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Player Reports

  1. 1. Jordan Walker | 3B
    Jordan Walker
    Born: May 22, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Decatur, Ga., 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Charles Peterson.
    Minors: .304/.404/.489 | 4 HR | 10 SB | 135 AB

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: Track Record: Walker used an impressive start to the 2020 spring before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the season to vault himself forward on draft boards, resulting with a selection by the Cardinals with the 21st pick in the draft. He signed for a below-slot deal of $2.9 million to forego a commitment to Duke. He then had one of the best pro debuts of any 2020 draftee, hitting his way out of Low-A Palm Beach in 2021 after 27 games and ranking as the No. 2 prospect in Low-A Southeast. He continued to hit well at High-A Peoria, where he ranked as the No. 3 prospect in High-A Central. He stood out for his combination of power and feel for hitting, thus solidifying himself as the top prospect in the organization. Walker finished the season hitting .317/.388/.548 between the Class A levels with 14 home runs, 25 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 82 games, earning the organization’ s minor league player of the year honors while shooting onto the Top 100 Prospects ranking.

    Scouting Report: Walker has an imposing 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame and rare strength for a teenager, crushing a ball at 116 mph off the bat in his first month as a professional. He’ s got a good feel for hitting and an advanced approach for the game, impressing the organization with the way he made adjustments on the fly. The length to Walker’ s swing produces some swing-and-miss issues, but he does a good job of catching up to velocity and has good knowledge of the strike zone. Walker hits the ball to all fields and should project for at least an average hit tool in the future to go along with plus-plus power as he matures. He posted a 15% walk rate and 17% strikeout rate at Low-A, but struggled to a 6% walk rate and 27% strikeout rate against more advanced pitchers at High-A, which is common for a young hitter facing more advanced arms. Some scouts believe he’ ll continue to have trouble with spin due to his aggressiveness as a hitter. However, Walker does a good job of making adjustments on the fly and rarely makes the same mistake twice. Walker is a good athlete, runs well for his size and worked hard to improve at third base. He has good footwork and above-average arm strength, but he will need to improve his instincts and reactions to stick at the hot corner. Opposing scouts are split on whether he will fit at third base, with some believing he’ ll end up at first base or right field, where his arm and offensive ability will profile well. Walker has an excellent work ethic, which should help give him a chance to stick at third base moving forward.

    The Future: Walker’ s combination of tools and performance fit the profile of a future middle-of-the-order masher who could one day hit 35 home runs in a season. After the way he performed at the Class A levels in 2021, he looks ready for an assignment to Double-A, and it’ s not out of the question that he could make it to Triple-A by the end of the 2022 season, setting himself up for a 2023 major league debut.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 70. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 55.

  2. 2. Nolan Gorman | 2B/3B
    Nolan Gorman
    Born: May 10, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Phoenix, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Mauricio Rubio.
    Minors: .308/.367/.677 | 15 HR | 3 SB | 133 AB

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: Track Record: The top prep power hitter in the 2018 draft class, Gorman spent the 2019 season at the Class A levels before impressing at 2020 spring training and spending the summer at the alternate training site, where he continued to stand out offensively. He made his upper minors debut in 2021 and put together his best year as a pro. Gorman led the Cardinals organization with 231 total bases and finished third with 25 home runs as he climbed from Double-A Springfield to Triple-A Memphis, and did it while lowering his strikeout rate the higher he climbed.

    Scouting Report: Gorman transitioned from third base to second base after the Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado from the Rockies before the season. He impressed the organization with his range and actions while continuing to work on improving his footwork turning double plays. He has plus arm strength and projects to be a fringe-average, but playable, defender at the keystone. Regardless of position, it’ ll be Gorman’ s bat that makes him an above-average everyday player. He has plus-plus raw power and can hit a home run out of any park. He destroys pitches down in the zone and consistently posts high exit velocities. Gorman is an aggressive hitter who doesn’ t walk much and is prone to chasing, but he makes enough contact to regularly access his power.

    The Future: Gorman is on track to be a middle-of-the order slugger who hits 30-35 home runs per year. He is in position to make his major league debut sometime during the 2022 season.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 70. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 60.

  3. 3. Matthew Liberatore | LHP
    Matthew Liberatore
    Born: Nov 6, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Glendale, Ariz., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: David Hamlett (Rays).
    Minors: 3-3 | 3.82 ERA | 46 SO | 12 BB | 40 IP

    BA Grade: 55/Medium

    Track Record: Track Record: The top prep pitcher in the 2018 draft class, Liberatore surprisingly fell in the draft before the Rays scooped him up with the 16th overall pick. He impressed in his full-season debut at Low-A in 2019 before being traded to the Cardinals in the deal that sent Randy Arozarena to Tampa Bay. The Cardinals aggressively pushed Liberatore to Triple-A to start the 2021 season despite the fact he was 21 years old and had never pitched above Low-A. He understandably struggled at the start of the season but improved as the year progressed and logged a 2.67 ERA in his final 10 starts.

    Scouting Report: Liberatore has a well-rounded four-pitch arsenal and is polished beyond his years. His fastball velocity ranges from 89-93 mph on some days to 92-96 mph on others, but it gets carry at the top of the zone with good running life at any velocity to remain an effective pitch. Liberatore throws a trio of impressive secondaries, led by an above-average, upper-70s curveball that has hard, late snap and downer action. His curveball was his clear out pitch in previous years, but it’ s arguably been surpassed by his above-average, low-80s slider with late, three-quarters tilt. His changeup gives him a fourth above-average offering as a low-80s pitch he sets up well and uses to finish off batters. Liberatore is a cerebral pitcher with a good feel for mixing his pitches and reading swings. His repeatable delivery and clean arm action from the left side portend at least above-average control.

