This article was originally published at the Redbird Daily by Colin Garner, and is now proud to call the Cards Conclave home. Throughout July we’ll be re-running all 30 Prospect articles as we lead up to Colin’s Prospect update later in the month.
In Collaboration with Kyle Reis and Birds On The Black, Colin Garner presents you with The Cardinals Top 30 Prospects!
Prospect #30: Stefan Trosclair: Age At The Start Of 2018; 23 ( #32 On Personal List, wRC+: 136)
What I Like
Production, plain and simple. Stefan Trosclair finished fourth in the Midwest League with an .832 OPS. His power isn’t exactly prolific, but he did manage to crank 15 homers, eight doubles, and four triples. He doesn’t have the stereotypical first baseman swing, either. As you can see in the video below, he uses a short swing to (presumably) spray line drives all over the yard.
One benefit of his shorter-than-usual swing is that it allows him to be a bit more selective at the plate, as evidenced by his 11.6 walk rate in Peoria. Trosclair was also 14 of 18 in stolen base attempts last year, a surprising rate of success for a first baseman.
Trosclair also fills an area of need for the organization as far as the depth chart is concerned. He’s the only first baseman in our Top 30. The only other one we considered was Juan Yepez, who was a level below Trosclair in 2018.
What I like most about Trosclair, however, is that he improved during his time in Peoria. He posted his best OPS’s in the months of July and August. He clearly made adjustments to the league, one of the most important things a prospect can do to indicate future success.
What I Don’t Like
While I don’t like to write off success, it’s important to keep in mind that Trosclair was successful at Low-A. He was older than the league average too, so take his production with a grain of salt. Furthermore, 15 homers is a nice number, but the offensive bar at first base is higher than other positions. He will have to develop more power in order to be an everyday first baseman in the big leagues.
The fact that Trosclair struck out in 23% of his plate appearances is cause for concern as well. Some of that concern is offset by the fact that he draws walks at a decent rate as I mentioned above, but Low-A pitchers are Low-A pitchers, and you should expect his strikeout numbers to rise as he progresses through the minor leagues, as they do with virtually all hitters.
Trosclair will be tested in the Florida State League, which I expect him to be assigned when the club breaks camp. It’s an extremely pitcher-friendly league, and the Roger Dean Stadium is among the worst parks for hitters anywhere in the minors. Additionally, as with any promotion, he’ll be tested by more advanced pitchers with better stuff.
What He Needs to Do in 2018
Keep getting on base and hitting doubles. There’s more that goes into that though, like keeping a consistent walk rate and at least maintaining, if not cutting down on his strikeout rate. If he’s in Palm Beach, I wouldn’t put too much stock in his home run total, but if he hits homers at the same pace he did in 2017, it would be icing on the cake.
Thanks for reading!
Be sure to check Birds on the Black on Sunday, January 28th for my colleague Kyle Reis’ post on Trosclair, as well as Monday, January 29th when Kyle will introduce prospect #29. Video courtesy of the Journal Star YouTube channel, and thanks to Baseball Reference for the statistics at the top of the page.