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TCN 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #15 – Luken Baker

photo: Luken Baker (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

FREE article. The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospect countdown for 2019 continues into the top 15 with an early 2018 draftee who may be St. Louis’ best first base prospect since Matt Adams.

2018 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NA 1B 3 10 97 6-4 265 R R 2018 2C

Link to Luken Baker’s player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Selected 2018 stats

Tm AVG BABIP G AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SB wRC+ OBP SLG OPS
GCL 0.500 0.550 8 24 10 12 2 1 7 3 4 0 240 0.536 0.708 1.244
Peo 0.288 0.349 37 139 16 40 9 3 15 16 31 0 123 0.359 0.417 0.776
Total 0.319 45 163 26 52 11 4 22 19 35 0 0.386 0.460 0.846

TCN Scouting Grade: 6, Risk: medium (click here to review scales)


Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (17): Luken Baker was St. Louis’ second round draft pick, awarded to them as compensation for Lance Lynn. Baker was rated slightly lower during the community vote than the other votes cast here, ultimately landing at #17. 14NyquisT was the first to put Baker on the ballot, picking him at #8.

SoonerinNC compared Baker to former Cardinals’ first base prospect, Luke Voit, saying that Baker could be the better hitter, but he will have to watch his weight. 14NyquisT said that Baker has a high ceiling of potential as a prospect and could make his way to Double-A Springfield in 2019. Bw52 liked that Baker hit over .300 coming off serious injury in which he fractured his left fibula and tore a ligament in his ankle sliding during an April game with his former collegiate team, TCU. Wiley stated that the last behemoth of a player the Cardinals had like Baker was Matt Adams, but Baker can hit for a better average. Stlcard25 believes that Baker has 30+ home run potential. – Jeremy Byrd


Luken Baker (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Derek Shore (17): The Cardinals selected Baker with their remaining second round pick on Day 1 of their thunderous 2018 draft class that also included precocious high school power-hitting phenom Nolan Gorman.

A two-way star in high school, Baker lived up to expectations at TCU, when healthy. However, his career has been marred by a number of freak injuries.

Baker’s sophomore season ended early when he injured his arm and elbow in a collision at first base and he needed surgery to repair his elbow. As a junior, he missed a couple of games after he took a bad hop off his eye, then had his season end prematurely when he broke his left fibula sliding into second base.

Baker began his TCU career as a two-way player, but he gave up pitching as a sophomore for good reason.

The 6-foot-4 first baseman, who hit .347 in 145 career games for the Horned Frogs, slugged 28 home runs and drove in 129 runs in his three years with the program. A prolific home run hitter, Baker hit a home run every 12.6 at-bats his junior year and once every 18 at-bats throughout his college career.

Baker officially signed with the Cardinals on June 13, inking a $800,000 signing bonus.

“Baker is an impressive player, and we didn’t think we would have the chance to draft a high-caliber player like him at that spot,” Cardinals scouting director Randy Flores said. “He’s proven himself at a high level and we admire his resiliency.”

Once he was deemed healthy and ready to play, Baker started his pro career with the GCL Cardinals, where he hit .500 (12-for-24) in eight games. He was then promoted to Low-A Peoria on July 21 and was a key component in the Chiefs’ playoff push, batting .288/.359/.417 with 12 extra-base hits and 15 RBI in 37 games down the stretch.

His performance caught the eye of his new skipper.

“I saw a guy that had outstanding attributes,” Peoria manager Chris Swauger said. “How hard he hits the ball. He is a guy with a very advanced approach coming out of a major college program. I think we saw an improvement in his athleticism around the bases and at first coming off that injury he suffered in college.

“He was productive and he helped us out a lot. More importantly for his own development, we were able to identify some things that he can work on and become a true asset for our organization.”

From a scouting perspective, Baker has a long track record of performing when healthy. He walked more than he struck out at TCU and tapped into much of his top-of-the-scale power potential.

Some scouts feel his best position is as a designated hitter in the American League, but he has shown he has the physical abilities needed to profile at first base.

“I was actually impressed with his athleticism, his general agility,” Swauger said. “Most guys that are that size are kind of lumbering.”

Baker should open next year at either High-A Palm Beach or Double-A Springfield.


Brian Walton (15): Baker is a very large man and may offer the Cardinals their best home-grown power threat at first base since Matt Adams, who was drafted almost a decade ago. My most-optimistic vote of no. 15 among our voters reflects this.

However, while Adams was a long-shot 23rd-rounder, Baker was taken 75th overall. That pick was St. Louis’ compensation for the loss of free agent Lance Lynn, a decision that backfired on the right-hander when he could not find a multi-year contract, but one that looks to have come out just fine for St. Louis. The Cardinals had forfeited their regular second-rounder, 59th overall, when signing free agent closer Greg Holland.

Luken Baker (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

While Baker’s injury history at Texas Christian is of concern, it is a two-edged sword. Had his slate been clean, he would have been off the board much sooner than no. 75 and likely with another organization instead.

Baker knew his background affected his perceived value, but still decided to sign rather than return to school for his senior year.

