St. Louis Cardinals 2018 Top 50 Prospects

Sep 30, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader (48) celebrates after hitting a game winning one run single off of Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak (not pictured) during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals Top 50 Prospects for 2018

The St.Louis Cardinals have some of the best upper-level depth in all of baseball. Their outfield and pitching depth in the upper minors in particular is impressive and gives them a lot of fallback options should they pursue trade from their major league roster, suffer injuries or use it as ammo in a big deal.

A December trade with the Miami Marlins depleted some of the team’s upper-level depth but it says something that even after that swap six of the first eight names on this list have MLB or at least AAA experience.

As a list geared toward dynasty leagues, I put a lot of weight on hitters because they’re a safer investment and I significantly downgrade relief pitchers or those with obvious bullpen futures (unless their stuff is just that nasty, see: #28). I have an affinity for lower level teens that show promise as these guys can often be lottery tickets that could explode if they perform once they arrive stateside.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster





Tier 1

1. Alex Reyes, RHP
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: MLB

There’s not much to be said about Alex Reyes at this point. One of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Reyes missed all of 2017 with Tommy John surgery and is expected to return some time before the All-Star Break in 2018. His role is up in the air right now. The smart thing for the Cardinals would be to ease him from the bullpen, but that would kill his fantasy value. He needs to build arm strength and hone his control as the flamethrower has never posted a walk rate below 11% in any MiLB stop.

If Reyes could keep his 94-97 mph velocity from pre-surgery to go with his plus changeup and potentially double-plus curveball, there’s no reason to doubt his impact beginning in 2019. He’s one of a handful of legitimate ace-upside pitchers in the minors and while the buy-low window might have closed, I’d explore trades for him.

Tier 2

2. Jack Flaherty, RHP
Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: MLB

After just 148.2 IP above High-A, Flaherty raced through Double-A and Triple-A last year to make his MLB debut in September. The righty saw some velocity gains, jumping from the low 90s to 93-94, which aided his ascent along with his above-average curveball and slider. His 21-inning debut didn’t go well, as he gave up four home runs and 15 earned runs, but he still showed some promise on the periphery. He notched a 13 SwStr% and wasn’t afraid to use all three of his pitches.

When the team signed Miles Mikolas in December it effectively knocked Flaherty out of the rotation, but he could use some more seasoning in the high minors. Should the team suffer an injury, he’ll be the first man up.

3. Harrison Bader, OF
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: MLB

Speaking of incredibly fast ascents through the minors, Bader made his MLB debut last year just 25 months after appearing in a minor league game for the first time. On the surface, he looks like a tantalizing fantasy commodity — a guy who can hit 20 home runs in a season to go with 15 stolen bases. He has plus speed that should keep him in centerfield and bat speed that helps him get to his pull-side power.

But if you watched him during his 92 plate appearances in the majors, you’ll note how pitchers picked up his inability to hit breaking balls away. His over aggressiveness was exploited (5.4 BB%) and his strikeouts climbed (26.1 K%). Unless he learns to handle those away pitches and go the other way, expect low OBP years from the righty that could severely limit his upside and potentially land him in a platoon. If you own Bader, the Marcell Ozuna trade didn’t help your cause. He also has Grichuk in his way, though that’s the lesser of the two concerns. In the meantime, he’ll begin the year in Memphis.

4. Tyler O’Neill, OF
Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AAA

O’Neill has the best power of all 50 names in this list, rocking 70-grade raw power. He gets to it in games thanks to surprising bat speed. The righty smashed 87 home runs in 366 MiLB games and not unlike Bader, has solid speed and with an arm good enough to man a corner spot. He’s like Bader in more ways than one, too. He can get aggressive with his swing, causing swing-and-miss issues that lead to poor contact. He’s punished minor-league pitching, but his holes are easily exploitable in the bigs. If he can overcome those issues, we’re looking at someone who can mirror Adam Duvall’s production with a few more ticks of OBP.

