And it results in players reaching St. Louis with
comprehension that winning is expected when they arrive.
Rookie of the Year candidate Jaime Garcia understood that,
as did lesser contributors like Allen Craig and Daniel
"We're producing players at the Major League level," Vuch
said. "We're looking forward to the following year being
Getting help from the farm system might become even more
important in 2011 and beyond if the Cardinals want to get
back to the top of the National League Central. With the Reds looking to repeat, the Astros' youth making strides and the Brewers making big offseason noise to improve, the Cardinals will need to continue to complement their superstars with help from within if they want to remain one of the powers of the NL.
"We're in a [good] division, and we're the kind of club that needs to have production from the farm system, getting guys up to the big leagues," Vuch said. "We've gotten marquee players who take up a considerable amount of our payroll. We need players who are more affordable for us. Producing our own is the way to do that.
"Once in a while, you need to make a trade, so you need to
have something another team would want. For us, the farm
system is a huge part of it. It's only going to become more
important in future years."
Organizational Players of the
MLB.com's Preseason Picks
Daniel Descalso, 2B: After a breakout in Double-A in
2009 (albeit with a slowdown upon promotion in the second
half), the thinking was Descalso would figure out the
Pacific Coast League and top the system in hitting while
showing some pop. He didn't have a bad year, hitting
.282/.350/.421 with 32 doubles, nine homers and 71
RBIs, and earning his first callup to the big leagues.
Lance Lynn, RHP: Lynn was the choice to earn this nod
for the second year in row, with a second straight
organizational ERA title in the offing. A rough first half,
particularly a 9.28 ERA in June, made that impossible. But
Lynn did bounce back to go 7-3 with a 3.58 ERA in 11
MLB.com's Postseason Selections
Matthew Adams, 1B: When you're taken out of Slippery
Rock University in the 23rd round, expectations aren't going
to be very high. But Adams, the 2009 draftee, may have
raised the bar a bit with his first full season. He finished
just two homers and four RBIs shy of an organizational Triple Crown, hitting .310 with 22 homers and 88 RBIs to go along with his .541 slugging percentage. He topped the Midwest League in RBIs and slugging, finished tied for second in homers, third in OPS and fifth in average en route to an All-Star season.
Deryk Hooker, RHP: Hooker has been through a lot
since being drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 Draft
out of high school, including serving a 50-game suspension
for a positive test for a "drug of abuse." In 2010, he made
his full-season debut and made up for lost time, earning a
promotion from Class A Quad Cities to Class A Advanced Palm
Beach. Along the way, he finished with a 2.99 ERA, which
would have led the system had he thrown enough innings to
qualify. In his 111 1/3 innings of work, he did strike out
127 for a 10.3 K/9 ratio. At the same time, he only yielded
36 walks for a 3.53 K/BB rate.