St. Louis Cardinals Prospects: 2024 Midseason Top 30 Update


Once considered among the top player-development organizations in the game, the Cardinals’ reputation has taken a hit in recent seasons. It’s still not the deepest or most talented system, but there is a collection of close-to-the-majors players with the ability to help the big league club in coming years. 

Top pitching prospects Tink Hence, Tekoah Roby and Cooper Hjerpe have all dealt with injuries in recent weeks. On the bright side, Quinn Mathews has been one of the most impressive pitchers in the minor leagues this year and is now a Top 100 prospect. 

Baseball America subscribers can see the full updated Cardinals Top 30 here. Notable risers, fallers, new additions and injury updates are below.

Notable Risers 

Quinn Mathews, LHP

A strong performer at Stanford, Mathews looked like a classic Cardinals draft pick: A soft-tossing lefty with advanced pitchability and little projection. Over the first half of 2024 that’s proven to not be the case, as the 23-year-old has made a big jump with his stuff. Mathews now sits mid-90s with excellent shapes and feel for his entire arsenal. 

Pedro Pages, C

After years of being considered one of the more underrated players in the Cardinals’ system, Pages has finally gotten his shot in the major leagues. While his overall slashline isn’t impressive, his underlying skills are there, and he’s a strong defender. Pages is a solid platoon catcher who should carve out a nice career. 

Adam Kloffenstein, RHP

Acquired from Toronto at last year’s trade deadline, Kloffenstein made his debut for the Cardinals in 2024. He’s been developed as a starter, but many within the Cardinals organization believe he can develop into a valuable reliever with a deep arsenal of pitches and the ability to generate ground balls at a rate near or above 50%. 

Notable Fallers

Chase Davis, OF

Davis has begun to recover some of his prospect status after a disastrous opening to the 2024 season. The Cardinals have worked with Davis to clean up parts of his swing, and he’s turned a corner of late. That said, this is a first-round pick with a power five college perigee, so struggling in Low-A is an ominous sign. 

Max Rajcic, RHP

After a strong showing in 2023, Rajcic has struggled this year, as he’s been hit hard by Double-A pitching and seen his command regress. Rajcic lacks pure stuff and projection, putting his future impact up in the air. 

Notable New Additions

9. Jose Fermin, SS

BA Grade/Risk: 45/High 

Track Record: Fermin was signed by the Guardians in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic for $500,000. After a difficult season at the plate in 2022, Fermin was traded to the Cardinals in November of that year for cash. He made his major league debut on July 7th, 2023. 

Scouting Report: After a league-average season at the plate in 2023, Fermin has taken a drastic step forward offensively in 2024. Fermin has always possessed strong bat-to-ball skills and approach, but in 2024 he’s pushed that into plus-plus territory while adding loft to his swing. Though his raw power is still below-average, Fermin is hitting the ball harder now due to an ability to consistently find the barrel with flush contact. He’s a plus runner and good base stealer, too. He’s not aggressive on the base paths but knows how to pick his spots. Fermin plays second base primarily but can fill in at shortstop and third base when needed. He shows an average arm in the field. 

The Future: Fermin is a ready-made utility infielder with a bat that’s trending upward. 

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60 | Power: 40 | Speed: 60 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 50

22. Nick Dunn, 3B/2B

BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

Track Record: Selected in the 5th round of the 2018 draft out of Maryland, Dunn has spent parts of seven seasons in the minors. He hit .320/.413/.442 in 2023 between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis and returned to Memphis to begin 2024.

Scouting Report: Dunn is a bat-first prospect to the extreme. His hitting prowess has been on display for over a year at the minor leagues’ highest level, and he’s a career .324/.401/.467 hitter over 100 games in Memphis. Dunn is an elite contact hitter, swinging and missing on pitches in the zone so far this season at a rate of just 3.9%. He keeps a tidy zone and walks as frequently as he strikes out. He shows below-average power but optimizes ball flight on his best contact, allowing his power to play up. Dunn is a below-average defender at second and third base. 

