50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects for 2023

photo: Masyn Winn, Tink Hence and Jordan Walker (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

As St. Louis Cardinals players at all levels worked to improve their skills, more top prospects moved onto the national rankings and others emerged as players to watch in the improving minor league system.

To recognize those players with perhaps the brightest futures, The Cardinal Nation has developed our annual Cardinals Top 50 Prospect List for 2023. Our 18th annual rankings will roll out in the days and weeks ahead.

An expanded role

Blake Newberry

As we unveil our 2023 Cardinals Top 50 Prospect List, a familiar TCN contributor will provide our player evaluations.

Blake Newberry has written for The Cardinal Nation since 2019 and has covered prospects via the draft, as rookies, in winter ball and now, is writing scouting reports on the best Cardinals prospects.

Blake’s interest and expertise in scouting prospects is important in keeping our Cardinals projections grounded. His tools-driven evaluations join Brian Walton’s assessments for this project.

The rankings

The process to set TCN’s new Top 50 for 2023 is a continuation of Walton’s members-only in-season monthly Cardinals prospect rankings, with adjustments based on fall and winter ball play as well as input from scouts and player development professionals.

Separately developed, Newberry’s top 65 list was averaged with Walton’s working top 65 to develop the site’s new Top 50.

(Players are eligible until they reach the MLB rookie levels of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched.)

In our daily countdown of the Top 50, starting on Monday, November 21, Blake delivers a scouting report on each prospect, highlighting the five major tools for position players and grades for pitches. These grades are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, noted with the risk associated with the player eventually achieving his Future Value (FV).

Walton provides background on each prospect, his progress in the organization, where he fits against others and his outlook for the coming season and beyond.

Following the countdown will be our annual series of “best-of”, “just-missed” and in-depth analysis articles of the Top 50 collectively. This series will likely continue beyond Winter Warm-Up, to be held in the second half of January.

As always, selected prospect reports will be made available to everyone, but for full access to all 50 write-ups and the following articles, one must be a member of The Cardinal Nation.   Join today!

To follow the countdown, you can either read each new story when posted on our home page every morning or click on the individual players’ names, which will be listed below as they are unveiled. You can also return to this page daily to check the current status of our Top 50 countdown.

Readers can join in the dialogue at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board, where there will be discussion surrounding that day’s entry onto the top prospect list.

To check out the corresponding rankings from each of the past 17 winters, click here, or you can always access them via the permanent link in the left column located underneath the site logo called “PROSPECT RANKINGS”.

The Cardinal Nation Top 50 Prospects – 2023

50. RHP Nelfy Ynfante (free)
49. RHP Jack Ralston
48. OF Chase Pinder
47. LHP Diorys Guerrero
46. 1B Chandler Redmond
45. 2B Samil De La Rosa (free)
44. RHP Andrew Marrero
43. 2B Anyelo Encarnacion
42. RHP Gustavo Rodriguez
41. OF Matt Koperniak
40. RHP Ryan Loutos (free)
35. (free)
30. (free)
25. (free)
20. (free)
15. (free)
10. (free)
5. (free)
1. (free)

There’s more!

At the conclusion of the countdown, a multi-part series follows, as we drill down into the details behind the Top 50. Most of these articles will be exclusively for TCN members.

We will analyze year-to-year changes and the top additions, highlight players who did not make the combined Top 50 and unveil our All-Prospect Team – the highest-ranked players at each position.

Next will be a view behind the numbers, a look back at our best and worst picks from the previous year, the top prospect list cut by level of play, those on the 2022 list who dropped off for 2023 and a potential-only based-list of the new Top 50.

Top 50 Analysis Series

2023 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – The Final Tally 
2023 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Movers and Shakers 
2023 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – The Newbies 
2023 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – The Departed 
2023 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – 2022 Picks and Pans 
2023 The Cardinal Nation Cardinals All-Prospect Team (free)
2023 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Behind the Numbers 
2023 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Best of the Rest – Brian Walton 
2023 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Best of the Rest – Blake Newberry 
2023 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects by Level and MLB Debut 
2023 St. Louis Cardinals Top 50 Prospects Ranked by Future Value and Risk 

Scouting grading scale and risk

The following table aligns the level of each scouting grade for hitters and pitchers to the comparable future MLB role.

Grade Hitter role Pitcher role
80 Top 5 hitter 1-3 arm. Ace if multiple years
70 Top 10 hitter 2 starter FIP sub 3.00
60 All-Star 3 starter 3.30 FIP (200 IP)/High closer
55 Above average regular/occasional All-Star 3/4 starter 3.70 FIP (160 IP)/Mid closer
50 Average everyday player 4 starter 4.00 FIP (or 190+ IP)/Low closer or high set up
45 Platoon player 4/5 starter 4.20 FIP/Low set up
40 Reserve Backend starter 5.00 FIP/Middle relief
30 AAAA player AAAA player
20 Organizational player Organizational player

Behind these basic grades are more detailed scales which help translate player measurements by position types into grades. Examples include average and home run levels and home to first base times for hitters, pop rates for catchers and velocities, strikeout and walk rates for pitchers.

Risk is another measure included. It indicates the chances a player hits the Future Value scouting grade given.

  • Low
  • Moderate
  • High
  • Extreme

Last chance to buy The Cardinal Nation’s 2022 Prospect Guide – at 20% off

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is in its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

20% off Blowout Sale now underway on the spiral-bound, printed version.

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

Looking for more Cardinals prospect analysis?

There is plenty more of this kind of in-depth writing available here at The Cardinal Nation 365 days a year.

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.