    The Future: Liberatore has the pitchability and well-rounded arsenal to be a solid No. 3 starter. It shouldn’ t be long before he makes his big league debut in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Curveball: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 55.

  4. 4. Michael McGreevy | RHP
    Michael McGreevy
    Born: Jul 8, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Signed By: Michael Garciaparra.
    Minors: 3-1 | 2.58 ERA | 41 SO | 4 BB | 46 IP

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Track Record: McGreevy made an immediate impact at UC Santa Barbara by earning freshman All-America honors as a reliever in 2019 and posting a 0.99 ERA in four starts in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the season. He built on that success and solidified himself as the best pitcher on the West Coast during his junior season, posting a 2.92 ERA with 115 strikeouts and only 11 walks in 101.2 innings. The Cardinals drafted him 18th overall and signed him for $2.75 million. McGreevy made seven starts split between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Palm Beach after he signed, throwing no more than two innings in any outing.

    Scouting Report: McGreevy is a control artist who also happens to have four above-average or better pitches. His fastball sits in the low 90s and tops out at 96 mph. The pitch plays up with armside sink and finish, and he is able to effectively locate it to both sides of the plate. McGreevy’ s curveball is his most effective secondary offering as a top-to-bottom hammer that flashes plus. He rounds out his four-pitch mix with a mid-80s slider and a changeup that flash above-average as well. McGreevy ties everything together with plus-plus control. He floods the strike zone with all of his pitches and his few misses are very small. McGreevy is an excellent athlete with a strong, durable build at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds and still has some projection remaining.

    The Future: McGreevy has all the ingredients to be a mid-rotation starter. He should start the season at High-A and could move quickly.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 60. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 70.

  5. 5. Ivan Herrera | C
    Ivan Herrera
    Born: Jun 1, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Panama, 2016.
    Signed By: Damaso Espino.
    Minors: .310/.405/.493 | 2 HR | 1 SB | 71 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Track Record: Herrera signed with the Cardinals for $200,000 when he was 16 and immediately became one of the most productive hitters in their system. He spent 2020 spring training learning under Yadier Molina’ s tutelage and was invited to the Cardinals alternate training site in the summer. Herrera jumped to Double-A in 2021 and experienced his first offensive struggles with a career-worst .229/.342/.403 slash line, but he still hit 17 home runs and earned a promotion to Triple-A Memphis for his last game of the season.

    Scouting Report: Known for his above-average hitting ability, Herrera has a compact swing and makes solid contact. He has a good approach at the plate and does a good job of controlling the strike zone with low chase rates. Herrera posts low exit velocities and doesn’ t hit the ball very hard with fringe-average power, but he makes so much contact he is still able to pick up extra-base hits. Herrera’ s defense behind the plate is further behind. His receiving regressed during the coronavirus shutdown and he struggled with drops throughout the 2021 season. At his best, Herrera flashes good hands, moves well and has average arm strength, but he has long demonstrated a lack of focus and intensity that prevents him from performing up to his capabilities of being an above-average defender.

    The Future: Herrera will have to improve his defense to be Yadier Molina’s successor as the Cardinals catcher. He will still be only 21 when he begins next season at Triple-A and has plenty of time to rebound both offensively and defensively from a difficult 2021.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 45. Speed: 30. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  6. 6. Masyn Winn | SS/RHP
    Masyn Winn
    Born: Mar 21, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS-- Kingwood, Texas, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Jabari Barnett.
    Minors: .349/.404/.566 | 1 HR | 15 SB | 129 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    May Update: Improvements to Winn’ s swing and timing have paid off over the first month of the season. He’ s hitting for more contact, walking more and hitting the ball harder, more consistently with improved attack angles. His adjustments have been most noticeable on pitches on the inner half of the plate and the the upper-quadrants where now Winn is not only making contact but doing damage. Fully committed to development as positional player, Winn is blessed with one of the best infield arms in the game. His infield actions and defensive skills at shortstop need refinement, but he has the athleticism and arm you look for at the position.

    Track Record: Track Record: Winn excelled at both shortstop and on the mound for Kingwood (Texas) High and stood out with an impressive two-way performance at the World Wood Bat Association Championships in the fall of 2019. He lost most of his senior year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Cardinals still drafted him 54th overall and gave him an above-slot $2.1 million signing bonus to forgo an Arkansas commitment. Winn made his pro debut in 2021 and played shortstop nearly exclusively in 97 games across both Class A levels, but he did make one appearance as a pitcher.

    Scouting Report: Winn has arguably the strongest arm of any shortstop in the majors and minors. By the middle of July he already had 15 throws across the diamond at 92 mph or harder, more than twice as many as all major league infielders combined. The Cardinals were pleased with Winn’ s development as a hitter at Low-A, but opposing scouts are split on whether he will hit enough to remain a position player moving forward. He does a good job staying in the middle of the field and adjusting his swing, but he struggles mightily with spin and is overly prone to chasing out of the strike zone. He’ ll need to work on his approach and strike-zone discipline to become even a below-average hitter, and he has below-average power. The Cardinals would like to give Winn more opportunities on the mound in 2022. His fastball sits in the mid 90s and touches 98 to go with a hard slider that flashes plus and a developing changeup.

    The Future: Winn will start the 2022 season back at High-A. He will get more opportunities to prove himself as a two-way prospect, but he is trending toward ending up a pitcher long-term.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 40. Speed: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 80.
    Scouting Grades (Pitching): Fastball: 70. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 40.

