Wednesday with Walton November 11, 2020
Every wednesday a chance to visit. Brian walden of the cardinal nation dot com great minor league information as well as major league information on the saint louis cardinals in baseball as a whole and you can find it a d. cardinal nation dot com. We visit with brian. Every wednesday is always brian. Good to hear your voice. Our thanks going gone greg in its pleasure to be honest you got. Let's start with the manager of the year. We've got don mattingly in the national league. I thought it should go to don mattingley. I was disappointed. Mike shildt wasn't even a finalist yet. David ross there. Your g tingler goes to don mattingley. I have no problem with this. Thought he should win it. Mike shell came in sixth. He got three second place votes in in one. Third place votes You know frankly. I think the whole the whole finalist thing is just not news. Anyway whether david ross came in fourth or bright snigger. Third or bench shaker came enforce. Who cares i mean. I just wish they'd announced a dang winners insurers but whatever don mattingly very deserving He got twenty first place votes More double of what. All the other candidates got together. And i think we all saw the challenges that the miami marlins face early on with all the cova cases and the fact that their farm system wasn't nearly as rich and saint louis with major league ready players so they had to go out and you know basically sign and grab a bunch of guys off the waiver wire and he did a very good job of keeping his team in contention and making the playoffs and i think they certainly far exceeded anybody's expectations. And i think for that reason manley was a was a great choice over in the american league tampa. Bay's kevin cash and this is done before Postseason play so. Don't worry about that game. Six decision in the world series How did you think that fell to kevin cash. Re happy with it. Well you know you look at what tampa bay is able to do with the minimum our payroll. Now you know a lot of that is certainly the front office that put together the but you know cash has to push the buttons are putting the right guys in the lineup and the right combination of guys and he you know it's overstated nurse. No doubt but the american league east is a difficult division. The red sox are down a tad now. But toronto's always tough. The yankees are always tough for them to excel the way that they did again. I i think that's a very good choice. It's it's disappointing to see a referee. Who came in a strong second lose his job again the second time in chicago as the their respective clubs wanted to a more name brand manager But you know. Kevin cash was You know pretty much. The landslide winner in the american league. And again. I think that was a very good choice. I am fascinated to see what happens with the mets with new ownership and a guy that's got really deep pockets. He is a mets fan and he claimed yesterday that within three to five years he thinks it can win a world championship. He'd be disappointed if they didn't win. A world championship. So how do you think this changes the game. A little bit in terms of what they may do and going out and trying to sign some of the top free agents in baseball as we look forward. I think steve cohen diverted thing. Obviously he's a smart cookie or he wouldn't be as wealthy he is but he went out. And you know had had a zoom call actually went directly to the fan base. And and you know in. The mets fan base has been long suffering under the prior ownership. That had their issues with the made off in the ponzi scheme and they didn't have enough money to really invest in the club and steve. Cohen's really been come in and been a breath of fresh air but on the baseball side. He's bringing in sandy alderson to be the team president. He's going bring a baseball operations exact under him. So they're going to bring in people who say very well respected me. He goes back to the as You know when larusso was there so and work in work in an obese offices and really knows the game. Well so they're gonna put people in charge. You know what's going on cones going to allow them to spend money and that's certainly going to put the mets in the group of a half a dozen eight maybe teams that are going to be spending money this year with a lot of the other clubs like the cardinals are looking to tighten belts and other things. It cohen said i thought was very interesting. Was renamed pitching and we need a good catcher and You know everybody knows that happens to be what the saint louis cardinals have on the market right now. So there's been no direct connection to wainwright and molina but you'd think they'd be certainly guys that The mets why. I'm willing to take a look at him on a number of other teens. Minor league teams cross town in the bronx. There was some frustration with the minor league affiliates. In the future of those affiliates with the yankees. I'm sure there's gonna be some frustration as we get closer to the baseball season and see the elimination of some minor league teams. What are you hearing on the whole with that brian. And then what do you think. Happens with the cardinals. Well it's interesting dan. The you know the one league that we that was basically the teams are owned by major league baseball. Which is the appalachian league. They've already been converted basically to a summer wood bat league and what they what baseball decided major league baseball outside. They do is they. Take one league and it be an entry level league offer. The youngest players have the cape is in cape cod league. Be the league for the juniors and then the new york penn league which is a league state college the other cardinals affiliate affected by this move. That would be part of a league. That would have a summer. Wood bat league for college seniors right before the draft and the deadline was supposedly today or like actually yesterday on tuesday for the new york penn league teams to commit to say. Hey yes i want to be part of. This would badly or no i do. Not now there could be some other shuffling around. Some teams might move from class to class or that type of thing but you know the whole purpose of these moves so one of the purposes is to have better geographic concentration of teens in state. College is you know basically Out in the middle of pennsylvania two and a half hours from pittsburgh. Sorry from yeah from pittsburgh and so you know there really aren't any clusters of teams around there and so the