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St. Louis Cardinals

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  1. 1. Dylan Carlson | OF
    Dylan Carlson
    Born: Oct 23, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Elk Grove, Calif., 2016. (1st round).
    Signed By: Zach Mortimer.

    Hitting: 55. Power: 55. Running: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 45.

    TRACK RECORD: Before he retired at the end of the 2018 season, Elk Grove (Calif.) High coach Jeff Carlson was known for producing future big leaguers. A remarkable eight Elk Grove alums have reached the majors from Carlson’s 16 seasons at the school, including his son Dylan. Dylan Carlson was one of the youngest players in the 2016 draft class and a late riser up draft boards. The Cardinals nabbed him with the 33rd pick. As one of the youngest players at every level he played, Carlson’s first couple of years in pro ball were solid but unspectacular. He broke out with an excellent 2019 season at Double-A Springfield and won the Texas League MVP award. The Cardinals brought him up from the alternate training site in mid August for his big league debut, but he struggled and was demoted in early September. Recalled 10 days later, Carlson homered on his first day back and hit .278/.325/.611 after he returned. He started all three of the Cardinals’ playoff games and batted cleanup.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Carlson is more of a well-rounded player with few glaring weaknesses rather than a tools-laden star. A switch-hitter, Carlson is an all-fields hitter who likes to spread the ball around from both sides of the plate. He is just as comfortable taking a pitch on the outer third the other way as he is yanking a ball down and inside. Carlson has the approach and demeanor of a savvy veteran and draws rave reviews for his poise at the plate. He controls the strike zone, recognizes spin and makes adjustments, ultimately projecting as an above-average hitter. Changeups gave him some trouble in his pro debut and he was also somewhat vulnerable against fastballs up in the zone, but he’s a smart player who doesn’t let a weakness hamper him for long. Carlson is one of the youngest players in the majors and should continue to get stronger and add power as he matures. His line-drive swing is more geared for singles and doubles than home runs at present, but more balls should travel over the fence as he fills out. Carlson is an above-average runner capable of stealing a base and playing all three outfield positions. He is best in a corner but can play center field as needed. His fringe-average arm is his weakest tool, but its accuracy helps make up for some of its strength shortcomings.

    THE FUTURE: Carlson’s strong finish helped wipe away memories of a rough first month in the majors. He should begin 2021 in the Cardinals outfield and has a chance to grow into a well-rounded, first-division player.

  2. 2. 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).

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

    TRACK RECORD: Liberatore was the ace of USA Baseball’s 18U World Cup-winning team in 2017 and was drafted 16th overall by the Rays the following year. The Rays traded him to the Cardinals before the 2020 season in a deal that quickly became known as the Randy Arozarena trade after Arozarena became the star of the 2020 postseason.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Liberatore is one of the most promising young lefties in the game. His four-pitch mix is topped by a 92-96 mph fastball that may settle into the upper end of his velocity range as he matures, and he backs it up with an assortment of quality secondaries. His upper-70s, downer curveball gives him a second plus pitch and his average slider has flashes of intrigue as well with late tilt in the low 80s. His changeup is his fourth pitch but still projects to be an potentially above-average offering. Liberatore ties his arsenal together with advanced command and control for a tall, young lefty. He repeats the delivery well with a clean arm action and should be at least an above-average strike-thrower without issue.

    THE FUTURE: Liberatore has front-of-the-rotation potential but is many years from that ceiling. He will make his Cardinals organizational debut in 2021.

  3. 3. Nolan Gorman | 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.

    Hitting: 45. Power: 70. Running: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 60.

    TRACK RECORD: Gorman was considered the best high school power hitter in the 2018 draft class and was selected 19th overall by the Cardinals. He showcased his power immediately in his pro debut but scuffled as he advanced to the offense-suffocating Florida State League in 2019. Gorman stood out at 2020 spring training before camps shut down and spent the summer at the Cardinals’ alternate training site, where he was one of the top offensive performers.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Gorman is the epitome of a modern power hitter. He strikes out and has holes in his swing, but he makes pitchers pay when they make a mistake. Gorman feasts on pitches down and makes balls disappear with his plus-plus power. He can be beat by fastballs up and needs to become more selective, but he hits lefties well for a young hitter and shows enough feel for contact to hit .240-.250 to go with his power production. Gorman has solid hands, a quick exchange and plus arm strength at third base, but his lateral range needs to improve for him to be average defensively. He’s a below-average runner.

