St. Louis Cardinals 2022 MLB Draft Report Card
To see 2022 Draft Report Cards for every team, see our Draft Report Card landing page here.
Best Pure Hitter: OF Alex Iadisernia (7) was a standout hitter for Elon for three seasons with strong contact ability and a good batting eye—though his power is limited.
Best Power Hitter: C Jimmy Crooks (4) had an excellent 2022 season with Oklahoma, where he hit .305/.430/.506 with 20 doubles and nine home runs. That production translated nicely to his pro debut in 2022, where he homered three times in 23 games, while averaging nearly an 89 mph exit velocity.
Fastest Runner: OF Victor Scott (5) is a true burner and 80-grade runner who went 62-for-72 (86%) in stolen base attempts during his career with West Virginia. He tacked on 13 stolen bases in 16 tries (81%) in his pro debut with Low-A Palm Beach.
Best Defensive Player: Scott’s (5) running ability gives him plus or better defensive potential in center field, thanks to the massive amount of ground he’s able to cover.
Best Fastball: The Cardinals drafted a number of pitchers who don’t light up the radar gun, but have exceptional control. Still, LHP Cooper Hjerpe (1) could find his way to a plus fastball thanks to his unique release characteristics. The pitch plays well above the low-90s velocity he averages thanks to an elite vertical approach angle. RHP DJ Darpenter (14) also showed a good fastball in his pro debut. The pitch sat 94-95 and touched 97 with plus riding life.
Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Joseph King (9) has a plus changeup with late drop that comes out of an over-the-top arm slot, while LHP Brycen Mautz (2) has a low-80s slider that is an above-average offering and hellish against lefthanded hitters with sweeping shape.
Best Pro Debut: Carpenter (14) struck out six batters and walked two in a brief, four-inning pro debut, but the best option for this category is likely Crooks (4). He spent his entire pro debut with Low-A Palm Beach, was 50% better than the league average hitter and also threw out 31% of baserunners.
Best Athlete: Scott (5) has the sort of straight-line speed that makes him a solid choice for this category, and he can make plenty of highlight-reel plays in the outfield.
Most Intriguing Background: RHP Max Rajcic (6) was an extremely accomplished amateur pitcher before he ever set foot on UCLA’s campus. He was the top starter on USA Baseball’s 18U National Team in 2019 and also was a key pitcher for Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High. He had a chance to win USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational in each year of high school before the Covid pandemic wiped out the 2020 event.
Closest To The Majors: The Cardinals have a number of polished arms who could move quickly, starting first and foremost with Hjerpe (1)—who could offer a unique look out of the bullpen but should be developed as a starter. LHP Pete Hansen (3) had some of the best command in the 2022 class and could have the pinpoint accuracy to move quickly despite more middling pure stuff.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): SS Michael Curialle (12) has solid athleticism that could allow him to contribute at a number of defensive positions, and has flashed raw power—if he can make more contact in pro ball he could outplay his day three draft status.
The One Who Got Away: RHP Gavin Van Kempen (20) was a riser during the 2022 spring after throwing harder and starting to fill out a still-projectable 6-foot-6 frame. He was one of the younger players in the class as well, but will now begin his college career with West Virginia.