Every year, ESPN's Keith Law reveals a variety of personal rankings of baseball's prospects, including a ranking of all 30 organizations in terms of farm system talent. He's particularly bullish about the St. Louis Cardinals in his 2012 organizational rankings, placing them as the fourth-best farm system in all of baseball.
St. Louis has traded numerous top prospects over the years to bolster the big league club, but a consistent flow of talent into the organization has allowed the Cardinals to build up some impressive prospect depth anyways. Law noted that the Cardinals are in an awfully good position even without Albert Pujols:
They've drafted very well in the past few years, which has to be heartening to Astros fans, as Houston just hired Jeff Luhnow, who oversaw the Cards' recent drafts, as GM. St. Louis also has done an excellent job of developing the players it's drafted. I really like how the Cards are set up to contend continuously during the next five years.
Even without Luhnow, the Cardinals still have the system in place to keep adding talent. And the Astros should be pretty darn happy to have such a talented guy in house. St. Louis' farm system is led by an impressive trio of pitchers, Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez and Tyrell Jenkins. They also have some quality hitters, though, including second baseman Kolten Wong, outfielder Oscar Tavares and third baseman Zack Cox.
For more on the Cardinals prospects and world of minor league baseball, drop by Minor League Ball with John Sickels. Stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for more Cardinals news and notes.