    THE FUTURE: Gorman has the chance to hit 30-plus home runs in the majors if he puts it all together. He’ll try to carry his gains from the alternate site forward to Double-A in 2021.

  4. 4. 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.

    Hitting: 55. Power: 45. Running: 30. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

    TRACK RECORD: Herrera earned an invitation to big league spring training in 2020 and took advantage of the opportunity to work with his boyhood hero Yadier Molina. Herrera stayed attached to the hip of the Cardinals great, whether it was early work in the batting cage at spring training or picking Molina’s brain at summer camp. Herrera spent the summer at the Cardinals’ alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: While Herrera worked with Molina on how to run a pitching staff, his bat is his calling card. He is one of the best hitters in the Cardinals’ system with a compact swing that is geared for contact and hard line drives. His exit velocities have steadily improved as he’s gotten stronger and he’ll flash above-average to plus raw power. Defensively, Herrera is a student of the game and has a tick above-average hands, which should allow him to present pitches well. His blocking and receiving still show signs of his youth, but he moves well and should eventually be at least an above-average defender. He’s steadily improved his throwing mechanics, although his pop times are fringe-average.

    THE FUTURE: Herrera’s well-rounded skill set, excellent makeup and grinder mentality make him the team’s likely catcher of the future.

  5. 5. 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.

    Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Curveball: 60. Control: 45.

    TRACK RECORD: Thompson broke James Paxton’s school record at Kentucky for strikeouts by a lefty with 130 punchouts in 90 innings as a junior. The Cardinals drafted him 19th overall and pushed him to high Class A Palm Beach in his pro debut. Thompson impressed at spring training and was tabbed as a potential breakout, but he instead spent the year at the alternate training site after the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 minor league season.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Thompson has loud stuff that brings to mind a front-of-the-rotation lefthander. His fastball sits 92-94 mph and touches 97, and his plus curveball has elite spin rates above 3,000 revolutions per minute. His mid-80s slider and mid-80s changeup give him two more average or better pitches and he is increasingly showing confidence in both of them. Thompson’s consistency and control, however, have not come together. His control was an issue in college and wavered at the alternate training site. He had an elbow injury in college that also scared some teams, and his fastball velocity wavered at times in Springfield, as well.

    THE FUTURE: Thompson’s stuff gives him a chance to pitch in the middle-to-front of a rotation, but he could also end up in the bullpen if his control and consistency don’t improve.

  6. 6. 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.

    Hitting: 45. Power: 60. Running: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 55.

    TRACK RECORD: Walker was one of the few high school prospects who got to play meaningful games in the spring before the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. He took advantage with a red-hot start to solidify himself as one of the top hitters and sluggers in the 2020 draft class. The Cardinals drafted him No. 21 overall and signed him for $2.9 million to forgo a Duke commitment. Walker was the last player signed by Cardinals area scout Charles Peterson, who died from Covid-19 three months later.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Walker has the long arms and a big frame befitting a power hitter. While he has some unavoidable length to his swing, he has shown a feel for hitting and can catch up to top velocity. He has a shot to be a fringe-average or even average hitter to go with his plus raw power, which will likely tick up to plus-plus as he continues to grow. Walker moves remarkably well for a big man and has an above-average arm at third base. His excellent work ethic gives him a shot to stick there, but he may have to move to first base depending on how much bigger he gets.

    THE FUTURE: Walker has a chance to develop into a middle-of-the-order masher. He’s still a teenager yet to make his pro debut and is many years away.

  7. 7. Kwang-Hyun Kim | LHP
    Kwang-Hyun Kim
    Born: Jul 22, 1988
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: South Korea, 2019.
    Signed By: Matt Slater.

    Fastball: 45. Slider: 55. Changeup: 60. Curveball: 45. Control: 60.

    TRACK RECORD: Kim was one of the stars of South Korea’s gold medal-winning 2008 Olympic team and was the ace of the SK Wyverns in Korea’s major league. The Cardinals signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal before the 2020 season. Kim began the year as the Cardinals’ closer but moved to the rotation after the team’s coronavirus outbreak and allowed one run or fewer in six of his seven starts.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Kim locates on the edges of the strike zone and has a unique movement profile that helps his pitches play up. His 87-93 mph fastball has less vertical movement than most heaters, but he locates it to both sides of the plate and keeps hitters off of it with his assortment of secondary pitches. His low-80s changeup plays as a plus pitch because of his well above-average command, and his 85-87 mph slider has a short break that catches hitters off guard. Kim’s fringe-average curveball is big, slow breaker that locks up hitters while meandering to the plate at 67-72 mph. Kim mostly relies on soft contact for success and induces a high volume of ground balls, helping him to work quickly and avoid damage.