5. Jose Adolis Garcia, OF
Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: AAA

Kudos to Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs for putting Garcia on my map. After leaving Cuba, he signed with the Cardinals for $2.5 million this past February, Garcia enjoyed his first pro ball action this year in Double-A and Triple-A. After Double-A, he jumped to Memphis for 36 games (121 AB) where he rode a .386 BABIP to a .314/.362/.504 slash line. On the season as a whole he went 15/15 and went .290/.340/.476.

He has strong wrists that help him with his gap power right now and possesses plus speed. He has a strong arm that would fit well in right field. Garcia is close to the majors and I expect to see him some time in 2018, though it may not be more than 150 at bats. Dexter Fowler is the regular starter there and Randal Grichuk calls right field home more often than not. But the latter might be on the move and if so, Garcia could sneak in.

He’s a relative unknown in the dynasty world, but if you roster more than 300 prospects and are in a competitive window, I’d add him.

6. Randy Arozarena, OF
Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AA

I get this feeling that Arozarena might make this ranking look a tad bit silly in a few months. The Cuban signee demolished Mexican Winter Ball, slashing .292/.366/.558 and leading the league with 14 home runs. It’s worth noting the power surge, even in the friendly elevations his environment. Arozarena averaged about a .150 ISO this past year between two levels of minor-league ball. If he can unlock some hidden power to go with average speed that he utilizes well on the basepaths, we could be looking at yet another Cardinals outfielder with fantasy tools worth using. Keep a close eye on him. If the power is real, he’ll be worth owning.

7. Carson Kelly, C
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: MLB

This might seem like a low ranking for Kelly, but remember that this list is written with a fantasy perspective. Yes, he’s become a really strong defender, which is incredible considering he was drafted as a third baseman. But at the plate Kelly does not impress. He doesn’t project to have more than 40-grade power and while his approach portends to seasons where he can hit above .275, it’s going to be an empty slashline overall. Even with the low bar we have for catchers, Kelly might max out as a single-digit HR player useful only in deep leagues and -only leagues.

8. Jordan Hicks, RHP
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: High-A

With the departure of Alcantara, Hicks is the owner of the biggest fastball in the St.Louis system. The one thing we care about is his future: is it in the ‘pen or a rotation? Right now, St.Louis is intent on keeping him as a starter. As a reliever he sits 97-100 but it dips to 94-96 as a starter. His breaking balls are slow and looping, playing well of his fastball. In High-A he overpowered hitters, striking out 32 in 27 IP with just six walks. The walks are especially encouraging because he normally struggles with control and has no true third pitch. If he can develop that third pitch and hone his control, he’ll have the highest ceiling of anyone not named Alex Reyes.

Tier 3

9. Max Schrock, 2B
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA

Acquired from Oakland last month in the Stephen Piscotty trade, Schrock has the type of contact-oriented offensive profile that will earn him a roster spot for years to come once he makes it to the big leagues. He has just 100 career strikeouts in 1,219 plate appearances along with a .324/.372/.439 slash line. What drops him into this tier is his limited impact elsewhere. He has some speed but isn’t going to be a burner on the bases (28 career SB) and has 40-grade power. He should begin the year in Triple-A and if he performs well enough, can take over Kolten Wong’s strong-side platoon role later in the year.

10. Ryan Helsley, RHP
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AAA

Entering 2018, Helsley will be 1/5th of a very formidable Memphis rotation that includes Flaherty, and two of the next three guys on this list. He’s a fastball-heavy guy that hasn’t developed his changeup and slider yet, leading some to wonder if he’s destined for the bullpen. For now, the Cards are keeping him in the rotation. He began the year in High-A, pitched well for 93.2 IP, went to Double-A where he struck out even more guys (11 K/9 but 4 BB/9) and finally earned one start at Triple-A at the end of the year.

He still struggles to command his mid-90s heater which raises the bullpen questions, but there’s still hope he can hone his secondary pitches and become a high-strikeout No.4 with the upside of a No.3.

