ESPN's Keith Law has released his list of the top prospects in baseball. And what a difference a year can make.
Last season the Cardinals were criticized for not having anything in their farm system besides pitcher Shelby Miller that anyone wanted. This year not only has Miller, who barely made the top 10 in the pre-season rankings become a major star by moving forward by leaps and bounds. But Dominican pitcher Victor Martinez is scaling the heights of the prospect list as well.
Miller Ranked third on the list of top future stars while Martinez pulled in right behind Miller in the fourth spot. Here's what Law had to say:
Miller: He's the best right-handed pitching prospect in the minors with a plus fastball, above-average to plus curveball and much better changeup. Preseason Ranking: 9
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Martinez: Another easy velocity guy who'll touch 100 and has a plus breaking ball. A native of the Dominican Republic, he originally signed with Boston in 2009, but the deal was voided because of incomplete documentation. Just wait for the flurry of stories on how the Red Sox should still have Martinez's rights once he reaches the big leagues and turns into a star. Preseason Ranking: 52
I'm getting really excited about the future of the Cardinals rotation should these guys pan out -- and stay healthy. Miller is on a pace to make it to the Cardinals sometime in 2012 or at least by 2013 while Martinez was a much more polished product that could take the fast track to The Show.
The Birds would stand to have a cost effective -- yet dominant rotation for the foreseeable future. And that's something that might make the possibility of resigning Albert Pujols much more realistic because it would make much more sense to invest so much in the offense if the pitching was unusually affordable.