    THE FUTURE: Kim can’t blow away hitters, but he can keep them from squaring him up. He has earned a spot in the Cardinals’ 2021 rotation.

  8. 8. Andrew Knizner | C
    Andrew Knizner
    Born: Feb 3, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: North Carolina State, 2016, (7th round).
    Signed By: Charles Peterson.

    Hitting: 55. Power: 45. Running: 30. Fielding: 45. Arm: 45.

    TRACK RECORD: Knizner was a productive third baseman at North Carolina State but agreed to move behind the plate as a sophomore. The Cardinals drafted him in the seventh round in 2016 and he quickly made his way up the minors. Knizner has proven to be a better hitter than most catchers, but with Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters ahead of him, he’s had just two brief big league callups so far.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Knizner is an above-average hitter and hits the ball as hard as any Cardinals player—his 110 mph maximum exit velocity was fourth best on the team in 2020 even though he had only 17 plate appearances. Knizner hits more line drives than fly balls, but he has the strength for double-digit home run power if he can lift the ball in the air more. The big question is whether Knizner will be good enough defensively behind the plate. His hands are below-average, which limits his ability to frame pitches, and his blocking is also fringy. He has shown better understanding of pitch-calling, but—like everyone else—pales in comparison with Molina.

    THE FUTURE: With Molina hitting free agency, Knizner entered the offseason as the team’s internal option to start at catcher in 2021. He will have to improve defensively to nail down the everyday job.

  9. 9. Lane Thomas | OF
    Lane Thomas
    Born: Aug 23, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Knoxville, Tenn., 2014 (5th round).
    Signed By: Nate Murrie (Blue Jays).

    Hitting: 45. Power: 50. Running: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50.

    TRACK RECORD: Acquired from the Blue Jays for international bonus pool space in 2017, Thomas has been productive when healthy but has had trouble staying on the field. He led the Cardinals system with 27 home runs in 2018 and had a loud big league debut in 2019, but it was cut short by a right wrist fracture. His 2020 season was derailed when he tested positive for Covid-19 amidst the teamwide outbreak. He missed almost all of August and looked overmatched when he returned in September.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Thomas has some of the best tools in the system. He’s a plus defender in center field, a plus-plus runner, has an above-average arm and average power. His only below-average tool is his fringy hitting ability. He expands his zone too much and is prone to over-aggressiveness, but when he focuses on line drives his power ensures that some of those drives clear the fence. Thomas’ tools don’t always add up to be the sum of his parts. His speed hasn’t led to many stolen bases and he has concentration lapses in the outfield. He he has the range to play center field and the arm for right.

    THE FUTURE: Thomas has all the attributes teams look for in a fourth outfielder. He needs to stay healthy in order to gain a regular role.

  10. 10. Johan Oviedo | RHP
    Johan Oviedo
    Born: Mar 2, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2016.
    Signed By: Angel Ovalles.

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 45. Curveball: 50. Control: 40.

    TRACK RECORD: Oviedo had an excellent spring training and was ticketed for the alternate training site, but he was forced into emergency duty in the Cardinals’ rotation after the teamwide coronavirus outbreak decimated their pitching staff. Oviedo wasn’t quite ready and got hit hard. He also had a stint on the injured list after being exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19.

    SCOUTING REPORT: The 6-foot-6 Oviedo has long arms, excellent extension and two above-average to plus pitches. His fastball sits at 94-95 mph and has touched 98, and his slider sits in the mid-80s with bite to draw swings and misses. Oviedo is a long-limbed pitcher still learning to harness his body and has below-average command and control. The result was his fastball got too much of the plate and he often fell behind hitters, rendering him unable to bury his slider as a chase pitch in strikeout situations. Oviedo’s average curveball with 11-to-5 shape proved better than expected in the majors. His changeup shows deception and drop but is inconsistent.

    THE FUTURE: Oviedo is still developing and has a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter. He’ll return to the minors in 2021 and could re-emerge in the majors at some point during the year.

  11. 11. Masyn Winn | RHP/SS
    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.