  7. 7. Juan Yepez | 1B/3B/OF
    Juan Yepez
    Born: Feb 19, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Rolando Petit (Braves).
    Minors: .279/.323/.651 | 9 HR | 0 SB | 86 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    May Update: Promoted to the major leagues on May 4, Yepez has been hitting in the middle of the Cardinals order and playing everyday at DH and a variety of defensive positions. The early returns have shown that the approach we saw in the minor leagues last year has carried through to the majors. While he’ s limited defensively, his offensive production has proved too invaluable for the Cardinals to leave his bat on the bench.

    Track Record: Track Record: Yepez signed with the Braves out of Venezuela in 2014 and was traded to the Cardinals in 2017 in exchange for Matt Adams. Yepez didn’ t look like much of a prospect his first three years in the organization but broke out in a big way in 2021. He hit .286 with 27 home runs, 77 RBIs and a .969 OPS as he rose to Triple-A Memphis and was added to the Cardinals roster for the National League Wild Card Game. Yepez went to the Arizona Fall League after the season and continued to swing the bat well with seven home runs and a 1.028 OPS in 23 games.

    Scouting Report: Yepez gained about 20 pounds of muscle coming into the 2021 season, which led to more hard contact and the best season of his career. Now that he’ s gotten stronger, Yepez checks a lot of boxes as a hitter. He consistently barrels the ball, shows a patient approach and rarely chases pitches out of the strike zone. He has struggled at times with spin, but he destroys fastballs at any velocity. He has improved facing lefthanded pitching to reduce his platoon split and altogether projects to be an average hitter with above-average power. Yepez previously was versatile enough to play first base, third base and left field, but the added bulk and muscle has reduced his mobility. He is a well below-average runner and below-average defender who is limited strictly to first base and may have to be a DH.

    The Future: Yepez is blocked by Paul Goldschmidt in St. Louis, but the permanent addition of the DH in the National League would open up a spot for him. He should make his major league debut in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 30. Fielding: 40. Arm: 50.

  8. 8. Brendan Donovan | 2B/OF
    Brendan Donovan
    Born: Jan 16, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Clint Brown
    Minors: .298/.385/.404 | 1 HR | 0 SB | 57 AB

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    May Update: As St. Louis has shuffled its roster over the last few weeks, Donovan has seen an increase in playing time. Up with the major league club since late April, Donovan has seen time at all four infield spots, an inning in right field and has been given starts at shortstop. He’ s been productive at the plate, displaying advanced bat-to-ball skills and good plate discipline. His lack of impact and below-average exit data are potential red flags, but Donovan is a smart hitter who knows the strike zone and has the ability to put the ball in play and get on base.

    Track Record: The 2018 seventh-rounder from South Alabama played in just four games in the New York-Penn League after signing before making his full-season debut at Low-A in 2019, where he put up solid numbers. Donovan wasn’ t at the Cardinals alternate training site in 2020 but started the 2021 season on a tear, quickly advancing out of High-A after 25 games. He spent 50 games at Double-A Springfield before finishing the season at Triple-A Memphis. He hit .308 with two homers in the Arizona Fall League to wrap up the season.

    Scouting Report: Donovan wasn’ t much of a prospect coming into the year but his performance helped shoot him onto the prospect scene. He’ s a line-to-line hitter who gets on base, has a patient approach and doesn’ t have much swing and miss. He projects to be a plus hitter, with a high contact rate and the ability to hit mid-90s velocity, but the rest of his tools are below-average to fringe-average. Donovan has slightly below-average power and is a fringe-average defender at second base and third base. Some opposing scouts think he’ ll need to move permanently to left field. The Cardinals were pleased with his development this year and added him to the 40-man roster after the season.

    The Future: Donovan provides good value as a lefthanded bat off the bench on a Cardinals team stocked with righthanded hitters. He should make his big league debut in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 40. Running: 50. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50.

  9. 9. Alec Burleson | OF
    Alec Burleson
    Born: Nov 25, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 212
    Drafted/Signed: East Carolina, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: T.C. Calhoun.
    Minors: .321/.367/.591 | 9 HR | 2 SB | 137 AB

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Track Record: Burleson excelled as a two-way player throughout his college career at East Carolina, including earning a selection to the USA Baseball Collegiate National team, and was drafted by the Cardinals in the supplemental second round in 2020. He made his pro debut in 2021 and rose three levels from High-A to Triple-A, hitting a combined .270/.329/.454 with 22 home runs in 119 games.

    Scouting Report: Previously known as a contact-oriented hitter who rarely struck out, Burleson began taking bigger swings and increased his power production in his pro debut. He shows a propensity for barreling the ball and making hard contact in games, although the added power has come with more strikeouts as he’ s started expanding the zone. Burleson’ s bat path is still relatively flat, but he has a chance to add more loft to his swing and hit for even more power in the future. He should even out as an average hitter with average power. Burleson at times plays average defense in left and right field, but his arm is fringy despite his two-way background and he needs to be more consistent. He can also play first base, where he shows good footwork and actions.

    The Future: Burleson should start the 2022 season back at Triple-A. His major league debut won’ t be far off if he continues to swing the bat well.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 55. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 45.

  10. 10. Gordon Graceffo | RHP
    Gordon Graceffo
    Born: Mar 17, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Jim Negrych
    Minors: 3-2 | 0.99 ERA | 56 SO | 4 BB | 46 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    May Update: After multiple velocity jumps between the beginning of his 2021 collegiate season and the end of his first professional season last summer, Graceffo has held the velocity gains in a starting role this spring. Sitting 94-95 mph, Graceffo has been one of the best pitchers in the Midwest League early in 2022. His mid-to-high-80s slider and low-80s changeup are both driving swings and misses at an advanced rate. Graceffo’ s newfound power looks to be hanging around and he’ s a major up-arrow player as we head into the summer.