challenge for state college. Do they go to this badly or do they potentially cease to exist so the cardinals are likely to run to fewer florentine state college johnson city short seasonably teams being out the system which would create a very big jump from the gulf coast league the rookie level league where it's typically the entry level. All the way to class a the other move that's rumored to occur that the high a. four state league which is the next step up from class a was peoria if those would actually switch levels and so the class a team for the cardinals would be in florida which makes sense they kind of keep everybody concentrated. And then the peoria and the mid west league teams that survived in that league then moved out of high classification shirt. The next step up being a double a Stanfield what we need to get clarification on the designated hitter. Probably sooner than later free agency period is here especially for national league teams. There's a talk of expansion of playoffs. How do you think this all unfolds for major league baseball. I think everybody and john talked about zoom call a couple of weeks ago you know it would be ideal for everyone if some of these questions could get answered. The designated the expanded playoffs roster sizes. You know all those things. The challenges that there are the same questions that had to be negotiated last year. That took months for the players and owners to agree on have to be all negotiated again. What happens if they can't play one hundred and sixty two games. How much will the players get paid. At what rate what about service. Time all the same questions. If they had to argue last year has to be argued again and so the designated hitter is gonna be perceived to be a give to one side and a take away from the other and so the chances of that getting resolved quickly as much as everybody might like. It probably can happen because it's going to get tied up in all of these other big questions that have to get answered and as much as that is a potential inconvenience the reality is if we go back to twenty. They didn't decide. Those things until late may early june and everybody got along okay again not ideal but i'm not optimistic. That they're going to pick off some of these easy ones in negotiate them with until they solve all these other big questions. I hope i'm wrong. But that's what i that's my take in terms of your top fifty list of the saint. Louis cardinals we're gonna shift gears and brian walton. My guest of cardinal nation dot com shift gears and talk about. What i i love in this offseason you go your top fifty prospects starting from fifty and ending on number one. So you're in the top seven or eight right now at least the bottom seven of eight. I guess i should say of the top fifty as we head to number one. How do you come up with this brian. If you don't have a minor league season how tough is this ban and trying to figure out who's had a little progression who's come back down to maybe a lower level whatever the case may be but how are you trying to do this for your top fifty prospects in florida for instructional camp. Last january are fortunately minor league camp as most folks didn't ever really get started literally the same day that mightily campus opposed to open march twelfth. Which is when Baseball was basically. Shut down we didn't have reporters in summer camp but the cardinals are reported. A number source told about that and scouts have continued to follow a teams in their instruction. League's cardinals inhabitant. Structurally but there's a lot of talent evaluators out there that are basically studying videos. Because mlb had a basically across agreement that they would share vigo's and information from their alternate chance with each other so even though we weren't in springfield we didn't get a lot of access scouts do and so this year i incorporated into our process. The work of gentleman named matt thompson. Who is the founder and runs a site. Called prospects live which focuses on scouting reports for minor league players across the game. They have over sixteen hundred videos up on various prospects in matt thompson specifically Is cardinals focused his loud cardinals for a long time and so he provides scouting reports based on the standard twenty eight scouting scale on all the tools of the prospects and then i write about their environment. Where what kind of year did they have in. Twenty nineteen where what camps were they in in twenty twenty. What's the outlook for twenty. Twenty one where they're gonna go for their careers and so we're doing that for fifty prospects. At the rate of one a day we started a about about a week ago and this will take us basically through the end of the year. One of the interesting names. You have is delvin peres shortstop. He's a big kid. Six three twenty third overall pick in two thousand sixteen. He dropped in that draft. But everybody thought hey. This guy is a unique tall shortstop talented kid. We've been waiting for him for a while now. Now we're heading into two thousand twenty one. Where are we with a very familiar name. If you follow the cardinals in their minor league system but delvin peres well perez. Just finished his fifth year as a professional. Believe it or not. It seems like yesterday literally that the cardinals picked him in. The first round fell a long ways because of a positive drug test or he will rumors were that he might have gone as early as fifth or sixth in that in that draft but governed perez has yet to demonstrate offense the potential that he showed as a as a as an amateur being drafted age seventeen and he was getting in in showcases was hitting balls over the fences but in his four years ago. Play and of course one year sitting out twenty twenty. He's only hit a total of two homelands as a professional and he just hasn't developed offensively as he needs to be. He's basically a single hitter and he's got very good speed very good reflexes but isn't particularly good on the base paths either and the question is whether devon peres glove and plus play on the field is going to be enough to get into the major leagues and the reason. I say that is even. While he's young turns turns twenty two Soon later this month the reality is he is already become rule. Five draft eligible and what that is is is a draft that allows organizations to select players off of out of other organizations that they think might be ready for the major leagues. The cardinals or other organizations would protect