Cardinals Top Prospects 2012: Keith Law Ranks 3 St. Louis Players In Top 50

July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; World outfielder Oscar Taveras drives in a run with a sacrifice fly during the third inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

The Cardinals have a trio of young prospects in Keith Law's top 50 rankings, with a fourth just on the cusp of the select group.

ESPN's Keith Law has released his latest prospect rankings, slotting three members of the St. Louis Cardinals into the Top 50, while adding a fourth to the "just missed" category.

Top among the Cardinals' young talents was RF Oscar Taveras, who comes in at No. 8:

8. Oscar Taveras, RF, St. Louis Cardinals (age 20)
Current level: Double-A (Springfield)
Preseason ranking: 53

It ain't pretty, as you know if you watched the Futures Game on Sunday, but it works, with average, power and an impressive ability to square up pitches most hitters can only foul off. He's hitting .324 AVG/.372 OBP/.593 SLG as a 20-year-old at Double-A, although I'm skeptical that he'll be able to play center field at an adequate level in the majors ...

Also getting some attention: No. 17 RHP Shelby Miller, No. 22 Carlos Martinez and "just missed" RHP Tyrell Jenkins.

Head over to the Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos for more news and analysis on the St. Louis Cardinals. And for a deeper look at the league's most intriguing prospects, check out Minor League Ball with John Sickels.

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