Vote Now! BA Top 100 Bracket Challenge
Use the options to filter your search.
TRACK RECORD: Carlson's father Jeff built a renowned program as the coach at Elk Grove (Calif.) High, where he won eight CIF section titles and produced a long list of future major leaguers. Carlson entered high school at 13 and made varsity as a freshman, the start of a decorated four-year career playing for his dad that culminated with the Cardinals drafting him 33rd overall in 2016. After steady production as one of the youngest players at each level, Carlson broke out in 2019 at Double-A Springfield. He opened the year as the second-youngest position player in the Texas League and finished second in OPS (.882), home runs (21), runs scored (81) and extra-base hits (51) en route to winning the league's MVP award. He made the Futures Game, earned a late-season promotion to Triple-A Memphis and finished the year as one of only 10 players in the minors with at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. SCOUTING REPORT: Carlson long showed advanced instincts, controlled the strike zone and flashed the ingredients to hit with above-average bat speed and hand-eye coordination. An added 10 pounds of muscle allowed him to impact the ball more, and as a result he jumped from 11 home runs in 2018 to 26 in 2019. A switch-hitter, Carlson ironed out his once-loopy lefthanded swing and is now at least an above-average hitter from both sides. He studies pitchers' tendencies, stays within the strike zone and doesn't miss his pitch. Carlson's pure power is average, but his growing strength and sound swing mechanics give him a chance to exceed that projection and hit 20 or more home runs per year. Carlson is an above-average runner who steals bases efficiently. Those same instincts allow him to capably man center field, though he's better as an above-average defender on the corners. His fringy to average arm fits best in left field. Long lauded for his plus-plus makeup, Carlson plays a mature game and knows how to handle adversity. His mother Caryn survived breast cancer and is confined to a wheelchair by an inflammatory disease that affected her spinal cord and left her partially paralyzed. THE FUTURE: With a well-rounded game and few weaknesses, Carlson is a safe bet to be a solid everyday player and has a chance to be more. His major league debut should come in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Liberatore was the ace of USA Baseball's World Cup gold medal-winning 18U team in 2017, but he had to settle for a runner-up finish to friend Nolan Gorman's team in the Arizona 6A state championship. He was expected to be one of the first prep players off the board, but slid to the Rays at pick 16. He's lived up to expectations so far, though his 2019 was briefly interrupted in August by back spasms. SCOUTING REPORT: Liberatore is notably polished for a young, 6-foot-6 lefthander. He spots his 91-95 mph fastball well (he can touch 97) and he shuffles between a slider, changeup and curveball that all are at least average now with above-average or plus potential. Liberatore's best curveballs are plusplus, high-70s downers with power and depth. His 82-84 mph slider is usually a little slurvy, but he can induce chases when he gets more tilt. He shows feel for his average changeup but uses it less than his breaking stuff. THE FUTURE: Like Brendan McKay, Liberatore projects as a polished middle-of-the-rotation lefty. He thrives thanks to a wide assortment of pitches combined with excellent command. He's about as safe a bet as a teen pitching prospect can be, and his size and smooth delivery give him a high upside as well. The excellent pitching environment of the Florida State League is the next test.
TRACK RECORD: Gorman emerged early as the top power prospect in the 2018 draft, winning the high school home run derby at Marlins Park and the Under Armour All-America home run derby at Wrigley Field. Gorman got off to a scorching start with 24 home runs in his first 85 career games, but he cooled off and hit just eight home runs in his next 104 games. He still reached high Class A Palm Beach in his first full season as an 19-year-old. SCOUTING REPORT: Muscular with a broad chest and strong hands, Gorman possesses the plus-plus raw power to makes balls disappear. He flashes the approach to get to his power, but he often gets too pull-oriented and uphill in his swing path, opening him up for strikeouts. He has the ingredients to be an average hitter as he improves his approach. Gorman makes the routine plays at third base with a quick exchange and an above-average arm, but he needs to improve his first-step quickness to become an average defender. He is somewhat stiff and a below-average runner. THE FUTURE: Gorman has the power to hit in the middle of the lineup. He has time to improve his approach and show he can make adjustments.