    TRACK RECORD: Generally, prospects who attempt to be two-way players in pro ball are pitchers who also play first base or DH. Winn is the rare player who could succeed as a shortstop and a righthander. No prominent draft pick has tried to do both since 2008 first-round pick Casey Kelly played shortstop and pitched in the lower levels of the minors for the Red Sox. He eventually moved to the mound full-time.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Winn is going to make the Cardinals' decision on what is his best long-term home very difficult. He's an athletic, rangy shortstop with a plus-plus arm and plus speed. He plays a little too fast at times, but his arm gives him an extra step of range most shortstops don't have. Winn's performance at the World Wood Bat Championship in 2019 cemented his status as a two-way star. Winn sat at 95 mph and touched 98 for three innings while mixing in a potentially plus slider and changeup. He also went 3-for-4 with a home run and triple, with all three hits having 95 mph or better exit velocities. Winn has above-average raw power, in addition to being athletic and an intense competitor.

    THE FUTURE: The Cardinals are expected to send Winn out first as a shortstop. It's hard to have him work on both because of the demands on his arm, but St. Louis is serious about letting him try to develop both as a position player and a pitcher.

  12. 12. Edwin Nunez | RHP
    Edwin Nunez
    Born: Nov 5, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2020.
    Signed By: Alix Martinez.

    TRACK RECORD: MLB initially suspended Nunez from signing for a year because of an issue regarding his age. While he was ineligible, his stuff just kept getting better and better. On the first day after MLB ended the scouting/signing shutdown that had been put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, the Cardinals signed Nunez for $525,000.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Nunez already can touch 100 mph with above-average spin. He also has an athletic build and a strong if lean frame. In addition to his potentially plus-plus fastball, Nunez also has a less consistent slider that flashes plus potential but sometimes gets slurvy. He's yet to throw in an official game, but Nunez's delivery has starter traits because he repeats it well. It's hard to project his control and command when he's so far away, but his delivery is clean.

    THE FUTURE: Considering his age--he'll turn 19 before Opening Day--Nunez should jump straight to the U.S. and Class A in 2021. The Cardinals have plenty of successful experience at helping older Latin America signees make a speedy adjustment to pro ball. Throwing 100 mph has been found to help that transition.

  13. 13. 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.

    TRACK RECORD: As a child, Hence (whose given name is Markevian) was nicknamed Stinker, but his dad quickly changed it to Tink. He was a travel teammate of Cardinals' second-round pick Masyn Winn on a team coached by Cardinals area scout Dirk Kinney. Like Winn, Hence was committed to play at Arkansas.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Hence has been a fixture on the baseball diamond since he ditched diapers. His stuff isn't consistent yet, but at his best it's already extremely impressive. His fastball sits between 90-93 mph but he can crank it up to 95-96 mph and get swings and misses at the top of the zone. His slider and curveball are two distinct pitches. Both flash plus and he has solid feel for locating them. He's even shown the potential for an average changeup. Hence is athletic and has plenty of room to fill out. He needs to continue to improve the consistency of his delivery as he gets stronger, but he has more upside than most supplemental second-round picks.

    THE FUTURE: The sky's the limit with Hence, who shows feel for spinning breaking balls to go with a promising fastball. Like most pitchers drafted out of high school, patience will be required.

  14. 14. 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.

    TRACK RECORD: Yet another in a long line of savvy international signings by the Cardinals, Rondon was 18 when St. Louis signed him in 2016. Five years later, the Cardinals added him to their 40-man roster, further validating an impressive rise through the minors.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Instead of an encore in games that count, Rondon had to settle for solid work at the club's alternate training site. Facing older hitters, his blend of savvy and stuff baffled once again. Rondon topped out at 93-94 at the ATS but has touched 96-97. He varies speeds well and is comfortable locating his fastball, slider, curveball and changeup at any point in the count. Rondon's slider is arguably his only above-average pitch, but he can make his average curve as big, slow or hard as he needs. His changeup, once average, has backed up. He has average control and lives at the edges of the zone.

    THE FUTURE: After pitching with Aguillas in the Dominican League, Rondon should head to Triple-A to begin 2021. He's not overpowering, but evaluators rave about his feel for pitching. He could eventually be a multi-inning reliever, a back-end starter or even a setup man.

  15. 15. Justin Williams | OF
    Justin Williams
    Born: Aug 20, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Houma, La., 2013 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Rusty Pendergass (D-Backs).

