Edit: A bit of news is breaking I wantto throw in before I begin: Callum at Mop-Up Duty has the story that the Jays are on the verge of signing Roberto Osuna out of the Mexican League. if true, this would give them the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 21st, and 33rd players on the Baseball America list of the top 40 projected signing bonuses for this year's international signing period - and not all those players have signed yet. Osuna stands to be a serious catch if this pans out.
Now, on to business . . .
There's some discussion over at Viva El Birdos about who the three players to be named might be if the Cards do indeed take the players instead of the cash. the Cardinals have until the end of the year to select them and ken Rosenthal wrote: "The three players to be named? Don’t get too excited. They are not top prospects, according to a source."
But since there is, for some reason, a 2 day waiting period before a new poster can post there (thus I cannot offer an answer to the question directly) I will do so here and perhaps those who might be curious will find some direction. Of course it's true I'm not privy to the list or any inside info - but just as clearly I tend to obsess over the Jays farm system so I can surely give some insight to Cardinal fans who've never given it a thought before now.
This is just one girl's opinion as far as the rankings go, but they are not wildly different from the list you see on big name sites - just a lot longer. Also, constantly updated so this reflects the work these guys did in the first half.
I will include here no draftees from 2011 since they cannot be traded until they have been in the organization for a year and thus cannot be selected by the end of this year. Among those listed, I will highlight those I consider "top prospects" which are too good to be on the list in blue. I will highlight 2010 draftees who cannot be selected until after August 15 and free agent signings which cannot be selected until a later date this year in red. Those not already in blue of course. The rest might well be on the list, though I've not heard a specific report of how long the list is. It can't be as long as my list!
1. Brett Lawrie
2. Henderson Alvarez
3. Travis d'Arnaud
4. Anthony Gose
5. Jake Marisnick
6. Deck McGuire
7. Aaron Sanchez
8. Drew Hutchinson
9. Carlos Perez
10. Adeiny Hechevarria
11. Nestor Molina
12. Antonio Jimenez
13. Noah Syndergaard
14. Marcus Knecht
15. Justin Nicolino
16. Adonis Cardona - RHP
17. Chad Jenkins - RHP <-most advanced pitcher
18. Asher Wojciechowski - RHP <-higher upside than stats sugest
19. Michael Crouse - RF
20. Mike McDade - 1B <-either he or Cooper as potential depth of Pujols gets away
21. Moises Sierra - RF <-best OF arm in all the minors
22. David Cooper - 1B <-tearing it up, PCL caveat
23. DJ Thon - SS
24. Joel Carreno - RHP <-control still needs work
25. Brad Mills - LHP <-very likely choice
26. Adam Loewen - RF/1B <- fewer minor league AB's than Lawrie
27. Kellen Sweeney - 3B <- injured
28. Chris Hawkins - OF
29. Danny Farquhar - RHRP
30. Gus Pierre - SS <- probably have to change positions
31. Santiago Nessy - C
32. Griffin Murphy - LHP
33. Justin Jackson - IF/OF <- versitle, great D, low ceiling bat
34. KC Hobson - 1B <-good tools for 1B
35. Sean Nolin - LHP
36. Myles Jaye - RHP
37. Mitchell Taylor - LHP
38. Alan Farina - RHRP <-injured
39. Casey Lawrence - RHP
40. Brad Glenn - LF
41. Deivy Estrada - RHP
42. Daniel Webb - RHP <- very good stuff, struggling to use it
43. Darin Mastroianni - CF <- tweener
44. Marcus Brisker - CF
45. Sean Ochinko - C/3B/1B <-very versatile, 1st down year
46. John Anderson - LHP <- can't stay healthy
47. Brian Jeroloman - C <- outstanding defense, can't hit.
48. Chad Beck - RHP <- added some pitches, improved stock
49. Yan Gomes - C <- trapped behind better prospects, needs playing time.
50. Sam Dyson - RHP <-recovering from TJ surgery.
(counting Thames, and Luis Perez as major-leaguers even though not past rookie limits yet)
Anyone you see not on that list, unless he was added to the organization in 2011, is a guy you can have.
What I expect is that the list has a "Chinese menu" sort of pattern. That is, that there are three tiers of players and the Cardinals get to select one guy from each tier. So that, using my list as an example, they couldn't select Jenkins, Woj and Crouse. It would be more like the top 5 available guys are on one tier, the next ten on another tier and the rest on a third.
So a smart set might be Crouse, Mills, and Nessy - for example. Feel free, of course, to covet whom you wish. but I wouldn't get my hopes up about any of those in blue.