    Track Record: Following a freshman season at Villanova split between the bullpen and rotation, Graceffo began working as a starter full-time as a sophomore in the shortened 2020 season and put up a 1.42 ERA in four starts. He sustained that level of excellence over the full 2021 season, posting a 7-2, 1.54 mark with 86 strikeouts and 13 walks in 82 innings. The Cardinals were happy to scoop Graceffo up in the fifth round and sign him to an over-slot $500,000 deal. Graceffo jumped straight to Low-A Palm Beach after signing and posted a 1.73 ERA in 11 appearances (one start).

    Scouting Report: Graceffo started the 2021 season sitting 87-91 mph and touching 93, but by the end of the year his velocity ticked up to sit at 94 mph and was up to 98 in pro ball, and at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds he has some projection left to continue adding velocity. He commands the pitch well, pounding both sides of the strike zone. His best secondary is an upper-70s changeup with fading life and sinking action that is at least average and flashes plus. He rounds out his arsenal with a slider that is an above-average offering and a curveball with two-plane break. He also has the feel and strike-throwing ability to start, and the Cardinals were impressed by the way he constantly got into pitcher’ s counts.

    The Future: After having no trouble at Low-A Palm Beach, Graceffo could start the 2022 season at High-A Peoria. He projects as a back-end starter thanks to his pitch mix and strike-throwing ability.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 60. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 55. Control: 55

  11. 11. Lars Nootbaar | OF
    Lars Nootbaar
    Born: Sep 8, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Michael Garciaparra.
    Minors: .275/.400/.650 | 4 HR | 2 SB | 40 AB

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Track Record: Drafted in the eighth round in 2018 out of Southern California, Nootbaar advanced from Low-A all the way to Double-A in his first full season in 2019. He spent the summer of 2020 working as a mechanic during the coronavirus shutdown, but the time away from the field didn’ t hurt him. Nootbaar broke out offensively at Triple-A Memphis in 2021 and earned his first callup to the majors in late June. He returned to the majors for good in late July and appeared in 58 games overall for the Cardinals, mostly as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.

    Scouting Report: Nootbaar’ s intelligence and work ethic stand out in the organization. He’ s shown an ability to catch up quickly to each new assignment and has progressed rapidly in limited time as a professional. Nootbaar has the tools to be an above-average hitter with his advanced, patient approach at the plate. He rarely swings at bad pitches and has had nearly as many walks as strikeouts throughout every level of his career. Nootbaar possesses good bat speed and his strong, 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame should allow him to access more power in the future. His power is currently fringy, however. Nootbaar is a good athlete with average arm strength who should be able to stick in either corner outfield spot. He has below-average speed but covers enough ground with his long strides and solid route-running.

    The Future: Nootbaar’ s improvements have turned him from an up-and-down player to a potential everyday outfielder. He’ ll likely be on the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50

  12. 12. Joshua Baez | OF
    Joshua Baez
    Born: Jun 28, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 220
    Signed By: Jim Negrych.
    Minors: .000/0/0 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 1 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Track Record: Baez impressed on the high school summer showcase circuit with an impressive array of tools and a physical, 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame. He struggled with strikeouts during his high school senior season, but the Cardinals still drafted him with the 54th overall pick and gave him an over-slot $2.25 million signing bonus to forgo a Vanderbilt commitment. Baez reported to the Florida Complex League after signing and showed off his big tools, but he also hit .158 with 28 strikeouts in 95 plate appearances.

    Scouting Report: Baez has impressive bat speed and plus-plus raw power, but there are questions surrounding his ability to hit. He has some stiffness in his swings and a hand drop that hurts his ability to adapt to different velocities. Baez played center field in high school, but he’ s likely to slow down as he matures and will need to move to a corner, where he profiles as an above-average defender who makes good reads and takes good routes. He has a plus-plus arm and touched 98 mph on the mound as a high school senior. The Cardinals believe he will improve as a hitter as he gets more at-bats under his belt. Baez was one of the youngest players in the draft and didn’ t turn 18 until the end of June.

    The Future: Baez is a high-risk, high-reward player. He has the strength and physicality to dream about him hitting 30-plus home runs in the major leagues, but he’ ll need to make significantly more contact to get to that point. He’ ll likely start the 2022 season at Low-A.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 70. Speed: 40. Fielding: 55. Arm: 70.

  13. 13. Jonathan Mejia | SS
    Jonathan Mejia
    Born: Apr 12, 2005
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185

    Track Record: One of the early standouts in the 2021 international class, Mejia impressed scouts with his offensive upside as an amateur in the Dominican Republic, with the Cardinals building their class around him when he signed on Jan. 15, 2022.

    Scouting Report: Mejia is an aggressive hitter who swings to do damage, generating impressive bat speed from both sides of the plate. It’ s a sound swing from both sides and he generally stays under control, showing the ability to drive the ball for hard contact to the opposite field, with the potential to grow into 20-plus home run power. Mejia is an offensive-oriented player who has improved his footwork, but will need to continue making progress there to be able to stick at shortstop. He’ s a high-energy player who could fit at second or third base, with his arm and speed both grading out average.

    The Future: Mejia is one of the most exciting hitters the Cardinals have signed out of the Dominican Republic in recent years. His first test in pro ball should come in the Dominican Summer League in 2022.

  14. 14. Tink Hence | RHP
    Tink Hence
    Born: Aug 6, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Pine Bluff, Ark., 2020 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Dirk Kinney.
    Minors: 0-1 | 3.00 ERA | 5 SO | 1 BB | 3 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: The Cardinals drafted Hence in the supplemental second round in 2020 and signed him to an over-slot $1.15 million deal to lure him away from Arkansas. He was brought along slowly in 2021, appearing in just eight games in the Florida Complex League.

