This article was originally published at the Redbird Daily by Colin Garner, and is now proud to call the Cards Conclave home. Throughout July, we’ll be re-running all 30 Prospect articles as we lead up to Colin’s Mid-Season Prospect Update later in the month.
In Collaboration with Kyle Reis and Birds On The Black, Colin Garner presents you with The Cardinals Top 30 Prospects! Today, we have #20, Tommy Edman.
20. Tommy Edman – SS
6th Round – 2016 Draft
Entering age-23 season
2017 wRC+ (Springfield): 80
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What I Like
Tommy Edman is an extremely fun player to watch. He’s a switch-hitting shortstop with a good glove that can run. His glove is the strongest part of his game — I saw about a dozen Springfield games in person and he made several impressive plays. One in particular, when he ranged into the hole, dove, got up quickly and made a strong, accurate throw, I can recall vividly.
At the plate, he was up and down in Springfield. After Edmundo Sosa went down with a broken wrist, Edman was rushed to Springfield. He struggled mightily, hitting .083 in his first six games. He made adjustments in July, his best month when she slashed .302/.337/.417. However, he struggled again in August and September; the cat-and-mouse game of adjustments between hitters and pitchers (especially in an eight-team league like the Texas League) got the best of him.
He didn’t strike out too much in Springfield, but the main reason I have Edman ranked so high is that he has a clear path to the majors. Think the Daniel Descalso/Greg Garcia role, except a switch hitter that plays a much stronger shortstop than either Descalso or Garcia. Daniel Descalso might not seem like a flattering comparison for Edman, but Descalso has quietly had an eight-year major league career (and got a really important hit in Game 6, for what it’s worth).
What I Don’t Like
The lack of power stands out big-time. He’s not a very different player than Edmundo Sosa (number 21 on our list), there are a couple of things that work in his favor. First, he’s a switch hitter, a huge plus for a possible bench bat. Second, he played at Double-A last year, something Sosa hasn’t done yet. Regardless, a little more power would go a long way for Edman, even if it would still be below-average in the majors.
Rate stats don’t like him, either. His wRC+ of 80 is 20% below league average. (It’s right between Pete Kozma‘s Double-A wRC+’s of 64 and 94), and Daniel Descalso was solidly above league average in both his Double-A stints.
As much as I enjoyed watching Edman last year, I hate that he only got 18 games in Palm Beach before being pushed to Springfield. It wasn’t an earned promotion, it was a necessary promotion because of Sosa’s injury. Despite the fact that he held his own, it wasn’t the scenario that gave him the best chance to succeed. He earned his promotion from Peoria to Palm Beach, and he should have finished the season there.
I would start Edman in Double-A with Edmundo Sosa. They both need to show some versatility, and moving the two of them between shortstop, second, and third is the best thing for their major league prospects. Additionally, I thnk Edman should be given the chance to have real success in Springfield before being pushed to Memphis, where he’s one injury away from St. Louis, which he isn’t ready for.
Thanks for reading! As always thanks to Baseball Reference and Fangraphs for their statistics databases. Be sure to check out Kyle’s post tomorrow at Birds On The Black, and check out Prospect To Be Named Later for even more minor league content.