11. Delvin Perez, SS
Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

Perez’s prospect stock has plummeted in the last calendar year and what was once a shortstop with potential 50/50 hit/power grades is now looking like a glove-first shortstop who won’t hit for power and will vary wildly with his hit tool. His plus-plus speed is still present but the instincts are not, having been caught five times in 10 attempts last year. Ultimately this is someone with just 77 professional games under his belt who’ll be 19 for all of 2018, but I’d flat out drop or sell low in your leagues.

12. Austin Gomber, LHP
Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: AA

Gomber isn’t an exciting prospect to own, but he’s someone who could live out his fantasy days as a streaming option in mixed leagues with a chance for more in his better years. The lefty has a low-90s fastball that plays up due to his above-average changeup and curve. A flyball pitcher, his 6-foot-5 frame combined with a three-quarters motion gives the impression that he’s bearing down on the batter. He’s posted average walk rates and slightly above-average K rates in his minors career and after a 3.34 ERA (4.10 FIP) in 143 innings at Double-A, he should begin the year in Memphis. There’s a chance he gets a cup of coffee later this year.

13. Dakota Hudson, RHP
Age:23
2017 Highest Level: AAA

Hudson has been a slight disappointment since being taken 34th overall in 2016. After 13.1 professional innings between rookie ball and High-A in 2016, the Cardinals pushed him to Double-A this season. Even with his SEC pedigree the new competition might have been too much for him. While he had a strong 2.53 ERA (3.64 FIP) in 114 innings, his strikeouts were a disappointing 16% with a 9 SwStr%. The Cards bumped him to Triple-A for seven starts where he had a putrid 11.8 K% and a 7.1% SwStr%.

He has the stuff and frame of a starter (6 foot 5 with four, maybe five pitches) but it’s really only his mid-90s fastball and cutter that play up. But the oddity is when he gets his strikeouts it’s with his breaking ball. Scouts wonder if he’d serve the team better in the bullpen where he can focus on his fastball. Overall his stock is trending a bit down despite his short ETA.

14. Andrew Knizner, C
Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AA

Knizner was one of the biggest risers in this system in the last year. Consider that my predecessor ranked him 50th last year. He started the year in A ball and moved up to Double-A where he impressed with his ability to limit strikeouts. Overall he finished 2017 with a .302/.349/.471 line with 12 HR and just 49 strikeouts in 95 games. In the AFL he really made himself known finishing with a .940 OPS, seventh best of all batters.

So a catcher that’s shown the propensity to hit, has some pop, doesn’t strikeout. Where can you sign up, right? Well, remember the depth chart ahead of him. Carson Kelly may have a worse offensive profile but is a better defender and he is already blocked by Yadier Molina who signed a three-year extension last spring. As such, Knizner has been started playing at first base as the organization tries to open a path for him in 2019 and beyond. Knizner’s profile is good for a catcher, but at first base we might be looking at a James Loney type and that’s very unattractive for fantasy.

15. Wadye Ynfante, OF
Age: 20
Level: Rookie

Ynfante has been a slow-burning centerfielder the last few years after signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. He made his stateside debut this season and in 43 games had an .865 OPS with the help of a .394 BABIP to go with an impressive seven home runs and 11 stolen bases. He’s raw but has similar promise and tools as Delvin Perez did a year ago. If you’re in a very deep league and looking to speculate, he may not be a bad option. However with a lead time of more than three years it’s better to watch from afar for now.

16. Yairo Munoz, SS
Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AAA

The second player acquired in the Piscotty deal, Muñoz got most of his starts this season as shortstop but also saw time in all three outfield spots as well as third base and a couple of games at second. In 446 AB between AA and AAA, he slashed .300/.330/.464 with 13 HR and 22 SB. His BB% won’t creep up above 5 very often and his defensive home may end up being third base in St.Louis, but he figures to be a super utility type player and this organization does a good job developing those.




Tier 4

17. Dylan Carlson, OF
Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Low-A

A switch-hitting first-baseman-turned-outfielder, Carlson got his first taste of full-season ball this year and despite an overall disappointing .690 OPS, he still finished with an average 101 wRC+. And when you consider that he had to retool his left-handed swing (and he did so successfully, getting more leverage), it was a promising 2017 for the former 2016 first rounder. His hit tool may never reach average, but he does have power potential and should be athletic enough to remain in a corner outfield spot.