    Scouting Report: Hence saw his prospect status shoot up during his senior year after an impressive summer showcase circuit. He has a projectable body with room to fill out, and is already throwing a fastball that sits 90-93 mph and tops out at 95-96 mph from the right side. His breaking balls are his best weapons, a slider and curveball that he shows feel to spin. Both flash plus potential, and he rounds out his arsenal with a changeup that flashes average at times. The Cardinals intentionally brought Hence along slowly, wanting him to have a full season of preparation under his belt before making his full-season debut in 2022. They were encouraged by his mound presence and feel for pitching that he showed in the FCL.

    The Future: Hence has the arsenal to one day start in the major leagues, but he’ s years away from reaching that point. He’ ll make his full-season debut in 2022.

  15. 15. Zack Thompson | LHP
    Zack Thompson
    Born: Oct 28, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: Kentucky, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Jason Bryans.
    Minors: 2-1 | 4.42 ERA | 49 SO | 9 BB | 39 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: After a dominant junior season at Kentucky the Cardinals drafted Thompson in the first round in 2019, and he made 11 appearances out of the bullpen at High-A Palm Beach after signing. He stood out in 2020 at spring training, then spent the summer at the alternate training site. Thompson made his upper minors debut at Triple-A Memphis in 2021, where he struggled mightily, proving to be far too hittable and posting 5.5 walks per nine innings and a 7.06 ERA.

    Scouting Report: Thompson previously stood out for his loud arsenal, including a fastball that sat 91-94 mph and topped out at 97, but opposing scouts watched as his velocity backed up significantly early in the 2021 season. He sat 87-88 mph with big running life and pitched with restriction in his shoulder. Thompson’ s velocity began to pick up as the season progressed, and he was back to sitting 91-94 mph in the Arizona Fall League, where he struck out 22 batters over 17.1 innings of work. His slider sat in the low 80s in the AFL with a low spin rate and flat break, and his plus curveball had high spin rates exceeding 3,000 rpm. However, the curve has very little power, sitting 69-72 mph. Thompson rounds out his arsenal with a changeup that flashes average. Thompson has struggled with his below-average control at times, and it’ s imperative that he throws more consistent strikes, especially if his velocity continues to fluctuate.

    The Future: Thompson once looked like a mid-rotation arm, but the 2021 season was a step in the wrong direction. He’ ll head back to Triple-A Memphis in 2022, where he’ ll look to regain his velocity and improve his strike-throwing ability.

  16. 16. Andre Pallante | RHP
    Andre Pallante
    Born: Sep 18, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 203
    Signed By: Eli Tupuola

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: A 2019 fourth-rounder out of UC Irvine who was a third-team All-American in 2018, Pallante pitched well in the short-season New York-Penn League after signing, but was not at the Cardinals alternate training site in 2020. He showed no signs of rust at Double-A Springfield this season, posting a 3.82 ERA in 21 starts before earning a late-season promotion to Triple-A Memphis. He finished the season in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 22 batters and allowing just three runs in 21 innings while standing out to opposing scouts.

    Scouting Report: At 6 feet, 203 pounds Pallante isn’ t an imposing figure on the mound, but his fastball is an intimidating offering. The pitch sat 90-92 mph and touched 94 mph when he was in college, but it averaged 95.2 mph in 2021 and topped out at 98 mph in the fall league. The pitch has cutting action and late life, generating ground balls at a high rate, making it an above-average weapon. His low-80s slider is his best offspeed offering, an above-average pitch, and he also throws a low-80s changeup that grades out as average and a mid-70s, hammer curveball that he struggles to command. Pallante has a high arm slot and a delivery with a plunge in the back, which causes him to sometimes lose his balance on the mound, leading some opposing scouts to believe he best profiles in the bullpen. Pallante struggled at times to throw consistent strikes in 2021, but had shown average control before this season.

    The Future: Pallante should start the 2022 season back at Triple-A Memphis, but he could find himself shuttled back and forth between the big leagues as well.

  17. 17. Malcom Nunez | 3B
    Malcom Nunez
    Born: Mar 9, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2018.
    Signed By: Alix Martinez/Angel Ovalles.
    Minors: .204/.357/.345 | 3 HR | 1 SB | 113 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Nunez, a star at the 2016 15U World Cup, signed with the Cardinals in 2018 out of Cuba, then won the Dominican Summer League triple crown that same year. His encore performance in 2019 failed to live up to expectations, as he struggled between Rookie ball and Low-A, and he spent the 2020 summer at the alternate training site. He got back on track in 2021, quickly advancing out of High-A before spending 54 games at Double-A Springfield.

    Scouting Report: Nunez is likely to always be a bat-first player, but the Cardinals had him focus on improving his defense at the alternate site while working with infield coordinator Jose Oquendo. The organization was encouraged by the gains he made, but opposing scouts are skeptical he can stay at third base due to his lack of mobility and his maxed out body. He has a strong arm that flashes plus. Nunez has fast bat speed and plus power, but opposing scouts are concerned with his setup due to a hand hitch that causes his hands to go up. He might never be an everyday big leaguer, but his bat gives him value off the bench.

    The Future: Nunez will likely start 2022 back at Double-A Springfield, but he could quickly move up to Triple-A Memphis.

  18. 18. Jake Walsh | RHP
    Jake Walsh
    Born: Jul 20, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 192
    Signed By: Mike DiBlase
    Minors: 1-0 | 0.75 ERA | 17 SO | 5 BB | 12 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    May Update: Promoted to the major leagues on May 11, Walsh quickly appeared in two games, showing his nasty mid-90s fastball and low-80s hammer curveball combination. Over nine appearances with Triple-A Memphis Walsh sported a 0.82 ERA with a 1-0 record, six saves and a 37.2% strikeout rate. He has the sort of stuff to handle high-leverage innings now, and could be a reliable option out of the Cardinals bullpen this summer. Added to the 40-man roster this past winter, Walsh owns a 2.31 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and a 9.28 K/9 over his minor league career.

