Taking a look at the next wave of talent

After putting away the Nationals in the National League Division Series, the Cardinals are showing no signs of slowing down.

Last night saw St. Louis crush the Giants 8-3 to move within a win of the World Series.

Adam Wainwright bounced back from his rough start in Game 5 of the NLDS, in which he allowed those six early runs, to surrender just a single run over seven innings and earn the win over the Giants in last night’s NLCS Game 4.

The Cardinals’ rotation is suddenly red-hot (even without the injured Jaime Garcia), their offense cannot be stopped (even without the injured Carlos Beltran) and their bullpen has been downright nasty.

If the Cardinals go on to win the World Series, would that make the Nats losing to them sting any less, or would it hurt even more seeing as how the Nationals were just a strike away from sending the Cards home?

I got some advance information on Baseball America’s All-Rookie team, which will be announced in the upcoming issue dated Oct. 30-Nov. 13.

Not surprisingly, Bryce Harper makes the All-Rookie squad, joining the Athletics’ Yeonis Cespedes and the Angels’ Mike Trout in the outfield.

Talk about a dynamite outfield trio. Power, speed, defense - those three have it all.

If I wanted to start an interesting debate, I could ask which of those three guys you’d want to have on your team for the next decade, but I have a feeling which way most of you might lean on that topic.

Giolitothrowingwhitesidebar.jpgAlso in this edition of Baseball America is a breakdown on each team’s 2012 draft class.

As you might expect, BA’s draft experts, Jim Callis, Conor Glassey and John Manuel, tie the eventual success of the Nationals’ 2012 draft to first-round pick Lucas Giolito, the prep right-handed pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery in August.

Giolito was ranked by Baseball America as having the second-best fastball of any pitcher in the draft, but the Nationals will need to wait until deep into next summer before seeing the 18-year-old let loose again following his surgery, which was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Baseball America lists second-round pick Tony Renda, a second baseman out of Cal-Berkley, as being the best pure hitter taken by the Nationals, and fourth-round pick Brandon Miller, an outfielder from Samford University, as the best power hitter in the Nats’ draft class.

Sixth-rounder Hayden Jennings, from Evangel Christian Academy (La.), is listed as the fastest runner in the draft class, while shortstop Stephen Perez, an eighth-round pick out of the University of Miami, was singled out as the best defensive player.

Right-handers Derek Self, taken in the ninth round out of the University of Louisville, and Robert Benincasa, a seventh-rounder out of Florida State, are considered the closest to the majors, according to Baseball America, but it’s also mentioned that Giolito could move quickly once he’s fully recovered from Tommy John.

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