News, Notes and Historical Information on the St. Louis Cardinals
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Minor League expert Kevin Goldstein recently listed his top 10 Cardinals’ prospects. At the top of the list is the only very good prospect according to Goldstein. Colby Rasmus looks like a toolsy centerfielder and could be the heir apparant once Jim Edmonds rolls out of town. Jamie Garcia is the top rated pitcher with this year’s first round draft pick, Adam Ottavino, coming in at third.
There’s some good here, but not a lot of depth. And no can’t miss star. That’s a price for being so good for so long.
For as good of a player Orlando Cepeda was, he sure was traded a lot. In his ninth year with the Giants, which included six All Star appearances and a 142 RBIs season, the Giants cut bait on Cepeda early in 1966. They traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ray Sadecki that May after an injury filled 1965 limited Cepeda to 34 at bats. In the next five years, he’d be traded two more times.
The trade paid off big time. Cepeda finished 1966 with some good numbers (.303/.362/.469) but by 1967, Cepeda was truly back to form. He finished sixth in hitting with a .325 average and he was third in OBP with .399. He led the league with 111 RBIs and he was ninth with 91 runs. He got picked to play in his seventh All Star game (1967 would be his last) and with all of these solid numbers, he finished with all 20 first place votes and walked away with the only MVP of his career.
Cepeda’s first half really help set the ton for the Cardinals. He hit .356/.431/.556 in the first half vs. .291/.364/.489 in the second. Cepeda was particularly good with runners in scoring position, in which he hit .380. With two outs and runners in scoring position, he hit .412.
Here are Cepeda’s final 1967 stats.
Stolen Bases 11
Caught Stealing 2
The Cardinals lined up relief pitcher Russ Springer for one year and they’ll pay him $1.75 million. Springer struck out 46 batters in 59 2/3 innings and he played in a career high 72 games. The only major concern here is Springer’s propensity to giving up the long ball. He served up 10 last year in those 59 2/3 innings. But they’re not paying him much and hopefully he’ll bring that number down now that he’s out of Houston.
Jeff Sackman at the Hardball Times did a nice breakdown of the positives of the Cardinals signing Adam Kennedy. As always, it’s a solid read from a great website.
Man, this is huge. One of the best pitchers in baseball, Chris Carpenter, signed a five year contract extension with the Cardinals for $65 million. There’s an option for 2012 so the Cardinals have Carpenter locked up for the next seven years.
These deals aren’t without risk because pitchers can flame out in a hurry. Carpenter has been amongst the best in baseball the past two years though and pitching trumps all so I like this deal.
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