TRACK RECORD: Cabrera pitched for the Astros on a tryout basis in the Dominican Republic's informal Tricky League in the summer of 2013. Rays international director Carlos Rodriguez liked what he saw when Cabrera threw against the Rays and signed him for $34,000. Cabrera rose swiftly through Tampa's system, and the Cardinals acquired him as one of three prospects for Tommy Pham at the 2018 trade deadline. Cabrera made his major league debut with the Cardinals in May as a starter but later settled in the bullpen. SCOUTING REPORT: Cabrera has long drawn comparisons with all-star closer Felipe Vazquez for his electric stuff, violent delivery and shoddy control. Cabrera's fastball sits 94-97 mph as a starter and ticks up to 99 as a reliever. He hides the ball well and it explodes out of his hand, inducing swings and misses even when he leaves it over the plate. Cabrera's power mid-80s breaking ball waffles between a curveball and slider, but it has the depth and snap to be an above-average, swing-and-miss pitch. His hard, upper-80s changeup plays up to average off his fastball. He is highly athletic, but his inconsistent delivery and violent arm action yield bouts of extreme wildness. THE FUTURE: The Cardinals plan to bring Cabrera to spring training as a starter. If his control doesn't take a step forward, he has a solid fallback option as an impact reliever.
TRACK RECORD: Helsley grew up in rural Tahlequah, Okla., and received his only college scholarship offer from Division II Northeastern State. A star turn in the California Collegiate Summer League pulled scouts to Helsley's games, and the Cardinals drafted him in the fifth round in 2015. Helsley raced up the system until shoulder fatigue sidetracked him in 2018, but he rebounded to make his major league debut in 2019 and became a key part of the Cardinals' bullpen. SCOUTING REPORT: With thick, sturdy legs and an explosive right arm, Helsley overpowers hitters with a fastball that sits 97-98 mph and touches 101 in relief. It features elite spin and is a potentially plus-plus pitch, though it presently plays down because he struggles to locate it. Helsley's plus upper-80s cutter is a strikeout pitch that slides off of barrels with short, late movement. He can land it for strikes or induce chases below the zone. Helsley uses his average power curveball and fringy changeup as a starter, but rarely throws them in relief. THE FUTURE: Helsley will be stretched out as a starter in spring training. If his health and command aren't up for it, he has a future as an impact, late-inning reliever.
TRACK RECORD: A veteran of Panama's junior national teams, Herrera signed with the Cardinals for $200,000 in 2016 and quickly established himself as one of the system's top hitters. He hit .335 in the Dominican Summer League and .348 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League to start his career, then jumped to full-season ball in 2019 and hit .286 with an .805 OPS as the third-youngest player in the low Class A Midwest League on Opening Day. He finished the year at high Class A Palm Beach. SCOUTING REPORT: Herrera is an offensive catcher who makes frequent contact with a compact, righthanded swing. He is short to the ball, rarely swings and misses in the strike zone and lines the ball to all fields. He continues to get stronger and has a chance to hit 12-15 home runs as he fills out. Herrera has the strong, athletic frame to catch and is willing to learn, but his blocking and receiving are inconsistent and his above-average arm strength plays down with a slow release. He threw out 31 percent of basestealers in 2019. THE FUTURE: Herrera will be just 19 on Opening Day and has lots of time to polish his game. He has the upside of an everyday catcher who can provide impact on both sides of the ball.
TRACK RECORD: The Rays drafted Thompson in the 11th round out of high school and made him an over-slot bonus offer, but he attended Kentucky instead. Elbow soreness sidetracked Thompson's sophomore season, but he returned to pitch 8.2 scoreless innings for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in the summer and rebounded with a strong junior season. He struck out 130 batters for the Wildcats, breaking James Paxton's school record for a lefthander, and was a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist. The Cardinals drafted him 19th overall and signed him for $3 million. SCOUTING REPORT: Thompson's fastball sits 91-94 mph as a starter and touched 97 in relief at high Class A Palm Beach after he signed. His slider was better than his curveball in college, but his curveball showed better in pro ball as a plus 74-77 mph offering he could land in the strike zone or get batters to chase. His above-average mid-80s slider plays like a cutter at times, and his 83-85 mph changeup gives him an average fourth offering. Thompson mixes all his pitches and has a confident, aggressive demeanor. His control is average, but his command and consistency waver. THE FUTURE: Thompson has a chance to move quickly as a mid-to-back of the rotation starter candidate. His health and command will be key to watch in his first full season.