    Track Record: Walsh has pitched well at every level he’ s encountered, working as a starter in 2018 and posting a sub-3.00 ERA between the Class A levels before missing the majority of the 2019 season after having Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2021 as a full-time reliever, posting a 1.50 ERA in 13 appearances at Double-A Springfield before a late-season promotion to Triple-A Memphis. He finished the season in the Arizona Fall League, where he struggled in 11 appearances.

    Scouting Report: Walsh overpowered hitters at the Double-A level with a fastball that sat 96 mph and touched 100 mph. The pitch has riding life up in the zone and he threw it for a strike 69% of the time in 2021. He pairs the pitch with a big, downer curveball, a swing-and-miss weapon that projects as above-average. There’ s some stiffness in Walsh’ s operation, and some opposing scouts weren’ t convinced by his feel for pitching, though he is a solid strike thrower. The Cardinals stated their confidence in Walsh by adding him to the 40-man roster after the season ended.

    The Future: Thanks to his two-pitch mix, Walsh profiles as a solid middle reliever. He’ ll likely make his big league debut in 2022.

  19. 19. Edwin Nunez | RHP
    Edwin Nunez
    Born: Nov 5, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Alix Martinez
    Minors: 1-1 | 12.15 ERA | 7 SO | 11 BB | 7 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: MLB suspended Nunez a year due to a discrepancy with his age, but he officially signed with the Cardinals for $525,000 in June 2020. It didn’ t take long for Nunez to make his minor league debut, and he spent the 2021 season at Low-A Palm Beach, showing an elite fastball but bottom-of-the-scale control, walking 56 batters in 53.2 innings while posting a 10.90 ERA.

    Scouting Report: Nunez stands out for a 70-grade fastball that comfortably sits in the upper 90s and touches triple-digits, with sinking life. It’ s the only pitch he’ s shown much feel to command, as he struggled mightily to locate his two offspeeds. His slider has slurvy shape with a high spin rate and flashes plus, but he’ s unable to land it with any consistency. He rounds out his arsenal with a power changeup, but it lacks deception and he doesn’ t have much feel for throwing it. The Cardinals are taking a patient approach with Nunez, understanding it’ ll take time for his pitchability and command to catch up to his stuff, but opposing scouts are skeptical he’ ll ever be able to throw enough strikes. Nunez has a repeatable delivery, lending some hope that he could improve his command and control.

    The Future: After an up-and-down debut, Nunez should find himself at High-A Peoria in 2022. He has the stuff to profile as a late-inning reliever, but he’ ll have to improve his control and feel for pitching to get to that point.

  20. 20. Austin Love | RHP
    Austin Love
    Born: Jan 26, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 232
    Signed By: T.C. Calhoun
    Minors: 2-4 | 6.75 ERA | 47 SO | 16 BB | 38 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Love worked as a full-time reliever in his first two seasons at North Carolina in 2019 and 2020, but transitioned to the starting rotation for the 2021 season. He put up impressive numbers in 2021 while his draft stock shot up significantly. The Cardinals scooped him up in the third round of the July draft, and Love made seven appearances between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Palm Beach after signing. He allowed one earned run in eight innings.

    Scouting Report: Love uses a fastball that sat 91-94 mph as a starter and topped out at 97-98 mph. He has a pair of offspeed offerings that flash above-average, with a mid-80s slider with vertical break and a mid-80s changeup with fade and tumble. Love stood out to Cardinals officials after signing for the way he competed and his ability to command his three-pitch mix. Some opposing scouts feel Love profiles better in the bullpen, where his fastball would play up, but the Cardinals plan to use him as a starter.

    The Future: Love has the pitch mix and control to profile as a back-end starter, but he could also become a high-leverage reliever.

  21. 21. Connor Thomas | LHP
    Connor Thomas
    Born: May 29, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 173
    Signed By: Charles Peterson
    Minors: 2-2 | 3.65 ERA | 36 SO | 6 BB | 37 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    May Update: What Thomas lacks in raw stuff he makes up for with pitchability and an uncanny ability to drive groundball contact at a high rate on all of his pitches. While Thomas’ baseball card stats appear pedestrian, after seven appearances, including five starts, Thomas ranks highly in several ERA predictors like xFIP. He has the ability to provide innings this summer in a pinch for the Cardinals in a variety of roles. His ability to drive ground balls and throws strikes could prove valuable.

    Track Record: The 2019 fifth-rounder from Georgia Tech arrived in the short-season New York-Penn League after signing, making five appearances (two starts) before a promotion to Low-A Peoria. He spent the 2020 shutdown at home and made his upper minors debut in 2021. Thomas made four starts at Double-A Springfield before the Cardinals sent him to Triple-A Memphis, where he pitched to a 6-4, 3.10 mark while showing impressive command of his three-pitch mix.

    Scouting Report: Thomas won’ t wow anyone with his arsenal, which includes two fastball variations that sit 90-91 mph. One is a below-average offering, while the other has natural sinking life and is an average pitch. His plus command allows his stuff to play up. Thomas pairs his fastballs with a plus slider and an above-average changeup. He induces ground balls with all of his pitches, with a 50% or higher groundball rate on each offering. Coming out of college there were concerns that Thomas’ modest arsenal would cause him to struggle against better competition, but he’ s pitched well at every stop in the minor leagues. In addition to having plus command, Thomas has above-average control.

    The Future: Thomas could be in line to make his major league debut after conquering Triple-A in 2021. He’ ll likely never be a full-time starter, but he provides value as a long reliever and spot starter.

