photo: Victor Scott and Tekoah Roby (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
To recognize those players with perhaps the brightest futures in the St. Louis Cardinals system, The Cardinal Nation has developed our annual Cardinals Top 50 Prospect List for 2024. Our 19th annual rankings are rolling out in the days and weeks ahead.
A proven process
As we unveil our 2024 Cardinals Top 50 Prospect List, Blake Newberry will once again provide his in depth player evaluations.
Blake has written for The Cardinal Nation since 2019 and has covered prospects via the draft, in winter ball and via in-depth scouting reports on the best Cardinals prospects.
Blake’s 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 process to set TCN’s new Top 50 for 2024 is an extension 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 list of his best 65 prospects was averaged with Walton’s working top 65 to develop the site’s new Top 50.
Players are eligible until they surpass the MLB rookie levels of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched. Among those now ineligible are catcher Ivan Herrera and first baseman Luken Baker.
In our daily countdown of the Top 50, starting on Monday, November 20, Blake provides 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).
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 18 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 – 2024
|50. RHR Guillermo Zuñiga (free)|
|49. 2B Adari Grant|
|48. RHS Zane Mills|
|47. 1B Chandler Redmond|
|46. SS Jeremy Rivas|
|45. OF Matt Koperniak (free)|
|44. RHS Alec Willis|
|43. RHR Leonardo Taveras|
|42. OF Alex Iadisernia|
|41. RHR Andrew Marrero|
|40. RHS Austin Love (free)|
|39. RHR Dionys Rodriguez|
|38. UT Noah Mendlinger|
|37. LHS Connor Thomas|
|36. CF Michael Siani|
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 2023 list who dropped off for 2024 and a potential-only based-list of the new Top 50.
Top 50 Analysis Series
- 2024 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – The Final Tally
- 2024 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Movers and Shakers
- 2024 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – The Newbies
- 2024 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – The Departed
- 2024 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – 2023 Picks and Pans
- 2024 The Cardinal Nation Cardinals All-Prospect Team (free)
- 2024 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Behind the Numbers
- 2024 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Best of the Rest – Brian Walton
- 2024 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects – Best of the Rest – Blake Newberry
- 2024 Top St. Louis Cardinals Prospects by Level and MLB Debut
- 2024 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.
Last chance to buy The Cardinal Nation’s 2023 Prospect Guide
The Cardinal Nation 2023 Prospect Guide is in its sixth year. It includes 292 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. The spiral-bound, printed version is sold out, but the PDF is still orderable.
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