TRACK RECORD: Knizner converted from third base to catcher in college and regressed offensively as he focused on learning his new position. The Cardinals drafted him in the seventh round in 2016 and quickly realized they had a steal. With his bat rejuvenated in pro ball, Knizner hit his way to Double-A in his first full season, advanced to Triple-A in his second and made his big league debut in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: Knizner's bat separates him from other catchers. He keeps his barrel in the zone, uses the whole field and has the hand-eye coordination to make frequent contact and limit his strikeouts despite an aggressive approach. Knizner's line-drive stroke and average power limit his home run output, but he has the strength to elevate to his pull side and reach doubledigit homers. Knizner is an adequate but fringe-average defensive catcher still working to improve. He moves well laterally, has an average arm and calls a good game, but his rough hands make him a well below-average receiver and pitch-framer. He is still working on controlling his blocks, as well. THE FUTURE: Knizner's bat will earn him at least a part-time role in the majors. Whether he eventually replaces Yadier Molina as the Cardinals' everyday catcher will depend on how well he continues his defensive growth.
TRACK RECORD: Scouts first got to see Kim on a major international stage when he beat Japan in the 2008 Olympic semifinals, setting up South Korea's gold medal win over Cuba in the championship game. That gold medal helped him and Hyun-Jin Ryu be exempted from the mandatory two years of military service that all South Korean males normally have to serve. He also pitched in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Kim, who lost the 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, has been one of the most reliable starters in the Korean Baseball Organization over the past decade. SCOUTING REPORT: Kim throws a high-spin 89-94 mph fastball that grades as average. He elevates a four-seamer but relies more on his 90-92 mph two-seamer which he can locate to both his arm and glove side. He also throws an average low-80s slider, an average high-70s curveball, an average changeup and an occasional cutter. He has steadily improved his control and command as he has matured, and he is pitching some of his best baseball in his early 30s. THE FUTURE: While Kim worked as a starter in Korea, he may be a better fit as a high-leverage reliever in the U.S. However, a team wanting to start him would get to take advantage of his ability to mix and match five fringe-average to average pitches.
TRACK RECORD: Thomas failed to advance past high Class A in four seasons with the Blue Jays after they made him a fifth-round pick in 2014. The Cardinals acquired him for $500,000 in international bonus pool money in July 2017, and he promptly broke out with his new organization. Thomas led the Cardinals' system with 27 home runs in 2018 and made his major league debut in 2019, homering in his first career at-bat. He spent most of August in the majors before suffering a season-ending right wrist fracture. SCOUTING REPORT: Thomas has an intriguing blend of strength, speed and instincts. He takes a simple approach at the plate and stays within the strike zone. When he connects he makes consistent, hard contact, and he has learned to elevate to make the most of his average, line-drive power. He is prone to swinging and missing in the zone. Thomas is a plus runner who makes better use of his speed in center field than on the bases. He positions himself well, gets good jumps and runs down balls in every direction to be a borderline plus defender with an above-average arm. Staying healthy has been an issue for Thomas. He has played a full season just once in five years. THE FUTURE: Thomas is a major league-ready fourth outfielder. If stays healthy, he could be more.