  22. 22. Dionys Rodriguez | RHP
    Dionys Rodriguez
    Born: Sep 3, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 188
    Signed By: Braly Guzman/Angel Ovalles
    Minors: 0-4 | 4.54 ERA | 42 SO | 17 BB | 36 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, Rodriguez spent his first two seasons in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and 2019, putting up uninspiring numbers while working exclusively out of the bullpen. Rodriguez, who wasn’ t at the Cardinals alternate training site in 2020, started the 2021 campaign back in the bullpen for Low-A Palm Beach, but quickly transitioned to the rotation after dominating hitters in June. He made 12 starts to close out the season, finishing with a 4-5, 3.36 mark and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

    Scouting Report: When Rodriguez signed he topped out at just 89-90 mph, but since then he’ s filled out some and added strength, with his fastball reaching 97 mph out of the bullpen and sitting 92-94 mph as a starter. The fastball misses bats at an above-average rate. He has a good feel for pitching and solid command of his arsenal, especially his cutter, which opposing scouts feel projects as a plus pitch. Rodriguez rounds out his arsenal with a changeup, although it’ s a clear third pitch currently. Rodriguez throws consistent strikes, projecting for average control, and is competitive on the mound. Some opposing scouts are skeptical he can remain a starter without a quality third pitch.

    The Future: Rodriguez will look to repeat upon his impressive season at Low-A Palm Beach when he moves to High-A Peoria in 2022. He’ s likely to end up in the bullpen, where his fastball and cutter give him two quality weapons.

  23. 23. Kodi Whitley | RHP
    Kodi Whitley
    Born: Feb 21, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: Mount Olive (N.C.), 2017 (27th round).
    Signed By: T. C. Calhoun.
    Minors: 0-0 | 2.25 ERA | 2 SO | 0 BB | 4 IP

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Drafted in the 27th round in 2017 out of Mount Olive (N.C.), Whitley quickly showed he was a valuable late-round pick, posting a 2.51 ERA at Low-A in 2018, breezing from High-A to Triple-A in 2019 while posting a 1.60 ERA in 50 appearances and making the team’ s alternate training site in 2020. Whitley, who made his big league debut in 2020, impressed out of the Cardinals bullpen in 2021 with a 2.49 ERA while proving to be one of the team’ s more reliable relievers.

    Scouting Report: Whitley leads his arsenal with an above-average fastball that has reached 97-98 mph at times, but averaged 93.7 mph at the big league level in 2021. The pitch has carry up in the zone and induced a 25% whiff rate. His best secondary is a mid-80s slider, an above-average offering that had a 42.9% whiff rate against MLB hitters, and he rounds out his arsenal with a mid-80s changeup. Whitley has a repeatable delivery and has no trouble working north and south in the strike zone. He has above-average control.

    The Future: Whitley should make the Cardinals Opening Day roster in 2022. He has the upside of a medium-leverage reliever.

  24. 24. Alec Willis | RHP
    Alec Willis
    Born: Mar 30, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220
    Signed By: Mauricio Rubio

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: After missing the 2020 summer showcase campaign due to ulnar decompression that led to surgery, Willis shot on to the scene with an outstanding performance during his senior high school season that led his draft stock to rise significantly. The Cardinals drafted him in the seventh round in 2021, and he appeared in one Florida Complex League game after signing.

    Scouting Report: Willis has a powerful build at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds with projection remaining for him to gain additional velocity to a fastball that sits in the low 90s and tops out at 96 mph. He pairs his fastball with a trio of secondary pitches that all project to be average or better. His low-80s slider is the best of the three, a future plus pitch. He also throws a mid-70s curveball and a mid-80s changeup, which is a clear fourth offering. Willis projects for solid-average control, and he has good arm speed and a smooth, balanced delivery.

    The Future: Willis has the upside of a future big league starter, but he’ s years away from that point. He’ ll make his full-season debut in 2022.

  25. 25. Zane Mills | RHP
    Zane Mills
    Born: Jul 4, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 220
    Signed By: Chris Rodriguez
    Minors: 1-2 | 3.48 ERA | 35 SO | 7 BB | 42 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Undrafted out of high school, Mills struggled in his first season at Washington State in 2019, had an encouraging showing in the West Coast League the following summer, broke out in 2020 and posted solid, if unspectacular, numbers in 2021 before being selected by the Cardinals in the fourth round. Mills made seven appearances in the Florida Complex League after signing, striking out nine and walking none in 7.2 innings.

    Scouting Report: Mills has good size at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds from the right side with projection remaining and a smooth, easy delivery. His fastball sits 89-92 mph with two-seam action, and he pairs it with a slider. While neither pitch projects to be more than average, he has plus command of each offering. He does a good job of mixing his pitches and attacking both sides of the plate. He rounds out his arsenal with a solid-average changeup. What Mills doesn’ t offer in stuff, he makes up for in his feel for pitching and strike-throwing ability. Scouts who watched him in college were impressed by his pitchability and polish, which should allow him to continue starting at the professional level.

    The Future: Mills should make his full-season debut in 2022, and it wouldn’ t be surprising to see the Cardinals aggressively push him through the system given his polish. He projects as a back-end starter.

  26. 26. Angel Rondon | RHP
    Angel Rondon
    Born: Dec 1, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Raymi Dicent/Angel Ovalles.
    Minors: 2-0 | 3.97 ERA | 27 SO | 13 BB | 23 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Rondon steadily climbed up the minor league ladder after signing with the Cardinals in 2016 out of the Dominican Republic, making his full-season debut in 2018. He reached the upper minors in 2019, spent the 2020 summer at the alternate training site and reached Triple-A in 2021. He put up middling numbers at Memphis, and made his major league debut in June, striking out National League Rookie of the Year Jonathan India in his first appearance.