    TRACK RECORD: Williams' path to the majors has been long and winding. A D-Backs draftee, Williams was traded the next year to the Rays in a swap that brought Jeremy Hellickson to Arizona. He made his MLB debut in 2018 with the Rays. He was then dealt to the Cardinals for Tommy Pham at the trade deadline. A broken hand suffered punching a TV and hamstring injuries slowed him in 2019, but he returned to the majors briefly in September 2020.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Williams hits the ball very hard. He just struggles to hit the ball very hard in the air. With his level swing, he hits stinging singles and doubles rather than home runs. Williams has aboveaverage raw power. He will take a walk and he does a solid job of recognizing spin. He puts in good at-bats against lefthanders. A fringe-average runner, Williams' plus arm is an asset in right field, but he has struggled with reads and when to lay out and when to pull up, which is why he's considered a fringe-average defender.

    THE FUTURE: Williams' ties a record with this Prospect Handbook appearance--he's been in eight books since 2014. He's out of options and will head to spring training looking to add a much-needed lefty bat to the very righthanded Cardinals' lineup.

  16. 16. 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.

    TRACK RECORD: The Cardinals spotted and signed Whitley despite him throwing only 4.1 innings as a redshirt junior at Division II Mount Olive as he returned from Tommy John surgery. Whitley has reworked his delivery to better use his legs and drive off the mound, transforming himself into a fastmoving power reliever. He made the Cardinals' Opening Day roster but was added to the 10-day injured list during the Cardinals' coronavirus shutdown. He missed further time with a sore elbow, but returned late in September and made the postseason roster.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Whitley's delivery is extremely short in the back, as he simply rocks into loading his plant leg and then explodes to the plate. It's a simple delivery and he repeats it well, showing above-average control. He works up and down in the strike zone, elevating a 92-95 mph above-average fastball that has above-average carry at the top of the zone. He has touched 97-98 in the past, but didn't reach those heights in the majors in 2020. Whitley's fastball sets up a mid-80s above-average slider that dives below the zone much more than it tilts. The former starter has more comfort throwing his straight mid-80s fringe-average changeup than most relievers. Because he works up and down, he doesn't have a significant platoon disadvantage.

    THE FUTURE: Whitley should fit nicely in the Cardinals' 2021 bullpen. His combination of stuff and control gives him a shot at a significant role as a setup man.

  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.

    TRACK RECORD: One of the best players at the 2016 15U World Cup, Nunez has long been a productive hitter. The Cardinals may have landed a steal because they signed him in a year when they were unable to spend more than $300,000 on the international market. Nunez won the Dominican Summer League triple crown in his debut, hitting .415 with 13 home runs and 59 RBIs.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Nunez's follow-up was not nearly as impressive. He was demoted after struggling at low Class A Peoria, but didn't set the world on fire in the Appalachian League either. In 2020, Nunez was invited to the Cardinals' alternate training site, where he spent a lot of time working on his defense at third base. Nunez is already on the borderline of getting too big for the position, but he moves well for his size. He has an inconsistent arm that flashes plus. Nunez has plus power, above-average bat speed and solid plate coverage, but right now he has a grip-and-rip approach.

    THE FUTURE: It's fair to give a mulligan to a Cuban teenager jumping straight from the Dominican Summer League to the Midwest League. Nunez should get another shot at Class A. This year will be an important one to prove his bat is as advanced as advertised.

  18. 18. Jhon Torres | OF
    Jhon Torres
    Born: Mar 29, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 199
    Drafted/Signed: Colombia, 2016.
    Signed By: Domingo Toribio/Felix Nivar/Koby Perez (Indians).

    TRACK RECORD: The Indians signed Torres out of Colombia for $150,000 and watched him quickly fill out and blossom. St. Louis picked him up along with Conner Capel in a deal that sent Oscar Mercado to the Indians in 2018. Torres struggled in 2019 with an aggressive jump to low Class A Peoria, but he was one of the better prospects in the Appalachian League after a midseason demotion. With a 60-player roster limit, Torres was not part of the Cardinals' alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Torres could develop plus power one day if he can learn to get into better counts and pounce on juicy pitches. He will likely always have some swing and miss, even on hittable pitches, because he has timing issues. Torres is an average runner, and an above-average defender in the corner outfield spots with an above-average arm. He has solid athleticism to go with his developing strength.

    THE FUTURE: Torres is Rule 5 eligible even before he's established himself in full-season ball. The tools are there to be a well-rounded player, but like many prospects he'll need to add plate discipline and pitch recognition to get to his potential.

  19. 19. Julio Rodriguez | C
    Julio Rodriguez
    Born: Jun 11, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 197
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Braly Guzman/Angel Ovalles.