TRACK RECORD: Montero raced up the Cardinals' system after signing for $300,000. He won MVP of the low Class A Midwest League in 2018 and was pushed aggressively to Double-A in 2019, when he hit his first speed bump. Montero missed three weeks with a wrist injury and another two months with a broken hamate. The combination of injuries, interrupted playing time and older competition contributed to a .188 average in 59 Double-A games. SCOUTING REPORT: Montero's youth and tools hold promise despite his down year. He is a physical, strong hitter with excellent hand-eye coordination, bat speed and plus raw power. He does damage when he connects and uses the whole field. Montero got by on his natural gifts at lower levels and is still learning to develop a plan against upper-level pitchers. He has the physical skills to be an above-average hitter, though his pitch recognition and swing path regressed in 2019. Montero has the plus arm for third base, but his thick body limits his range and makes him a fringeaverage defender likely to move to first base. THE FUTURE: Evaluators remain bullish on Montero's bat and consider 2019 a lost year. His health and improvements to his approach will be key to watch in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The towering Oviedo has been a frustrating blend of big stuff and poor control since he signed with the Cardinals for $1.9 million out of Cuba in 2016. He reached Double-A Springfield as a 21-year-old in 2019 and led the system with 163 strikeouts, but he also led it with 76 walks. SCOUTING REPORT: Oviedo stands an imposing 6-foot-6 with long limbs that are both a blessing and a curse. He generates easy velocity on a 94-98 mph fastball that plays up with extension out of his large frame, making it a potential plus pitch. He can get his average curveball over for a strike and put hitters away with a tilting, snapping slider that earns above-average to plus grades. He also teases an aboveaverage changeup. Oviedo flashes a good delivery and shows feel to pitch, but his command and control vary wildly from start to start. His preparation and maturity are improving but still need work. THE FUTURE: Oviedo's size, stuff and delivery are that of a starter, and evaluators are optimistic he will grow into his body and improve his control and consistency. He should see Triple-A Memphis in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Fernandez grew up in Miami but moved to the Dominican Republic in high school so he could sign as an international free agent. The Cardinals signed him for for $400,000. Fernandez's career got off to a fast start, but shoddy control and repeated arm injuries halted his rise and forced him to move to the bullpen. He logged a 1.52 ERA over 45 appearance across three levels in 2019 and made his major league debut in August. SCOUTING REPORT: Fernandez is a high-octane righthander with a 95-97 mph fastball with heavy sink. He was previously over-reliant on his fastball and got hit, so the Cardinals implored him to use his secondaries more last season. Fernandez's plus mid-80s changeup with armside fade is a swing-and-miss offering, and his hard, upper 80s slider improved to begin flashing plus. Fernandez's control is below-average, but he was far more effective with a better pitch mix. THE FUTURE: Fernandez has the stuff to pitch in late relief. He'll be in the Cardinals bullpen in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The Cardinals drafted Woodford 39th overall in 2015 and signed him for $1.8 million. He spent all of 2019 at Triple-A Memphis and finished third in the Pacific Coast League in ERA (4.15) and strikeouts (131), but he also issued a league-high 75 walks. SCOUTING REPORT: Woodford is a burly 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthander who flashes big stuff. His fastball sits 94-96 mph and his cutter works 87-89 mph in short bursts, but both lose steam as his outings progress and settle in as average offerings. His mid-80s changeup and upper 70s curveball flash average as well. Woodford struggles to maintain his aggressiveness or throw the right pitches in the right situations, often taking his foot off the gas against weaker hitters and getting tentative in the strike zone. The result is long innings and elevated walk totals. THE FUTURE: Woodford may break in as a starter, but most see his future as a short-burst reliever. His ML debut should come in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Torres signed with the Indians for $150,000 in 2016 and emerged as a rising prospect in their system, leading the Cardinals to acquire him with outfielder Conner Capel at the 2018 trade deadline for Oscar Mercado. Torres struggled after the Cardinals pushed him to low Class A Peoria to open the 2019 season, but he flourished after dropping down to Rookie-level Johnson City. SCOUTING REPORT: Torres stands an imposing 6-foot-4 with long levers and flashes quality at-bats. He makes loud contact when he connects and has the bat speed, strength and leverage to grow into aboveaverage power. Torres has the physical tools to hit for a solid average, but he is prone to chasing out of the strike zone and is still learning to pick out which pitches he can drive. He is a deceptively good right fielder who gets anticipates well, gets good jumps and takes proper angles to the ball. He has a plus arm. THE FUTURE: Torres has the tools of a prototypical right fielder. He will return to Peoria in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The Cardinals invite 60-70 unsigned international players to their Dominican academy each winter for a tournament to try and find players who were overlooked. Rodriguez was one of those unsigned invitees in 2016 and quickly impressed the Cardinals with his catch-and-throw skills. They signed him for $25,000. Rodriguez led high Class A Palm Beach in batting average and OPS through the first half of 2019 to earn Florida State League all-star honors, then was promoted to Double-A. SCOUTING REPORT: Rodriguez stands out for his solid all-around game more than any individual tool. He makes frequent contact with a short, compact stroke, drives the ball with gap power and flashes occasional home-run power to his pull side. He controls the strike zone and limits his strikeouts. Though thick, Rodriguez is an above-average receiver and blocker who keeps wild pitches and passed balls to a minimum. His arm strength is average and plays up with his above-average footwork, transfer and accuracy, resulting in consistent sub-2.00 second pop times. THE FUTURE: Rodriguez has a quiet personality and is still working to improve his leadership and gamecalling. If he does, he has a chance to be a steady everyday catcher.