    Scouting Report: Rondon doesn’ t have a flashy arsenal, but he’ s put up solid or better numbers at every level of the minor leagues, with a 3.29 career ERA in 424 innings. Rondon stands out for his confidence in his four-pitch mix, as he’ s unafraid to throw all four of his pitches in any count. His fastball, which averaged 93.1 mph in the big leagues, sits in the low 90s, and he rounds out his arsenal with a slider, curveball and changeup. The slider is an above-average offering, with his curveball projecting as average and his changeup projecting as below-average. Rondon stands out to opposing scouts for his pitchability, but others are skeptical that he’ ll make an impact in the big leagues due to his lack of a plus offering.

    The Future: Although Rondon split time as a starter and reliever at Triple-A, he’ s likely best suited for a bullpen role in the big leagues, where he could help the Cardinals as a middle reliever in 2022.

  27. 27. Won-Bin Cho | OF
    Won-Bin Cho
    Born: Aug 20, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: The Cardinals signed Cho at 18 when the 2021-22 international signing period opened on Jan. 15, 2022, making the Korean outfielder the first Asian amateur signing in franchise history.

    Scouting Report: Cho has a fluid, easy stroke from the left side. It’ s an adjustable stroke with good bat control, allowing him to square balls up for a high contact rate and go the opposite way when he’ s pitched on the outer third. Cho mostly shows power to the alleys now, but he has the strength projection in his 6-foot-3 frame to grow into more power. That will be key for Cho, who’ s around an average runner and can play center field for now, but could end up shifting over to a corner.

    The Future: Cho has an intriguing offensive profile, with encouraging early looks at camp in Florida. He will make his pro debut in 2022.

  28. 28. Pedro Pages | C
    Pedro Pages
    Born: Sep 17, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 234
    Minors: .284/.398/.568 | 6 HR | 1 SB | 88 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Drafted in the sixth round in 2019 out of Florida Atlantic, Pages signed for $250,000 after winning Conference USA defensive player of the year and placing as a semi-finalist for the Buster Posey Award. He’ s been a productive player over his first two professional seasons, producing at league average or better levels at every stop. Pages improved his launch angle entering 2022, and has unlocked more in-game power.

    Scouting Report: At the plate, Pages has primarily been a contact and approach-driven hitter who’ s looked to work deep into counts and stay within his approach. Entering 2022 he made tangible changes at the plate to lift the ball more and it has manifested itself in the hardest contact of his career. He’ s making hard contact at an elite rate and scorching line drives to his pull side with regularity. While he’ s swinging and missing more than in previous seasons, he’ s still making contact at an average rate and getting on base. He’ s a solid catcher with good catch-and-throw skills, throwing out baserunners at a 33% rate. It’ s a valuable overall skill set for a potential backup catcher.

    The Future: The changes to Pages’ swing that have resulted in more in-game power with his foundational understanding of the strike zone have raised his profile from organization player to potential catching depth at the major league level. He doesn’ t have everyday catcher upside but he could be a valuable backup if his bat and catching skills continue to add refinement.

  29. 29. Chandler Redmond | 2B
    Chandler Redmond
    Born: Jan 9, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 231
    Minors: .228/.294/.421 | 5 HR | 0 SB | 114 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Redmond was signed for $3,000 in the 32nd round of the 2019 draft out of Gardner-Webb after hitting .309/.412/.660 with 18 home runs his senior season with the Bulldogs. He reached Double-A Springfield in his first full professional season, hitting a combined .259/.354/.474 with 18 home runs and 20 doubles.

    Scouting Report: A barrel chested, broad shouldered slugger, Redmond has developed at the plate over the last two seasons, first as a lefthanded slugger with a three true outcomes profile to a more refined power hitter with multi-positional flexibility defensively. While he’ s neither rangy or athletic, Redmond is an instinctual defender with good actions who can handle second and third base, but his long-term position lies at first base due to his limited range. He boasts some of the best exit velocity data in the Cardinals system with the ability to barrel up consistently. He’ s cut his in-zone whiff substantially year over year, and has shown noticeable improvements to his approach.

    The Future: Due to heavy strong-side platoon splits, Redmond looks the part of a part-time player at first base. His ability to hit for power and measurable improvements since turning pro leave some hope that Redmond can develop into a second division regular type or power-hitting platoon DH.

  30. 30. Andre Granillo | RHP
    Andre Granillo
    Born: May 12, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 245
    Minors: 3-1 | 2.87 ERA | 26 SO | 9 BB | 16 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: The big-bodied righthander first jumped onto scouts’ radars early in his draft spring, sitting 94-95 mph as the closer for UC Riverside. Granillo broke his hand later that season punching a locker, missing two months and returning in mid-May. He joined Cotuit of the Cape Cod League prior to the draft, throwing 11 innings for the Kettleers while punching out 17 batters with a 1.25 ERA. The Cardinals selected Granillo in the 14th round in 2021 and he signed for an above-slot bonus of $125,000.

    Scouting Report: Primarily a two-pitch reliever, Granillo works off of a four-seam fastball and slider combination, sitting 92-94 mph and touching 96-98 mph at peak. His fastball has late life and ride that allows him to attack batters in the upper quadrants with his fastball and down and away with his slider. It’ s a traditional slider in the low-to-mid 80s with cement mixer shape at times, driving a heavy rate of ground balls. He’ ll mix in a curveball with sweepier shape but it’ s rarely thrown. His motion is high effort with a head whack and some inconsistency in his timing, but his motion hides the ball well before he explodes into his release. His body, operation and pitch mix fit a relief role.

    The Future: Granillo has had some velocity spikes over the last few seasons. If he can more regularly sit 94-97 mph on his fastball and 82-84 mph on his slider, he has a realistic shot of a low-leverage bullpen role long term.

View Players 11-30

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