 16 14 12 57
Palm Beach (High Class A) 1-3 0 3.94 6 32.0 28 14 14 11 32

6. Shaun Boyd, of      Age: 22
Coming off a spectacular year at Peoria, Boyd hit .316 in his first 15 games at Palm Beach, but fell into a tail spin after that, receiving a promotion to Tennessee despite batting just .193 in his final 30 Florida State League games. While his average picked up somewhat at Double-A, his peripheral numbers were virtually non-existent and with the conversion from second base to the outfield, he'll need to make considerable strides offensively.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Palm Beach (High Class A) 110 416 59 107 17 2 5 35 54 70 28 .257 .343 .344
Tennessee (Double-A) 27 88 9 24 6 0 0 6 4 12 2 .273 .305 .341

7. Rhett Parrott, rhp      Age: 24
Parrott started slow at Tennessee, but came on strong after the all-star break, with a 1.50 ERA in his final nine starts, earning a late-season promotion to Triple-A Memphis, where his ERA was 2.43 before getting shelled in his final outing. He lacks any single overpowering pitch, but gets the job done with a diverse repertoire and excellent location.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Tennessee (Double-A) 8-9 0 3.27 21 124.0 122 52 45 40 112
Memphis (Triple-A) 2-3 0 3.54 7 40.2 39 16 16 19 25

8. John Nelson, ss      Age: 24
Nelson was jumped two levels after an impressive .274-16-63 season at Peoria, and the results were anything but encouraging. Hit just .207 after August 1, and saw significant drops in both power and plate discipline.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Tennessee (Double-A) 136 506 60 120 22 1 5 42 44 117 10 .237 .301 .314

9. Tyler Johnson, lhp      Age: 22
A finesse lefty who went 15-3, 2.00 for Peoria in 2002, Johnson was having a solid year as a starter (3.36 ERA in 10 starts) but really thrived once he moved to the bullpen, reeling off nine consecutive scoreless outings, and maintaining he effectiveness after a promotion to Double-A Tennessee, where he limited batters to a .168 average.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Palm Beach (High Class A) 5-5 0 3.08 22 79.0 79 29 27 38 81
Altoona (Double-A) 1-0 0 1.65 20 27.1 16 7 5 15 39

10. Yadier Molina, c      Age: 21
Jumped two levels to Double-A at the age at 20, Molina continued in the fine tradition of the catching Molinas, hitting for a decent average with little power or on-base skills, while playing outstanding defense. Hit .324 against lefties.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Tennessee (Double-A) 104 364 32 100 13 1 2 51 25 45 0 .275 .327 .332


Top Draft Pick:

Daric Barton, c    Marina HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.   Bonus: $975K
Generally considered one of the better left-handed bats in the draft, Barton sneaked into the end of the first round and showed the ability to hit for average and power, along with a mature approach at the plate. Questions remain as to whether or not he can stay at catcher, but he has the skills to play third base.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Johnson City (Rookie) 54 172 29 50 10 0 4 29 37 48 0 .291 .416 .419


Emerging Prospects:

Cody Haerther, of: The Cardinals 6th round pick in 2002 had an impressive pro debut, batting .352 in his final 50 games for Johnson City and finishing at .332-3-39. He was converted from third base to the outfield, where he projects as an average left fielder at best.
Travis Hanson, 3b: A ninth-round pick in 2002 who earned New York-Penn League all-star honors in his pro debut, Hanson hit .370 in April for Peoria and finished at .277-9-78 while showing solid defensive skills.


Statistical Leaders

Batting Average John Gall .314
Home Runs Bucky Jacobsen 31
Runs Batted In John Gall 85
Stolen Bases Matt Lemanczyk 57
Earned Run Average Josh Teekel 2.42
Wins Jeremy Cummings 15
Strikeouts Rhett Parrott 137
Saves Mike Lyons 31

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