TRACK RECORD: Rondon was already 18 when the Cardinals signed him for $25,000 out of the Dominican Republic in Jan. 2016. He made his age irrelevant with a quick ascent through the Cardinals system. After cruising through the low minors, Rondon earned All-Star honors in the high Class A Florida State League and jumped to Double-A Springfield in 2019. He finished second in the Cardinals system in ERA (2.93) and strikeouts (159) and was named their minor league pitcher of the year. SCOUTING REPORT: Rondon has a potent mix of funk and power. He dials his fastball up and down anywhere from 90-97 mph, sitting 93, and keeps hitters further off balance with a long, pronounced delivery. He complements his fastball with an above-average hard slider that drops under barrels. Rondon's delivery leads to scattered command and fringe-average control, but he keeps everything around the strike zone and has advanced feel for throwing the right pitch in the right situation. He won the Texas League ERA title and finished second in the league with a 1.23 WHIP. THE FUTURE: Rondon became a favorite of rival evaluators during the season, who mostly think he will end up a power reliever. He will move to Triple-A Memphis in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Nunez starred for Cuba's junior national teams as a teenager and signed with the Cardinals for $300,000 in 2018. He won the Dominican Summer League triple crown after signing, but fell flat in his U.S. debut in 2019. Nunez hit .183 in 21 games at low Class A Peoria before being demoted, then drew mixed reviews at Rookie-level Johnson City. SCOUTING REPORT: Nunez is a thick-bodied masher defined by his bat. He flashes plus raw power and has the bat speed to turn around velocity. Nunez makes loud contact when he connects, but his approach is very raw. He is still learning to stay back on breaking balls and struggles to get to his power in games. Nunez is listed at 205 pounds but is closer to 225. He flashes soft hands and a plus arm at third base, but his throwing is inconsistent and his size limits his range. He is a well below-average runner. THE FUTURE: Nunez has a thunderous bat, but he is very raw as both a hitter and defender and will have to watch his weight. He'll get another crack at low Class A Peoria in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Whitley missed all of 2016 after having Tommy John surgery and pitched only three games the following season for Division II Mount Olive (N.C.). The Cardinals saw enough to draft him in the 27th round and sign him for $75,000. Whitley quickly rewarded their faith, reaching Triple-A Memphis in his second full season and logging a 2.01 ERA over 104 career appearances. SCOUTING REPORT: Whitley is a big-armed, 6-foot-4 righthander who looks the part of a major league reliever. He powers his four-seam fastball downhill at 94-97 mph, getting swings and misses in all parts of the strike zone. Whitley complements his heater with a vertical 84-85 mph slider that dives under barrels and a fading 83-84 mph changeup that neutralizes lefties. Whitley's control occasionally escapes him, but he stays around the strike zone enough to be competitive. Despite being a fly-ball pitcher, he has allowed only five home runs in 156.2 career professional innings. THE FUTURE: Whitley has the stuff and steady demeanor to pitch in high-leverage relief. He should join the Cardinals bullpen in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The D-backs drafted Williams 52nd overall in 2013 and traded him to the Rays one year later as part of the package for Jeremy Hellickson. The Rays sent him to the Cardinals as one of three prospects for Tommy Pham at the 2018 trade deadline. Williams' first full season in the Cardinals organization was limited to 53 games by injuries. He missed the start of the season after punching a television, then went on the injured list twice with hamstring injuries during the year. He still managed to finish strong with a 1.045 OPS in 36 games at Triple-A Memphis. SCOUTING REPORT: Williams intrigues as a natural athlete with above-average raw power from the left side. He manages the strike zone and recognizes pitches, but his segmented swing results in too many ground balls. At his best he drives the ball to all fields and can elevate for home runs. Williams is a fringeaverage runner whose reads and effort waver in the outfield. His best position is right field where he can utilize his plus, accurate arm. THE FUTURE: Williams has a chance to see the majors in 2020. He'll break in as a reserve.
