Cards Conclave: Top 30 Prospect Rankings

Cards Conclave’s prospect rankings are compiled by aficionados Kyle Reis and Colin Garner. They are updated frequently as players move up and down the system, or graduate from the list. For a more detailed look at each prospect, click the player’s name.

1. Alex Reyes – RHP

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Has one of the most dominant repertoires in all of baseball, including a fastball that can reach 102.
  • What I Don’t Like: The only knock is his injury last season.

2. Jack Flaherty – RHP

  • Age: 22
  • What I Like: Five-pitch mix, with a slider that’s one of the best in the game.
  • What I Don’t Like: Fastball got hit hard in the majors last season, mostly because he left it over the middle fo the plate.

3. Carson Kelly – C

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: One of the most advanced defensive catchers in the majors, who broke out offensively in Memphis last season.
  • What I Don’t Like: The Cardinals haven’t given him enough playing time, and it could have a permanent effect on his development.

4. Tyler O’Neill – OF

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Power and his ability to draw walks is what separates him from Randal Grichuk.
  • What I Don’t Like: Prone to strikeout.

5. Andrew Knizner – C

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: An extremely advanced hitter who has added power and improved his defense behind the plate.
  • What I Don’t Like: He still has room to improve defensively, and needs to maintain power throughout the season.

6. Harrison Bader – CF

  • Age: 24
  • What I Like: Athletic player who has done wonders to become above average and centerfield and brings a little pop to the table.
  • What I Don’t Like: Strikes out too much, and may have hit his ceiling already.

7. Jordan Hicks – RHP

  • Age: 21
  • What I Like: Electric fastball and developing offspeed pitches, dominated the Nationals this Spring.
  • What I Don’t Like: Needs time and innings to develop his offspeed pitches in the minors.

8. Dakota Hudson – RHP

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Dominant slider/cutter and fastball that can reach the upper 90’s.
  • What I Don’t Like: Oddly enough, had a really low strikeout rate in both Springfield and Memphis in 2017.

9. Austin Gomber – LHP

  • Age: 24
  • What I Like: Funky delivery with effective offspeed pitches, namely a curve and a changeup. Surged in the second half last season.
  • What I Don’t Like: Deserved a promotion to Memphis (or perhaps even St. Louis), but didn’t get it.

10. Ryan Helsley – RHP

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Bulldog on the mound who has a high-velocity fastball and a curve that has become a weapon.
  • What I Don’t Like: Springfield numbers are misleading; despite his low ERA he was not in control of the game at times.

11. Randy Arozarena – LF

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Does a little bit of everything; speed, power, average, and defense are parts of his game.
  • What I Don’t Like: Played more baseball in the winter than anyone in the organization, and will need off days built into his schedule this season.

12. Jose Adolis Garcia (JAG) – RF

  • Age: 25
  • What I Like: Power, a little speed, and the best outfield arm in the organization.
  • What I Don’t Like: Still trying to find himself as a hitter, and has some troubles in the outfield at times.

13. Oscar Mercado – CF

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: One of the most athletic players in the system learned center field quickly and developed into one of the most well-rounded offensive players in the organization.
  • What I Don’t Like: He struggled in the second half, but I think it was due to a shoulder injury more than anything else.

14. Delvin Perez – SS

  • Age: 19
  • What I Like: One of the most physically talented players in the system, there’s a reason he nearly went in the Top 5 in 2016.
  • What I Don’t Like: Struggles are one thing, but maturity issues and demotions are the WORST things to see out of any prospect.

15. Jake Woodford – RHP

  • Age: 21
  • What I Like: Led the FSL in ERA (3.10) and was the ace of a championship staff.
  • What I Don’t Like: Not enough K’s and lacks a good enough breaking ball.

16. Junior Fernandez – RHP

  • Age: 21
  • What I Like: Athleticism and undoubtedly the best changeup in the organization.
  • What I Don’t Like: Velocity dropped prior to a season-ending bicep strain on July 26, 2017.

17. Yairo Muñoz – SS/3B

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Power from a middle infield position, strong arm and improving at shortstop.
  • What I Don’t Like: Doesn’t walk enough and struggled after a promotion to Triple-A.

18. Dylan Carlson – OF/1B

  • Age: 19
  • What I Like: Completed a year at a full-season level at 18-years-old, potential for plus power and on-base skills.
  • What I Don’t Like: Aggressive assignments could hurt him in the long-term.

19. Max Schrock – 2B

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Contact ability, doesn’t strike out too much, predictable hitter who seems to be above average everywhere he goes.
  • What I Don’t Like: Power and defense leave much to be desired.

20. Tommy Edman – SS

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Exciting switch-hitter with speed and above average at short. Held his own at a level too advanced for him.
  • What I Don’t Like: Not enough power or walks, 20% below average in the Texas League.

21. Edmundo Sosa – SS

  • Age: 22
  • What I Like: Good defender, improved his swing during the ’17 AFL, lots of contact.
  • What I Don’t Like: Will never hit for power, surpassed by Tommy Edman in the system last season.

22. Johan Oviedo – RHP

  • Age: 19
  • What I Like: Plenty of K’s and groundballs, big body, super young.
  • What I Don’t Like: Wayyyyy too many walks and reports that his velo dropped significantly.

23. Evan Mendoza – 3B

  • Age: 21
  • What I Like: Won the NY-Penn League batting title, good defender, quiet mechanics at the plate.
  • What I Don’t Like: Strikes out a bit too much and was playing lesser competition than he did in the ACC.

24. Patrick Wisdom – 3B

  • Age: 26
  • What I Like: Power at a high level. Mashed 31 homers at Memphis and played a good third base.
  • What I Don’t Like: Is a little too old for prospect lists, wRC+ doesn’t like him and passed over in the Rule-5 draft.

25. Sam Tewes – RHP

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Promoted twice in 2017, doesn’t walk hitters, pitched better than his ERA suggests.
  • What I Don’t Like: Not enough strikeouts, and has already had Tommy John.

26. Wadye Ynfante – CF

  • Age: 20
  • What I Like: Athleticism and production. 133 wRC+, 7 homers, 11 doubles and 11 stolen bases in 43 games at Johnson City.
  • What I Don’t Like: Hight strikeout totals and astronomical BABIP suggest his 2017 might have been a fluke.

27. Matt Pearce – RHP

  • Age: 24
  • What I Like: Durable. 164 innings in Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, and 3.11 ERA in Springfield.
  • What I Don’t Like: Low strikeout numbers and poor performance (6.00 ERA) in Triple-A.

28. Alvaro Seijas – RHP

  • Age: 19
  • What I Like: Potential for at least two plus pitches, plenty of strikeouts in 2017.
  • What I Don’t Like: Still crazy far from the majors, funky delivery and a 4.97 ERA in Johnson City.

29. Andy Young – 2B/3B/SS

  • Age: 24
  • What I LIke: Young’s home run total was deflated by his time in the Florida State League, but the power is real and he showed the ability to adjust to two leagues in 2017.
  • What I Don’t Like: Dead-red fastball hitter who strikes out too much and doesn’t walk enough.

30. Stefan Trosclair – 1B/2B

  • Age: 23
  • What I Like: Production and above-average athleticism for a first baseman.
  • What I Don’t Like: Below average power for his position, 23% strikeout rate in 2017.


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