    TRACK RECORD: Rodriguez is a testament to the value of digging a little deeper to scout. He signed for $25,000 as an 18-year-old and turned 19 before his second game in the Dominican Summer League, but the Cardinals quickly found his catch-and-throw skills made him a very useful backstop. He was a Florida State League all-star in 2019, made it to Double-A at the end of that year, and spent the summer of 2020 at the alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Rodriguez does not have a plus tool, but his game-calling, receiving and blocking skills make him an above-average defender and give him a path to a useful MLB career. He’s athletic for a catcher and has solid balance and flexibility in his setup. His arm strength is average, but he has a quick transfer and throws accurately. Rodriguez has a contact-oriented approach with a short stroke. He has below-average power, but he can yank a line drive over the left field fence. Like many catchers, he’s a baseclogger.

    THE FUTURE: Rodriguez was left off the 40-man roster but went unpicked in the Rule 5 draft. He’s ready to head to Double-A. With his reliable glove, he’s not far away from being a backup option in the major leagues.

  20. 20. Tre Fletcher | OF
    Tre Fletcher
    Born: Apr 30, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Portland, Maine, 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Jim Negrych.

    TRACK RECORD: The Cardinals had to work hard to scout Fletcher, who reclassified to join the 2019 class six months before the draft. That meant teams had to circle back to scout him more heavily, but it's not easy to scout high school prospects in Maine during the spring. The Cardinals were confident in what they had seen from him in multiple showcase events. Fletcher became the third-highest Maine prep draftee ever.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Fletcher is a plus-plus runner with some of the best athleticism in the organization. His twitchy athleticism also carries over to the plate, where he has a fast, handsy swing with above-average bat speed. There's not a lot Fletcher can't do--he was also 91-94 mph off the mound in high school, and that plus arm carries over to the outfield. Fletcher displays plus raw power in batting practice, but he has work to do at laying off breaking balls out of the zone.

    THE FUTURE: Even with a lost year, Fletcher will play 2021 as a 19-year-old. His athleticism, speed and center field defense give him foundational tools that should ensure a lengthy pro career.

  21. 21. Leonardo Bernal | C
    Leonardo Bernal
    Born: Feb 14, 2004
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Panama, 2021.

    TRACK RECORD: Bernal was the top prospect from Panama in the 2020 class and one of the top catchers in Latin America with a lengthy track record of success. Bernal was the catcher for Panama at the 2016 Little League World Series. Two years later, he represented Panama again at the U-15 World Cup in his home country, winning a silver medal at 14 as the youngest hitter on the team.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Bernal has a strong, Wilson Ramos-type build at 6 feet, 200 pounds and projects to stick behind the plate with a chance to be an above-average defender. His catch-and-throw skills are advanced for his age, with good agility, blocking and receiving skills to go with a plus arm. He also earns high marks for his leadership skills and overall baseball smarts. Bernal is a patient hitter who manages his at-bats well to get on base with the strength to drive the ball for damage from both sides of the plate.

    THE FUTURE: Upon officially signing, Bernal immediately became one of the better catching prospects in a Cardinals system that has plenty of promising backstops.

  22. 22. Seth Elledge | RHP
    Seth Elledge
    Born: May 20, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 230
    Drafted/Signed: Dallas Baptist, 2017 (4th round).
    Signed By: Ty Bowman (Mariners).

    TRACK RECORD: When the Cardinals traded Sam Tuiavaila to the Mariners at the trade deadline in 2018, they acquired an eventual replacement. Elledge had a dominating MLB debut on Aug. 16, when he struck out five in 2.2 hitless innings. He struggled with his control, but he was a regular option in the Cardinals' bullpen in September.

    SCOUTING REPORT: There's little subtlety to Elledge's approach. He has two pitches, and likes to work up and away with his 92-95 mph, above-average fastball. The pitch has late life and run to get swings and misses at the top of the zone. The fastball sets up Elledge's plus, low-80s slider, which has above-average depth but generally is a chase pitch. Only one out of every four he threw in the majors finished in the strike zone, but he can start it out over the plate before it dives to the dirt down and away from righthanders. Lefties hit . 316/.458/.842 against Elledge because he doesn't throw anything that breaks away, so they can focus on the inner half of the plate. He can locate to his gloveside but not armside.

    THE FUTURE: Elledge was entrusted with pitching the seventh and eighth innings when the Cardinals were behind. Now he needs to earn Mike Shildt's trust to work in higher-leverage situations.

  23. 23. Junior Fernandez | RHP
    Junior Fernandez
    Born: Mar 2, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2014.
    Signed By: Rodney Jimenez/Angel Ovalles.