TRACK RECORD: Gil largely split teams as a prospect in the 2018 draft, but the Cardinals liked his athleticism and instincts and drafted him in the third round. Gil's skills and athleticism proved even better than expected when he reported to the Cardinals after signing, and he followed up with a solid season as an 18-year-old in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. SCOUTING REPORT: Gil is the son of former Rangers and Angels infielder Benji Gil. He is a smooth, confident shortstop with soft hands and mature actions, and he can make throws from anywhere on the diamond with his above-average, accurate arm. Gil takes an advanced approach at the plate and makes hard contact when he connects. He has a fast, loose swing and the strong hands and wrists to project power as he matures physically. Gil doesn't have any plus tools, but he has no major weaknesses, either. THE FUTURE: Gil will move to low Class A Peoria in 2020. He projects as a solid all-around infielder.
TRACK RECORD: Sosa signed with the Cardinals for $425,000 in 2012. After missing much of 2016 and 2017 with wrist and hand injuries, Sosa stayed healthy in 2018 and jumped three levels to the majors. He spent most of 2019 at Triple-A Memphis and returned to the majors twice as a callup. SCOUTING REPORT: Previously known for his defense, Sosa made an adjustment to use his hands more in his swing and keeps adding power. He hit a career-high 17 home runs in 2019 and slugged .466. Sosa is a free swinger who is aggressive early in counts and rarely walks, but his growing power gives him a chance to make some offensive impact. Defensively, Sosa has the hands and above-average arm to be an above-average shortstop. His defense previously played down due to poor instincts, but he has started positioning himself better and playing with more effort. THE FUTURE: Sosa began playing second and third base the last two years to prepare for a future utility role. He will try to win a spot on the Cardinals' bench in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Fletcher reclassified from the 2020 draft class to the 2019 class three months before the draft, sending scouts scurrying up to Maine to see him. The Cardinals drafted him in the second round, No. 58 overall, and signed him for $1.5 million to forgo a Vanderbilt commitment. SCOUTING REPORT: Fletcher is a plus-plus runner and has explosive quick-twitch movements in both the outfield and the batter's box. He has plus raw power, but he's very raw as a hitter. Fletcher is extremely pull-oriented with a long swing and a big leg kick, and opponents found him an easy out if they just threw him breaking balls. He struck out 76 times in 175 plate appearances (43 percent) in his pro debut. Fletcher has excellent range and closing speed in center field and should be a plus defender as his reads and jumps improve with experience. He has a plus arm that notched nine assists in 38 games. THE FUTURE: Fletcher has a long way to develop as a hitter. He'll spend most of 2020 at Rookie levels.
TRACK RECORD: Locey teamed with Orioles prospect D.L. Hall and Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm to lead Warner Robins (Ga.) High to a state title in 2016. Locey went on to Georgia and spent two years in the Bulldogs rotation, taking over as their Friday starter midway through his junior year. The Cardinals drafted him in the third round, No. 96 overall, and signed him for $604,800. SCOUTING REPORT: Locey's primary weapon is his plus fastball. It's an explosive pitch that sits 94-96 mph and touches 98, and it plays at the top of the strike zone despite the lack of an elite spin rate. Locey complements his heater with a sharp, short slider with late break that flashes plus at its best, although it plays down because he has trouble locating it in the strike zone. His fringy curveball serves as a usable early count pitch. Locey's control ranges from below-average to average. THE FUTURE: Locey's control and lack of a reliable third pitch make him a future reliever for many evaluators. The Cardinals will keep him as a starter for now.
TRACK RECORD: Elledge followed a long line of hard-throwing Dallas Baptist relievers and set the school record with 26 saves. The Mariners drafted him in the fourth round in 2017 and traded him to the Cardinals one year later for Sam Tuivailala. SCOUTING REPORT: Elledge has an imposing frame at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds and uses it to his advantage. He has a slight cross-body delivery, helping him hide the ball and prevent hitters from picking it up. Elledge's high-spin fastball sits 91-93 mph and plays up with late life and carry through the zone. He backs it up with a hard, downer curveball in the low 80s that flashes average. Elledge's big body and high-effort delivery cause him to lose his balance and result in below-average control and spotty fastball command. THE FUTURE: Elledge is in position to join the Cardinals bullpen in 2020. He'll open back at Triple-A.
