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Revisiting the 2023 Cardinals MLB Draft class after the conclusion of the minor league season.
Best Pure Hitter: Both Chase Davis (1) and Travis Honeyman (3) are solid college hitters, though Honeyman is a bit more contact-oriented than Davis. Honeyman has yet to make his pro debut, but he’s a career .307/.382/.502 hitter over his career with Boston College and will rarely miss a fastball.
Best Power Hitter: Davis (1) has a pretty lefthanded swing with plenty of power that he gets to via bat speed and strength from a chiseled frame. He homered 18 times in his first full season with Arizona in 2022, added 21 more homers in 2023 and has loud top-end exit velocity data, though he struggled in a 34-game pro debut.
Fastest Runner: There are no obvious burners in St. Louis’s draft class, though Davis (1) and Honeyman (3) have above-average speed. Both might be better off in an outfield corner than in center field.
Best Defensive Player: The Cardinals are excited about Dakota Harris’s (11) defensive ability in the infield. He was highly-touted for his defensive work at shortstop dating back to high school and played all of his pro games in 2023 at the position, though he’s also played second, third, center and left field in the past.
Best Fastball: Righthander Jacob Odle (14) gets plus carry on his fastball. While he pitched just two innings in his pro debut, his fastball was the firmest of St. Louis’ draft class. The pitch averaged 94 mph and touched 96 and has plus potential.
Best Secondary Pitch: Lefthander Quinn Mathews (4) has mostly average stuff across the board, but his low-80s changeup was a consistent weapon for him this spring and helped him rack up the second-most strikeouts in the country (158) behind only Louisiana State’s Paul Skenes. He sells the pitch with great arm speed and it falls beneath the zone for misses and chases by both lefties and righties.
Best Pro Debut: Outfielder Zach Levenson (5) followed up a strong 2023 spring with Miami by slashing .268/.331/.480 with six home runs, one triple and six doubles in his pro debut. There’s some swing-and-miss in Levenson’s game, but he hits the ball hard and got it in the air at a decent clip with Low-A Palm Beach as well.
Best Athlete: Davis (1) has stood out for his physicality and natural athleticism dating back to his prep days. He has above-average power potential and a huge throwing arm that would fit nicely in right field.
Most Intriguing Background: Odle (14) impressed the Cardinals with 13.1 solid innings in the MLB Draft League during the summer. In that stint, the righthanded reliever posted a 2.03 ERA and struck out 29 batters, compared to nine walks. If he can continue to refine his fastball command, he could have the stuff to pitch as a big league reliever.
Closest To The Majors: Mathews (4) is the most big-league ready prospect in this Cardinals draft class. He has good feel to mix and match, throws strikes at a solid clip and has excellent mound presence.
Best Day Three Pick (Or NDFA): First baseman William Sullivan (13) produced extremely loud exit velocity numbers in his pro debut while also hitting .308/.395/.433 at Low-A Palm Beach. The Cardinals are also excited about outfielder Kade Kretzschmar (NDFA). He started his career at Dartmouth but transferred to California for his 2023 season and earned a promotion to High-A Peoria in his pro debut. Overall he hit .318/.431/.447 in 29 games.