photo: Mike Antico, Masyn Winn and Jordan Walker (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The St. Louis Cardinals sent four position players and briefly, one Major League rehabber to the Arizona Fall League this year to play for the Salt River Rafters. As mentioned in the Pitchers’ Recap, the 2021 AFL Cardinals made significant impacts on the big league club during the course of the 2022 season.
In the AFL this fall, Jordan Walker continued his upward trajectory. TCN’s no. 1 prospect had spent the entire regular season with Double-A Springfield and hit 19 home runs, stole 22 bags and had a .898 OPS. Walker was the top MLB prospect (number 6) in the desert according to MLB.com.
With the Rafters, the 20-year-old played in 21 games and recorded a .286 average with five home runs, six doubles and 16 RBI. The majority of his time defensively was spent in right field but he played eight games in center as well. These stats earned him a spot on the Fall-Stars Game and the 12-player All-AFL Team with fellow Cardinal Connor Thomas.
In the Fall Stars game, Walker went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Walker will have to make a big impression in spring training to make the Cardinals squad. He will most likely start 2023 with Triple-A Memphis but given how talented he is, there is a chance he could reach the big leagues at age 20.
Playing primarily at shortstop but also appearing at second base in the AFL, Masyn Winn performed at a comparable level to his summer at High-A and Double-A. Winn hit .283 and had a .364 OBP between the two levels. He walked 63 times and drove 63 runs across. His 43 steals were second in the Cardinals system.
In the desert, TCN’s no. 2 prospect recorded a .294 average with an impressive .407 OBP in 20 games. He also went 9-for-10 in stolen base attempts. With only one double and a home run, Winn had a .760 OPS but still performed with nine RBI.
Winn was named to the Fall Stars Game during which he went 0-for-2 but made an amazing play at shortstop.
— MLB (@MLB) November 9, 2022
Winn will most likely move up to Memphis for the 2023 season.
Pedro Pages was the only catcher selected by the Cardinals for the AFL. In the regular season, he split time between Springfield and Memphis and recorded 10 home runs, 15 doubles and a .227 average. The 2019 draftee is Rule 5 eligible this December.
TCN’s no. 40 prospect had a slow start for the Rafters but picked up his game. He slashed .279/.333/.442/.775 in 13 games. He hit four doubles and drove in seven runs in his time in the desert.
After stealing 67 bases between Peoria and Springfield, Mike Antico continued the trend in the AFL. The 2021 draftee had a .739 OPS between High-A and Double-A in 2022.
For the Rafters, Antico only had 40 at-bats but hit three home runs and stole eight bags. TCN’s no. 33 prospect had a .347 OBP and a .797 OPS. If he has a good spring, Antico has a chance to compete for a spot in Memphis to open 2023.
Tyler O’Neill only recorded three at-bats in the AFL when the Cardinals were in the Wild Card Series. In his lone rehab game, the outfielder singled, scored and struck out twice.
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