TRACK RECORD: Seijas signed for $762,500 as the headliner of the Cardinals' 2015 international class and quickly conquered the Rookie levels before struggling with the jump to full-season ball. He returned to low Class A Peoria in 2019 and improved his control, earning a promotion to high Class A Palm Beach. SCOUTING REPORT: Seijas is undersized at 6-foot-1 but has plenty of arm strength with a fastball that reaches the mid-90s. His breaking ball gets slurvy at times but flashes as an average curveball, and his changeup is a fringy but usable offering off his fastball. Seijas is still working on the mental part of the game. He often lacks a plan to set hitters up and is prone to losing his focus. He is a solid competitor who stays poised, but he needs to be more consistent with his focus and command. THE FUTURE: Seijas has the stuff and pitch mix to project as a potential back-end starter or middle reliever. He'll see Double-A Springfield in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Roberts led the Atlantic Coast Conference in strikeouts in 2018 and was drafted by the Cardinals 43rd overall. He got off to a bad start when he twice tested positive for marijuana and received a 50-game suspension to start the 2019 season. Roberts struggled when he returned, posting a 6.44 ERA with nearly as many walks (35) as strikeouts (36) at high Class A Palm Beach. SCOUTING REPORT: Roberts' fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s and reaches 97 mph with running life, while his slider is a plus pitch with exceptional movement and depth. Roberts also flashes an average changeup with fade. Roberts's high-effort delivery and low arm slot make him a likely reliever for many evaluators, but the Cardinals will continue to start him. He rebuilt his stock with an excellent showing in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a 3.07 ERA over four starts with 18 strikeouts and two walks in 14.2 innings. THE FUTURE: Roberts has early red flags, but the Cardinals believe an uninterrupted 2020 will allow his best to come out.
TRACK RECORD: Baker achieved folk hero status at Texas Christian as a hefty masher who became one of college baseball's top sluggers. The Cardinals drafted him 75th overall in 2018 and signed him for $800,000. Baker struggled his first full season as his towering flies fell short of the wall at cavernous high Class A Palm Beach, but he adjusted his pitch selection late in the year and slugged .654 in August. SCOUTING REPORT: A burly 270 pounds with a physique likened to a lumberjack, Baker boasts plus raw power and doesn't have to swing hard to get to it. He began chasing pitches out of the zone as his early-season power drought extended, but by the end he returned to recognizing pitches, taking a patient approach and showing the mix of discipline and bat control to project as an average hitter. Baker is limited to first base by his size and below-average range. He picks balls out of the dirt well enough to be playable. THE FUTURE: Baker's late-season improvement and a move to hitter-friendly Double-A Springfield bode well for a bounceback season in 2020. He will go as far as his bat takes him.
TRACK RECORD: Toerner started all four years at Cal State Northridge, where his late father Sean was an All-American infielder and a 1980 draft pick of the Giants. He signed with the Cardinals for $3,000 as a 28th-rounder in 2018 and quickly outplayed his draft spot, reaching high Class A two months after signing and finishing his first full season in Double-A. SCOUTING REPORT: Toerner is 5-foot-10 but plays above his size with a high effort level and sneaky tools. He is a patient lefthanded hitter who makes frequent contact with a short, whippy swing. He controls the strike zone, makes pitchers work and rarely strikes out. Toerner's power is more suited for doubles, but he can drive the ball out to both gaps. Toerner is an above-average runner, has an average arm and has the range and instincts to play all three outfield positions. THE FUTURE: Toerner does everything well enough to be a potential fourth outfielder. He'll open 2020 back at Double-A.
TRACK RECORD: Jones anchored Virginia's national championship-winning staff as a sophomore and emerged as its Friday night starter as a junior. The Cardinals drafted him in the second round in 2016 and signed him for $1.1 million. Considered a "safe" pick out of the draft, Jones' control instead abandoned him as a pro, and the Cardinals moved him to the bullpen full-time in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: Jones' stuff ticked up with his move to the bullpen. A sinker that sat 92-93 mph as a starter is now a heavy, 95-98 mph bowling ball that breaks bats and induces ground ball rates north of 60 percent. Jones complements his sinker with an above-average, 84-87 mph power curveball with sharp downward bite, and he keeps an average mid-80s changeup with depth in his back pocket. Jones tends to overthink and nibble rather than attack, resulting in a troublesome walk rate even in relief. THE FUTURE: Jones has the stuff to pitch in relief, but he needs to get out of his own head and throw strikes.
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up