guys moved him to their forty man roster which exempts from this rule. Five draft governed peres isn't going to be protected. He's not going to be added to the forty man roster because the reality is he's never played a game of low class. Say at this point. And so you know. He's just not ready to be on a major league roster this this coming year and that's the real. If you get if you taken in rural five you have to stay. At the major league level we return to your prior team and then two more years and delvin perez can become a minor league free agent and a player who still four levels. Away from the majors. Delvin peres has gotta get going with the bat in a hurry this last year. Certainly her him But he's got to get going in a hurry to be able to get the saint louis before he's eligible to become myrlie raging. Go every once. Cheer zac thompson is asked. All the time who i think could be the next prospect that is not made it to the big leagues but could see big league time in twenty twenty one and the first name. I mentioned high draft choice out of kentucky left handed pitcher a couple years ago zac thompson. Would you agree with that assessment. That comes in is a very very interesting guy. He's a left hander. Solid plus fastball slider above average pitch got curve ball as well doesn't go as change up as much but i mean a guy a lefty who's got four pitches and can get get them over And you know he can actually crank up to the mid nineties above if if he's in short bursts so the question will for guy. Zach thomas will be will. The cardinals be tempted. Maybe to bring him ahead more quickly as a reliever. We've seen a number of of players. You know going back to carlos martinez and others. Who started in relief. Because there wasn't a a spot in the rotation and eventually then you move into the rotation the only concern. The only caveat is that that thomson in alternate camp in springfield had a little bit of shoulder irritation and that slowing him down now. The word is that by the end campaign was just fine but one of the reasons exact thomson fell to the cardinals in the first round in twenty nineteen was that he had had some shoulder issues at kentucky as well and so this is another thing watching it. You know you never know with guy was shoulder protect. Your solar problems is relieving and a better thing for him or is starting every fifth day. A better don't know. And i don't want to overreact about the shoulder. Issues with thomson but that was definitely a concern earlier in camp tommy edmund. If it started tomorrow would be the second baseman of the saint louis cardinals. And we've talked about it primarily in the minor leagues shortstop but he does have the ability to play all over the diamond in the major leagues. Play the outfield compla- third. You can play short now second. How do you think you'll fair as we look at him being potential everyday second baseman and and seeing the last of colton long. I think defensively Tommy is going to be a very steady player at second base. I think you'll make the routine place. He won't make spectacular. Plays that we saw colton. Long make. Albany certainly has more than enough arm. We saw the end up. Learn to play third. So that's not going to be an issue. He's a smart guy. He'll be positioned well You know we haven't yet seen his chemistry in an extended period of time with with paul dion short. But i'm assuming that can be okay. So i don't think i i don't think second base will be you know. He will necessarily be a gold glove type of candidate like Cold one was. But i think he'll be solid there. I think the bigger question for me on time is which offensive. Tommy edmund is gonna be is going to be the guy that was just so this last year you know put second in the batting order but really didn't sparkle like he did as a as a rookie and twenty nineteen. And you know it would be wonderful. If one part of game of tommy edmonds game could be plus if he could be a plus hitter like he wasn't his rookie year. Or if you could be a plus defender. I don't think he's going to be a plus defender now again. You said as today. He's the second basement that's true but younger cardinals still could sign a veteran second baseman or a veteran third baseman. And that mike shuffle. Tommy ed monroe as you said before we don't know about the d. h. But i will tell you that if you look at the infield position for the saint louis cardinals. It's gotten thin in a hurry. Because we saw mack truck left the cartels tried to get him through. Waivers was claimed by the cubs. Brad miller's free agent gone cold wong's on and really the only guy that they've got the minor leagues to step in and fill. The gap is at sosa who is again primarily shortstop but he can also play second third so you know so so it could be a guy to come in and be a backup but you look at the cardinals infield and say it seems like could be a home for another major league tested player for a one year deal or a two year deal until we see gorman or or monteiro reach saint louis and it'll just depend on what the market is. I think the cardinals could go either way. They could sign a second baseman Third basement because we know edmund can play the place and and do a respectable job but of course without a d. h. You know carpenters is pretty. Well you know tied to be your third baseman. At least you know most as absolutely. I'll let you go this brian kiss. I appreciate your time what he working on a. d. car donation dot com in addition to your top fifty prospects list going to be looking ahead at the rule. Five i mentioned earlier that That that draft will be coming up in early december. As part of the virtual general managers earn the virtual winter meetings and by the twentieth of this month the cardinals gonna have to decide which prospects that they want to protect put on the forty man roster of course because the forty man roster is limited in size. You kind of have to you know balance. You can't put all the guys on you want you to think about who might be taking a nut so we'll do some analysis there As well and then i'll also back. I'm working on an article to talk about the strategy. The cardinals might take in the off season if they want to be potential little more creative than the career path which appears to be try to sign wainwright and yadi and a few complimentary pieces always love it. Brian great info is always. Thanks for doing this. And we'll catch up next wednesday. Thank you there. That's brian walden of the cardinal nation dot com.