[Ed. note - below is one of a series of one question interviews completed before we left for vacation. Please keep in mind as you read that we are still cutting our chops asking "hard hitting questions" so I hope you all find these interesting. Today's interviewee is John Vuch, Director of Minor League Operations for the St Louis Cardinals. Thanks John!]
PH8: Cardinal fans have waited a long time for the arrival of Colby Rasmus in St Louis. Everyone knew of Rasmus and knows of the other highly rated prospects in the system – what relatively unknown young player should Cards fans be most excited to see next?
John Vuch: Always tough to narrow it down to one “sleeper” or unknown prospect. Due to the increased attention that many fans pay to the farm system these days, guys don’t stay under the radar for long anymore. Some of the guys I’ll mention may not be “unknown” to those who follow the minor league clubs on a regular basis, but are probably not well-known names to the casual observer.
Of the position players, Daniel Descalso has quietly and rapidly made his way up the ladder and is off to a good start at AA. Despite being drafted a year earlier, he’s actually younger than many of the college players drafted in ’08. He’s a quality hitter with gap power and outstanding plate discipline. Another guy who really made some nice improvements over the off-season is Adron Chambers. He was an extra outfielder last year at Quad Cities, but came into spring training this year and really impressed. He’s one of those “Cardinals-type” outfielders from the ’80s with good speed and solid defense. His bat has improved, and while he won’t hit a lot of HR’s, he can plug the gaps and use his speed to pick up some extra base hits.
From a pitching standpoint, Adam Reifer is an exciting power arm who could move quickly through the system. Sam Freeman is a lefty reliever with above average stuff, who we drafted last year and is already at Palm Beach. One guy that was impressive this spring who hasn’t received much attention is Kevin Thomas at Quad Cities. He’s got a FB with very good sink and sits consistently at 91, while occasionally touching 93. Wasn’t a high draft pick last year, but he’s somebody that has impressed thus far.
Sorry I couldn’t narrow down to just one guy, but hope this will suffice!
More than sufficient John, thanks again! You can often find much more information from John Vuch over at Future Redbirds, where Erik and his team keep in close touch with John.