    TRACK RECORD: Fernandez had a breakout season in 2019, when he leapt from high Class A to the majors. He made his MLB debut in August. He made the Cardinals' 2020 Opening Day rotation, but soon tested positive for Covid-19. He returned to action in September, then tried to make up for lost time by pitching in the Dominican League.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Fernandez's stuff took a step back in 2020, which is troubling because his plus fastball has long paved his way to the majors. In 2019, Fernandez sat at 95-97 mph and bumped 99. In 2020, he sat at 93-95 mph and touched 97 once. Fernandez does not locate his fringe-average downerbreaking slider very well, and his above-average changeup is not as effective when paired with a less hairy fastball. His swing-and-miss rate in his admittedly short MLB stints dropped by half from 2019 to 2020. Fernandez's control is fringe-average, but his command wavers. He needs to get his fastball back or improve his slider to have success.

    THE FUTURE: Fernandez did struggle in 2020, but his 2019 season was excellent, and his bout with the coronavirus explains some of his setback. He will compete for a spot in the Cardinals bullpen in 2021.

  24. 24. Ian Bedell | RHP
    Ian Bedell
    Born: Sep 5, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 198
    Drafted/Signed: Missouri, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Dirk Kinney.

    TRACK RECORD: After an impressive sophomore season as a reliever, Bedell earned himself a lot of money by making six dominant starts in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2019. He went 4-0, 0.59 in six starts with 36 strikeouts and three walks in 31 innings. Bedell's excellent summer became even more important when the 2020 college season was shut down in mid March. By then, he had made four solid starts in Missouri's weekend rotation.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Nothing Bedell throws stands out, but his competitiveness and confidence are apparent. His 89-93 mph fastball is fringe-average, although some scouts see it as average because of his above-average command and plus control. His changeup is average as well. He also throws an average low-80s spike curveball and he's recently added a fringe-average slider.

    THE FUTURE: Bedell is seen as a high-floor, quick mover with a solid track record of success. Bedell has had some success in the bullpen in college and will touch 94-95 more often as a reliever, but his command and control should give him a shot to prove he can be a starter.

  25. 25. Jake Woodford | RHP
    Jake Woodford
    Born: Oct 28, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Tampa, 2015 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Mike Debiase.

    TRACK RECORD: A high school teammate of Kyle Tucker at Tampa's Plant High, Woodford has taken a little longer than Tucker to develop but he's climbed the minor league ladder steadily, gotten stronger and thrown harder. Woodford has never dominated as a pro, but he's been dependable enough to work his way to the majors.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Working out of the pen for multiple innings in his big league debut, Woodford pitched like a starter. He mixed fastballs, sliders, curveballs and even a couple of changeups, but his command strayed. Woodford's fringe-average 92-94 mph fastball is relatively straight. He gives up hard contact if he isn't around the edges of the zone. He showed little feel for his potentially above-average, mid-70s curveball. He bounces it or sails it, but it has exceptional depth if he can figure out better command. He commands his average slider the best, and it has solid depth but little tilt.

    THE FUTURE: Woodford was hit hard in his MLB debut, but his curveball and slider give him a shot to develop into a multi-inning reliever or spot starter.

  26. 26. 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.

    TRACK RECORD: Burleson was a star from day one at East Carolina as a pitcher and in his sophomore season turned into one of the Pirates' best hitters as well. He was a member of USA Baseball's Collegiate National team as a two-way player. As the 70th overall pick, he became the fourth-highest draftee in school history.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Burleson does not accept strikeouts as a price of power. He struck out just 37 times in his three years at ECU and just three times in 75 plate appearances as a junior. Despite his size and strength, Burleson is primarily a contact-oriented hitter who does not sell out to get to power. He hit .341/.387/.496 for his ECU career. There is hope that his focus on hitting will help him focus on getting even stronger, as his profile is somewhat dependent on him getting to more of his above-average raw power. The Cardinals are going to start Burleson in the outfield, a spot he played sporadically as an amateur. His below-average speed limits him to the corners, but he also has shown he's a nimble first baseman.

    THE FUTURE: Pure hitters often get to their power eventually if they keep making solid contact, and Burleson generates loads of consistent contact.

  27. 27. Levi Prater | LHP
    Levi Prater
    Born: Jun 20, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Oklahoma, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Tom Lipari.

