Before Spring Training begins here’s a brief look at the Cardinals top 10 prospects.
#1- Everyone’s top prospect is RHP Alex Reyes. He pitched in 46 innings in the major leagues which makes him eleigible for Rookie of the Year honors in 2017. He is 22 years old and posted a 1.57 ERA with 53 strikeouts and 23 walks in the majors and only 33 hits. He can top his fastball at 101 mph and mix in a good change-up and an excellent curveball. Look for him to be in the rotation in 2017.
#2- Luke Weaver made it to the majors and at 23 years of age. He threw 36 innings in the major league with 45 strikeouts and 12 walks with 46 hits allowed. He averages near 90 mph on his fastball and mixes in a cutter, curveball and a solid change-up. He has potential and will see plenty of time in the major leagues during the 2017 season.
#3- Harrison Bader was a third round pick out of the University of Florida in 2015 and since that time he has impressed scouts at every stop. He hit a combined .267 in 465 at bats which included 19 home runs, 13 steals and 36 walks. He has a bit more than average skillset and needs to back off his aggressive style. Look for him to be on a Cardinals roster in 2018.
#4- Jack Flaherty is a right handed pitcher that had a 3.56 ERA last season and fanned 126 while walking only 45 batters in 134 innings. He has a low 90’s fastbal and a very good change.He will likely start in Double-A next season. He is projected as a 2019 roster player.
#5- Delvin Perez is an 18 year old shortstop that was a first round pick in 2016. In his rookie season he hit .294 with 12 steals, 12 walks and fanned 128 times in 163 at bats. He has some good bat skills with occasional power. He arm and range is decent but becomes bored with the routine play. It’s going to be a journey for Perez and probably not in the majors until 2021.
#6- Dakota Hudson (22 yrs old) is a right handed pitcher that the Cardinals got in the compensation pick out of Mississippi State in 2016. He is a definite groundball pitcher that fires the ball near 95 mph and mixes in a cutter. He is likely to become a bullpen guy or a #4 or #5 starter. Last season in the minors he had a 2.55 ERA with 115 strikeouts and only 35 walks. His projected ETA to the majors in 2019.
#7- Magneuris Sierra is 20 years of age and was signed in 2012 out of the Dominican. He took 524 at bats last year in the minors and had 31 steals, 22 walks and 97 strikeouts in the Low-A Peoria. He doesn’t hit for much power aand is a slash hitter. He has speed and good arm but makes some errors that may come from his youth. Likely he is in Cardinals uniform in 2020.
#8- Righthander Sandy Alcantara can hit 100 mph with his fastball but needs to develop some of his other pitches to become consistantly successful. He had a 3.96 ERA with 153 strikeout and 59 walks in the minor leagues last season He is likely to always be a starter and could be a diamond in the rough in late 2019.
#9- Carson Kelly‘s story is well known around Cardinal fans as he change positions and is now the Yadi-heir to the catching position in the major leagues. He rapped out a .289 averge but had limited power with six homers. He also fanned 63 times, walked 25 in 329 at bats. He is an excellent defensed behind the plate. He threw out 31% of the base stealers. His glove is coveted and will likely see plenty of time in 2017 as a major leaguer.
#10- Austin Gomber is 23 years old and a right handed pitcher the Cardinals got in the 4th round from Florida Atlantic. He is a 6’5″ left handed pitcher that can throw heat and commands an excellent change-up. Last year he posted a 3.69 ERA in 127 innings with 33 walks and 116 strikeouts. Many feel he is a year away but don’t be surprised to see him pitch in relief for the big club in 2017 and transition to a starter in a year or two.
More prospect talk coming soon!
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