The Future: Dunn has the sort of advanced hit tool that might allow him to carve out an MLB career as a bat-first replacement at second.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60 | Power: 40 | Speed: 45 | Fielding: 40 | Arm: 50

25. Ryan Loutos, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

Track Record: Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2021, Loutos was targeted for his computer programming skills as much as he was for his on-field ability. A computer science major at the prestigious Washington University in St. Louis, Loutos has worked with the Cardinals analytics department to help refine player-facing reports. Loutos took a big step forward entering the 2022 season and ascended to the major leagues, making his debut on June 1, 2024.

Scouting Report: Loutos is a big-bodied righthander standing in at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds. He saw a significant jump in fastball velocity and stuff entering 2022 and now sits 94-95 mph, touching 97 mph at peak. While Loutos does not possess true swing-and-miss stuff, he attacks with a mix of his fastball, a hard slider and changeup and changes eye levels well. His command is fringe-average, and he will purposely throw his fastball out of the zone at times for chases.

The Future: Loutos is a one-inning reliever likely destined for lower-leverage middle relief work. 

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 45

28. Matt Koperniak, OF

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: A member of Team Great Britain in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and former Division III star at Trinity College in Connecticut, Koperniak signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020. He has shown excellent bat-to-balls skills and hitterish traits over his three minor league seasons.

Scouting Report: Koperniak is a well-rounded player that has no standout tools but does a variety of things well on a baseball field. Koperniak’s best tool is his contact skills. While somewhat aggressive in his approach, he showcases above-average bat-to-ball ability and rarely misses at pitches he swings at in-zone. Koperniak limits strikeouts, as shown by his 15.3% strikeout rate over 167 Triple-A games the last two seasons. Despite higher ground ball rates, Koperniak demonstrates power with average EVs and the ability to find the barrel. An average runner, Koperniak has the ability to handle an outfield corner at an average level with an average arm.

The Future: Koperniak is a bag of 50-grade tools who should profile as a second division regular. 

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55 | Power: 45 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 50

29. Joshua Baez, OF

BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme 

Track Record: One of the most exciting packages of present power and tools in the 2021 high school class, Baez has struggled over his first few seasons as a professional. After making his debut in the Florida Complex League, Baez dealt with an injury-plagued campaign in 2022. He spent all of 2023 with Low-A Palm Beach before reaching High-A to begin 2024.

Scouting Report: Baez is a physical power hitter with significant swing-and-miss concerns that have hampered his progression to start his pro career. Baez’s contact is well below-average but has shown incremental progression in 2024. He struggles with spin and doesn’t show particularly strong contact skills against any particular pitch type. Baez’s offensive identity is based around his plus power. He has the ability to hit the ball out to any part of the ballpark; it’s just a matter of making enough contact. Baez is a fringe-average runner with the ability to handle either outfield corner due to his plus throwing arm. 

The Future: Baez is a power-over-everything prospect that will need to progress as a hitter to project as a second division regular.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 30 | Power: 60 | Speed: 45 | Fielding: 45 | Arm: 60

30. Jonathan Mejia, SS

BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

Track Record: Mejia was the top international signing in the Cardinals 2021-22 class with a bonus of $2 million. After a strong debut in the Dominican Summer League, he struggled in his stateside debut in 2023, hitting .159 over 41 games. Mejia began his 2024 season returning to the Florida Complex League.

Scouting Report: Mejia is a hit-first prospect with improving bat-to-ball skills. After struggling with whiffs in 2023, Mejia has made significant progress in 2024, cutting his in-zone whiff rate by nearly a third. He shows an average hit tool with an average approach. Power at present is not a part of Mejia’s game, as the majority of his extra-base hits tend to be doubles. There’s enough projection remaining for Mejiaa to get to fringe-average power with further refinement to his angles on contact. He is an average runner and below-average defender with an average arm.

The Future: Mejia is trending back in the right direction and has a chance to develop into a bat-first utility infielder.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50 | Power: 40 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 40 | Arm: 50

Significant Injuries

Tekoah Roby, RHP

Over his professional career, Roby has dealt with a laundry list of injuries. He suffered from a back issue in spring training and has been on the shelf since late May following a shoulder injury. There is no time table for his return.

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