In 2010, experts such as Baseball Prospectus, ESPN’s Keith Law, and Baseball HQ all had the Cardinal farm system at or near the bottom of their respective rankings. They weren’t alone. Many smart observers were caught in that trap.
Yet, look at a few names of those in development during the spring of 2010: Shelby Miller, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter, Trevor Rosenthal, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Matt Adams, Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso, Kevin Siegrist, Pete Kozma, Tony Cruz, Sam Freeman, and Keith Butler. Oh, and Oscar Taveras. Not a bad group, eh?
Baseball Prospectus analyst Kevin Goldstein saw little hope. He said, “If Miller Collapses, there is nobody here worthy of top-prospect recognition.”
Law wrote this: “I may be underrating their 2009 draft, particularly USC catcher Robert Stock, who had a strong pro debut after a disappointing college career, and they do have power arms in the system, many of whom project right now as relievers.”
Stock is still in the minors, as a reliever, and is still trying to gain traction from the position switch.
In the meantime, an entire phalanx of young power pitchers blew past him on the depth chart, seemingly out of nowhere. And a bunch of collegiate hitters (Craig, Carpenter, Adams, Jay) performed much, much better than experts believed they would.
The long and short of all this? “Experts” get the call wrong too, and when it comes to prospects, take what they say with a grain of salt.