18. Oscar Mercado, OF
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA

St.Louis has been bringing Mercado slowly through the system. A former 2014 2nd-round pick that was originally a shortstop, Mercado has made great strides coming along as a good defensive outfielder using his plus-plus speed. His statline sure looked nice this season and it was a breakout of sorts with 13 HR and 38 SB to go with a .769 OPS. In fantasy we’ll always stay keen on speedsters, especially if you can flash it on the basepaths. Mercado has 121 SB in the last three seasons so keep a close eye to see if the gains he made last year carry over to this season.

19. Jonathan Machado, OF
Age: 18
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

Signed out of Cuba, Machado shows good contact ability, an advanced approach and occasionally has a funky shuffle up the box as the pitch is being released. He hit .323 this year with just a 9.4 K% in 139 PA. The lefty possesses average speed. Machado figures to be a better fantasy prospect than real life thanks to his high floor slash line probability and chance for low double-digit steals, but we’re obviously quite far away from that materializing.

20. Connor Jones, RHP
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA

Jones spent the majority of 2017 at high-A where we learned one thing: ground balls, ground balls, ground balls. He tallied a 68(!)% GB rate with his sinker in 113 innings with Palm Beach. To put that into perspective, the highest GB% this millenium was Derek Lowe’s 67% in 2002. Unfortunately that’s where the ‘good’ ends. He has very poor control (Baseball Prospectus even threw a 20 on it) and no true third pitch outside of his slider. Like typical sinkerballers, he doesn’t strike many out. He’s starting right now, but there’s a chance he shifts to the bullpen.

21. Ivan Herrera, C
Age: 17
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

The best of three 17 year olds on this list, Herrera is a 6-foot-1 catcher who has a good shot at not only sticking at the position but hitting for power once his body fills out. In the Dominican Summer League he slashed .335/.425/.441 in 49 games. His batting average was sixth best in the DSL. He was the MVP of the U16 Pan Am Baseball Championship in 2016, so 2017 was just the latest in a string of recent success. Herrera might not land on radars until a year, maybe two, but I think his fantasy ceiling can be pretty high if the contact and power can develop.

22. Johan Oviedo, RHP
Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Low-A

Oviedo is a towering 6-foot-6 righty that I was high on entering 2017. He was touching 97 and developing his slider and change. But reports saw him lose about four ticks off his fastball by year’s end and hover between the high 80s, low 90s. Some wonder if the new dietary habits he formed after coming into the country might have affected his workout regimen and performance. He made it to Low-A this year and pitched 47.1 innings, giving up 24 runs (4.56 ERA) and striking out just 39, a disappointment given my expectations. If he can regain velocity, he’s a prime candidate to shoot up this list.

23. Scott Hurst, OF
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Low-A

The team’s third-round pick of 2017, Hurst might be able to make it as a left-handed centerfielder thanks to his contact skills he’s had since college. In 55 games he hit .282 with a solid 9 BB%. He struck out 58 times in 213 AB (24 K%) but we won’t ding someone too much for striking out in their first professional foray. He’s got speed but not much power.

24. Jose Moreno, RHP
Age: 17
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

Moreno spent most of 2017 as a 16 year old and finished with an impressive 3.18 ERA (3.52 FIP) in 51 innings. He sat in the low 90s, touched 94 and showed flashes of an average or better curveball. Considering he was born in the 21st century, he shouldn’t be on your radar unless you roster more than 750 prospects in a league, but he has a solid foundation with which to build upon.

25. Luke Voit, 1B
Age: 26
2017 Highest Level: MLB

Voit just barely made this list after 114 at bats in the majors last year. Turning 27 next month, the first baseman was below average, posting a .736 OPS in his cup of coffee and serving as a pinch hitter for the remainder of his at bats. He has a better fantasy profile than real life and isn’t unlike Mariners prospect Dan Vogelbach. Voit owns a career minor league .286/.367/.451 line in 477 games and possesses high ‘teens power. He’s projected as a bench bat for the team right now and could share some time with Jose Martinez.