    TRACK RECORD: Perseverance has never been a problem for Prater. He lost three fingers on his right hand in a lawnmower accident when he was 2. The injury never slowed him as a pitcher, and he's a switch-hitter too. He was an extremely reliable starter for Oklahoma as one-third of a weekend rotation that was all drafted in 2020's shortened five-round draft.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Prater pitches with a lot of deception. He works from a lower arm slot and pitches from the first-base side of the rubber. Combined with his closed-off delivery, that means that lefties especially have a hard time picking up the ball. The deception has helped Prater's fringe-average 90-93 mph fastball be effective. His average slider works more because of location than power or bite--lefties don't see it well and he is comfortable back-footing it to righthanders. His average changeup keeps righthanders honest because it gives them something to worry about on the outer third of the plate. He has fringy control, but that's partly because he knows he has to nibble. His command is better than his control.

    THE FUTURE: Prater is a back-end starter who may end up working in the bullpen to help his stuff play up. He has a knack for getting the most out of his stuff.

  28. 28. Edmundo Sosa | SS
    Edmundo Sosa
    Born: Mar 6, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: Panama, 2012.
    Signed By: Arquimedes Nieto.

    TRACK RECORD: Sosa was a high-profile international signing out of Panama in 2012, far enough back that he was a teammate of Jack Flaherty in the Gulf Coast League in 2014. Sosa's path to the majors has been frustrating. He made the Cardinals' Opening Day roster in 2020 but contracted Covid-19 before he played in a game. Once he recovered, he remained at the alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Sosa's value is as a reliable defender who can play second base, third base or shortstop without any issues. He's an above-average defender at all three. Offensively, Sosa has made steady improvements and found the more lively Triple-A ball to his liking, as he set a career high with 17 home runs in 2019. He projects as a below-average hitter with below-average power in the big leagues. His aggressiveness means he does not get on base very often.

    THE FUTURE: This is an important season for Sosa, as he's already used four options. He either makes the Opening Day roster or will have to be placed on outright waivers. He's ready to be a utilityman but time is running out to claim that job.

  29. 29. Alvaro Seijas | RHP
    Alvaro Seijas
    Born: Oct 10, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2015.
    Signed By: Jose Gonzalez Maestre.

    TRACK RECORD: The top target among the Cardinals’ 2015 international signings, Seijas arrived as a pro with athleticism and a fastball that could bump the mid 90s. Five years later, not much has changed. The Cardinals added Seijas to the 40-man roster after the 2019 season but outrighted him during the 2020 season. He went unclaimed on waivers and unselected in the Rule 5 draft.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Seijas is still young enough to put everything together. He has solid arm speed and arm strength, running his fastball into the mid 90s at his best, but it’s an average pitch without any exceptional movement characteristics. His breaking ball is slurvy and his changeup is inconsistent, with both grading as fringe-average pitcher. A starter throughout his minor league career so far, Seijas' fringy control and command make a move to the bullpen likely long-term.

    THE FUTURE: Seijas will try to make the jump to Double-A in 2021. He’ll need to improve his breaking ball or changeup to have a major league future, even as a reliever.

  30. 30. Luken Baker | 1B
    Luken Baker
    Born: Mar 10, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 265
    Drafted/Signed: Texas Christian, 2018 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Tom Lipari.

    TRACK RECORD: Baker had an exceptional freshman season as a two-way player for Texas Christian, leading the Big 12 Conference in batting average (.379), runs scored (59) and RBIs (62) while posting a team-high 11 home runs. He also made 10 starts on the mound, going 3-1, 1.70. The rest of his career was marred by injuries, but he was productive when healthy and the Cardinals drafted him in the supplemental second round in 2018. Baker made it to high Class A Palm Beach in his pro debut in 2019, but was not brought to the Cardinals alternate training site in 2020.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Baker is a massive, 6-foot-4, 265-pound slugger with plus-plus raw power. He can catch up to any fastball and he has game-changing power, although that power has yet to fully manifest itself in games. He struggles to recognize and adjust to breaking balls, limiting him to a possibly below-average hitter. He did have a late surge at Palm Beach, slugging .654 in August, so there is hope he is progressing. Baker is a well below-average first baseman—his 10 errors were second-most among first basemen in the Florida State League in 2019—who struggles to consistently catch the ball. He needs a lot of work and is a risk to end up strictly a designated hitter.

    THE FUTURE: After letting Luke Voit go and watching him turn into a productive slugger, the Cardinals have every reason to give Baker chances. He’s ready for Double-A and the more inviting hitting environments of the Texas League.

View Players 11-30

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