The St. Louis Cardinals will have one representative from their system in todays All-Star Futures Game in Miami. The lone Cardinals farm hand to participate is our third ranked prospect Jack Flaherty. He has produced a breakout season this year dominating at AA Springfield before receiving a promotion to AAA Memphis. A more in-depth profile of Flaherty and his success earlier this season can be found here. If you’re unfamiliar with the Futures Game, it is an annual event where some of the top minor leaguers from across baseball compete in their own all-star game. Instead of the American versus National League however, the players are split into two teams of the United States versus the World. With the game kicking off later today, let’s take a look at the Cardinals prospects who were selected to the past three Futures Games, and where they are now.
Last years Futures Game featured two Cardinals prospects who are still on the forefront of fans’ minds. Representing the World team was right handed pitcher and top ranked prospect Alex Reyes. Before receiving a promotion to St. Louis and dominating out of the bullpen, he toed the rubber in San Diego. Firing 1.2 scoreless innings and striking out four batters with triple digit heat. Unfortunately for Reyes and the Cardinals, his 2017 season was over before it began. A torn ligament in his pitching elbow required season ending Tommy John surgery in spring training.
The other Cardinal farm hand to represent at the Futures Game is the top catching prospect in baseball Carson Kelly. Already a well regarded defensive catcher, Kelly put together a fantastic offensive season in 2016, culminating in a September promotion to St. Louis. For 2017, Kelly returned to AAA Memphis for everyday at-bats where he has continued to hit. He is currently slashing .278/.367/.441 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs.
Alex Reyes was originally selected to compete for the World team, but due to injury he was unable to pitch. Luis Perdomo, another Cardinals minor leaguer was selected to take his place. Unfortunately, 2015 would be Perdomo’s final season in the Cardinals organization. He was left off the 40-man roster, and consequently selected by the Rockies in the major league portion of the Rule-5 Draft the following winter. He was then traded by the Rockies to the Padres. Since joining the Padres, Perdomo is 13-14 with a 5.28 ERA. He has pitched in 50 MLB games, making 35 starts.
The Cardinals had two players selected to the USA team in 2014. Left handed pitcher Marco Gonzales and outfielder James Ramsey. Both former first round picks, neither has fully lived up to that billing.
Gonzales has struggled with injuries the last couple of seasons. He showed a lot of promise in 2014, actually missing the Futures Game due to a promotion to St. Louis. That season he was 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA between A+/AA/AAA. Gonzales was successful in ten major league games as well. Going 4-2 with a 4.15 ERA, while making five starts. Finally healthy again this season, he has posted good numbers with Memphis, but struggled in a spot start for St. Louis. Through nine AAA starts, he is 5-3 with a 2.56 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
Ramsey spent parts of three seasons in the St. Louis organization. He spent the majority of his time between high-A and AA, reaching AAA for one game. After a successful first half with Springfield in 2014, he was traded to Cleveland for Justin Masterson. Ramsey played the rest of 2014 and the 2015 season with the Indians’ AAA team. 2016 saw him split time between the Dodgers’ and Mariners’ AAA clubs. He returned to the Mariners’ AAA club in 2017, but was released after one game. A career slash of .261/.353/.420, Ramsey was never able to replicate his college success at the professional level and therefore was expendable.
Playing in the Futures Game is of course no guarantee a prospect will become a star. However, it is certainly fun to watch and get a glimpse at the future of Major League Baseball. The game airs on MLB Network at 3pm CST.
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