26. Elehuris Montero, 3B
Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

If you’re a betting person, Montero is a good pick to crack the top 20 in this list this time next year. He has good feel to hit and has 25 home run power in his bat that he’s already flashing in the GCL. If he can stick at third (his body is in that grey area between 3B and 1B), then his profile looks even better. Last season he had a 10 BB% and 15 K% en route to a 136 wRC+ in 52 games.

27. Jake Woodford, RHP
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: High-A

Woodford has a career 3.12 ERA in 254 innings and has showcased pitchability, but his stuff is slowly regressing as the seasons pass. His mid-90s velocity from high school is now down into the low 90s. And reports say his slider has taken a step back, which makes it hard to use his changeup effectively with the smaller velocity gap. Another issue with Woodford is his low K%. It’s dropped as he ascended each level and it finished at 14% last season. If you’re not striking out guys or inducing ground balls (see: Jones, Connor), then your baseball upside — let alone fantasy — is limited.

Tier 5

28. Junior Fernandez, RHP
Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: High-A

If you want to look at this ranking as glass half-full, you could say Fernandez has the best stuff of any pitcher below him and probably three or four guys above him. The reason he’s here, despite a fastball and changeup that’s earned 7’s from scouts, is his control and lack of strikeouts. You’d think with a mid-90s fastball and a low 80s changeup he’d have guys off their feet, but he hasn’t crossed 6 K/9 in the last two seasons, the second of which was him repeating High-A. In the last three seasons he hasn’t posted a BB% below 10. He was shut down for the year in July with arm soreness stagnating his development. I strongly believe he’s destined for the pen so he could focus on his 1-2 FB/CH combo. But because I think he’s a reliever, he finds himself this low on the list.

29. Alex Mejia, MI
Age: 27
2017 Highest Level: AAA

Mejia had been bouncing back and forth between Double-A and Triple-A since 2015 until he finally got his crack at the big leagues last season. He profiles as utility player that can limit the strikeouts but can get too aggressive and forgo the walks. He doesn’t have speed or power and serves more as defensive depth for the organization.

30. Carlos Soto, C
Age: 18
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

Signed out of Mexico in the 2016 international period, Soto is yet another catching prospect in a system loaded with them. His receiving can use some improvement but he profiles as a bat first catcher, which is our favorite type for fantasy. He has shown a good plate approach in his first 252 professional plate appearances and intriguing pull-side power.

31. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
Age: 26
2017 Highest Level: AAA

The Cardinals are exhaling that Wisdom didn’t get selected in the Rule 5 draft last month because he’s good depth for their corner infielders. He hit 31 HR in Triple-A last year, a power breakout for him. He’s a typical right-handed slugger that has a below-average walk and strikeout rate. Is he ripe for some Cardinals Devil Magic later in 2018? Maybe. If you’re in a 20-team league or deeper, monitor him when the team suffers an injury.

32. Mike O’Reilly, RHP
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: High-A

A 27th round pick last year, O’Reilly is the heir apparent to the now departed Zac Gallen. The righty hovers between 88-91 but that doesn’t prevent him from challenging hitters in the zone using good command and solid pitch sequencing. He’s very stingy with the walks (20 in just over 140 innings last season) and projects to be league average in strikeouts. He’s good depth for the organization and could one day fill the No.5 role for a team.

33. Derian Gonzalez, RHP
Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: High-A

An international signee out of Venezuela from 2014, the Cardinals have been slow to promote Gonzalez, limiting his innings each season. He’s yet to pitch more than 100 in a year (2016) and he missed some time last year with shoulder issues. His fastball can touch the mid-90s and is his saving grace and he pairs it with a solid curveball. Because of health, there is relief risk here if he doesn’t show he can increase the innings.

34. Darren Seferina, SS
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA

Drafted in the fifth round of 2014, Seferina was primed to be a speed-first shortstop (think 35+ steals a season) but injuries have drastically impacted that part of his game. He made his Double-A debut last year and had a respectable .768 OPS in 48 games. He has a good approach at the plate (career .347 OBP) and can handle the six. Don’t expect much power or speed from him.

35. Kramer Robertson, SS
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: A

Kramer has the SEC pedigree having played in LSU so the Cardinals could move him quickly if needed, not unlike what they did with Bader (although that comparison is a bit unfair).In his 54-game pro debut he slashed a solid .270/.351/.367 with three home runs and 10 steals. He shows a capable glove at shortstop and should look to make his High-A debut early this season.

36. Breyvic Valera, INF
Age: 26
2017 Highest Level: MLB

After toiling in the minors for six years, Valera made his MLB debut, racking up 11 plate appearances at the end of 2017. While he offers almost no power and little speed, he rarely strikes out (7.2 K% in AAA last season) and it helps his average approach at the plate play up.

37. Daniel Poncedeleon, RHP
Age: 26
2017 Highest Level: AAA

You might have heard about Poncedeleon last year after his scary incident where he took a line drive off his head that forced him to the ICU where he remained hospitalized for several weeks. Naturally, it cut his 2017 short. At 6-foot-4, he has the body to eat innings and was flashing that in Double-A in 2016 where he pitched 151 innings with a 3.52 ERA (3.84 FIP). He has a FB/CB/CH combo that all project to average and should be a candidate to climb this list if he returns in 2018 showcasing the tools that got him to Triple-A to begin with.

38. Raffy Ozuna, SS
Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, Ozuna completed his second season in the DSL last year. His skill set is intriguing as a shortstop and in a vacuum, it’s the type that I love. I’m a sucker for high walks and high strikeouts (not that I seek out the latter, though) and Ozuna finished last season with an 18 BB% and 34 K%, leading to a .253/.398/.419 line. He’s flashing average power and has no speed. There have been no talks of moving him off shortstop, but it’s a possibility given his 6-foot-3 frame.

39. Tommy Edman, INF
Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AA

Edman is a glove-first shortstop that doesn’t provide much in the way of offense via speed or power. He has OK bat-to-ball skills but he’ll be more org depth for the team. Or maybe a 2021 All-Star because, you know, #CardinalsDevilMagic.

40. Will Latcham, RHP
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Low-A

A 17th-round pick out of Coastal Carolina, Latcham might be a fast riser both in the Cards’ system and on this list thanks to two potential plus pitches. He struck out 41 in 30 innings and notched a 13.8 SwStr% last year.

41. Nick Plummer, OF
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: A

It’s been quite the fall for Plummer since being drafted 23rd overall in 2015. Multiple hand surgeries are partially to blame for a complete loss of power (.288 SLG in 2017) and an inability to put the bat on the ball. He still has a strong eye at the plate (15 BB% in ‘17, 17 BB% in ‘16). His 5-foot-10 figure doesn’t give much confidence that there’s more in the tank in the way of power to help redeem his pedigree, but we still need to give him some leash given the injuries.

42. Evan Mendoza, 3B
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: A

An 11th-round pick from last year’s draft, Mendoza is still finding a home between third base and short, but he’s solid enough with the glove to be passable at either position. After torching the NYPL with a .980 OPS, he jumped to A ball where he was humbled (90 wRC+). His approach can get uber aggressive but overall it was a solid professional debut in 2017.

43. Alvaro Seijas, RHP
Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

A 2015 international signee out of Venezuela, Seijas is a stocky, 5-foot-8 righty that has a fastball that can touch 95 and has a feel for his curveball and changeup. There is reliever risk because of his build and delivery, but the organization has used him exclusively as a starter for now. In the Appy league last year he pitched 63.1 innings with 63 strikeouts, a 3.60 FIP and a 2.8 BB/9, his third straight stop with a sub-3 in that category.

44. Hector Soto, RHP
Age: 18
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

Soto hails from Mexico and signed with the team in November 2016. He’s a 6-foot-1 reliever that showed good control in his time in the DSL.

45. Cristhian Longa, 1B
Age: 17
Level: Rookie

I’m basically just going through the DSL Cardinals at this point. I always think one of these guys could be worth something, especially if they’re showing promise at the age of 17. Longa is a right-handed first baseman that’s listed at 5 foot 11. That’s perhaps the least ideal profile prospect you could create. But in 34 games in the DSL he sashed .284/.371/.394 and had a 12 K%. He’s the profile that’s ripe for a growth spurt.

46. Winston Nicacio, RHP
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: High-A

The Cardinals rewarded Nicacio with a stint in High-A after he opened the year for the GCL Cardinals, a sizeable jump to be sure. Nicacio has a sling-like delivery from the right that he has some trouble repeating but can be deceptive when he has it working. The inconsistency leads to some high walk totals sometimes. He has back-end starter potential.

47. Rangel Ravelo, 1B
Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: AAA

Ravelo is on his third team in the minors, having joined the Cardinals on a minor league deal last offseason. He’s racked up more than 2,400 minor league at bats and had a good showing this season with an .863 OPS. He has a good eye and has modest pop. The issue? He’s a right-handed first baseman and his profile screams ‘Org Depth’.

48. Chase Pinder, OF
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

Brother of Chad Pinder in the A’s system, Chase was the team’s seventh-round pick last year. His 50-game professional debut in the Appy League was impressive, as he had a .320/.442/.438 line, walking nearly as much as he struck out. However he used a .398 BABIP to reach that and he’s not really that good of a contact hitter. But he does have average pop and speed.

49. Zach Kirtley, 2B
Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Rookie

The Cardinals snagged Kirtley in the fifth round last year and thus far he’s continued to show flashes of what made him appealing. He has a strong eye (13.5 BB%) but has issues making contact.

50. J.B. Woodman, OF
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: A

Woodman was St.Louis’ return from Toronto in the Aledmys Diaz trade. He’s a lefty bat with an SEC pedigree that’s shown average pop but won’t ever carve himself a role as a regular thanks to poor contact skills.

The Guy I Don’t Know Where To Rank

Ramon Urias, SS
Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AAA (MEX)

Urias signed with the Cardinals in the first week of January after spending the last five years playing in the Mexican League. In 457 games, he has a .307/.391/.456 slash line. However we have to take that with a massive grain of salt considering Mexico City plays at an altitude 2,000 feet higher than Coors Field. He’s coming off a 19 HR/12 SB season in 106 games, but again…Coors on steroids. Is he a 10/10 guy? A 15/5 guy? A 20/10 guy? We’ll have to wait and see. But if he can hit in the vicinity like his younger brother, then he should be worth a spot in the top 30 at least.

About Eddy Almaguer 4 Articles
Looking for the cure that'll force me to stop joining new fantasy baseball leagues each year. I pay the bills as a Video Production Coordinator for USF Athletics in Tampa. Raised in Miami, bachelor's from FIU, master's from UF. I tweet all baseball all day from @EddyAlmaguer.

5 Comments

    • Thanks for reading, Leon. I couldn’t find sufficient information (outside of just looking at their season stats) on either of those so I did not consider them for the list.

    • Hey Mike, thanks for reading. Given this is a fantasy list, I thought to myself “Do I ever want to roster a MI who’ll at best hit 5 HR in a season with the same amount of steals?”. The answer, obviously, is no. He’s a glove-first player and we don’t care much about that in fantasy.

      If you want to make a case to slot him over any of the last 10 guys, I won’t pick a fight. But I tried to list guys that for the most part could have redeeming qualities on a fantasy roster and Edmundo didn’t cross that bar.

  1. Hey Eddy,
    Just curious about other Cards’ starting pitching prospects beyond Reyes and Flaherty. How do you rank them, and what is their ETA and ceiling?
    thanks,
    jeff

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Tuesday January 9, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com
  2. Diving Deep: Prospects not included in our Top 50s | Prospects1500
  3. Three St. Louis Cardinals Prospects That Are Ready to Climb Rankings | Prospects1500

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