“There were some teams that had lost a little bit of interest after I broke my leg, especially early on the draft,” Baker said. “So I am really thankful that the Cardinals weren’t one of those teams and I am happy to be here.”

Despite having leverage in the negotiations as a junior, it was not a difficult negotiation. Baker was among the Cardinals’ first wave of signings, receiving $400 over slot, making his bonus an even $800,000.

“They said, ‘Hey, do you want to be a Cardinal?’, Baker recalled. “I said, ‘Yes, sign me up. That was it.’”

Though clearly a power threat, Baker is different in that he walked as often as he struck out in college. In his initial professional season, the split was not quite as good, with 19 free passes against 35 strikeouts.

I asked Baker if pitchers were pitching around him or it is an indicator of a superior batting eye.

“It was a little bit of both,” he replied. “Every once in a while, I would not get much to hit. A lot of the time, pitchers try to make pitchers’ pitches and try to get you to chase pitches just off the plate. I’ve always done a pretty good job of not chasing after those and getting into favorable counts.”

Baker’s general approach as a hitter is not complicated.

“The goal for me as a hitter is to hit the ball hard and hit it where they’re not,” he said.

In the past, the Cardinals’ philosophy about first base seemed to be to not draft players there, and fill the position with hitters who could not make it defensively at their prior position. A prime candidate from which to source them is third base, though some outfielders have moved in, as well.

Just to illustrate how rare it is for the Cardinals to take a first baseman this early, the last time it occurred was in 2004, when St. Louis drafted Mike Ferris of Miami of Ohio in the second round, 60th overall. Ferris eventually topped out at Triple-A, never reaching the majors.

Of course, expectations are greater for Baker. Without being blatant about it, he understands the end goal is St. Louis.

“I feel like the ability I have will help me move up in this organization and ultimately help it out,” Baker said.

His scouting grade of “6 medium” indicates a ceiling as an above-average MLB starter with moderate work required to get there

Given there is no real competition ahead of Baker at first, a jump to Springfield seems quite possible. Examples of recent early-drafted players to do that include Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong. Even if Baker starts at Palm Beach, I would not expect him to be in the Florida State League too long.

Link to Baker’s career stats


Our 2019 top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 50 countdown and 10 in-depth, follow-up articles coming up next. Most of them are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation. If you are not a member, join today so you do not miss out!

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 Cardinals Prospects – 2019

Also, join the daily discussion about each prospect at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

The Cardinal Nation Managerial Interview – Peoria’s Chris Swauger, Part 1


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TCN 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #20 – Jhon Torres

photo: Jhon Torres (Joseph Freiday Sr.)

Editor’s note

Some of you may have noticed our prospect articles were missing the past two days. This was in response to the trades of Carson Kelly and Andy Young. We made the decision to move other prospects up to fill their gaps, leaving nos. 21 and 22 open. This is a small inconvenience, and we wouldn’t think of delaying the annual November start of our top 50 as a result.


FREE article. The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospect countdown for 2019 continues into the top 20 with an 18-year old outfielder acquired from Cleveland who made an eye-opening Cardinals debut in the Gulf Coast League.

2018 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NA OF 3 29 00 6-4 199 R R 2016 IFA (Cle)

Link to Jhon Torres’ player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Selected 2018 stats

Tm AVG BABIP G AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SB wRC+ OBP SLG OPS
AZI 0.273 0.324 27 99 16 27 3 4 16 11 24 3 122 0.351 0.424 0.776
GCL 0.397 0.457 17 63 11 25 6 4 14 8 13 1 255 0.493 0.683 1.176
Total 0.321 44 162 27 52 9 8 30 19 37 4 0.409 0.525 0.933

TCN Scouting Grade: 6, Risk: high (click here to review scales)


Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (27): Jhon Torres was one of the players the Cardinals received in exchange for Oscar Mercado. Torres checked in at #27 during the community vote. This was a little bit lower than the #21 The Cardinal Nation as a whole has him here. In the community balloting, RememberDiz supported Torres first, all the way up to #9 on his list.

Grenadier1 started the Torres discussion saying that Torres has the room to grow into a physical specimen and has as much potential as fellow Cardinal prospects Malcolm Nunez and Nolan Gorman. Robert Reed agreed, saying that the Cardinals appear to have unlocked additional power in Torres’ swing after acquiring him from the Indians. Reed also mentioned that Baseball Prospectus believes Torres defense was outstanding in 2018.

14NyquisT stated that the 6’4” outfielder is just 18 years old and tore up Gulf Coast League pitching to the tune of a .397 batting average. Reed echoed, noting Torres’ gaudy 163 wRC+ across two domestic rookie ball leagues. Stlcard25 said that Torres was a steal in the Mercado deal. He thinks the Cardinals may place him at full-season Class-A Peoria next year. – Jeremy Byrd


Jhon Torres (Joseph Freiday Sr. photo)

Derek Shore (14): As the Cardinals deployed scouts dedicated to the lowest levels of the minor leagues in 2018, they located and the front office acquired one of the more dynamite physical specimens on the backfields of the Arizona desert this past summer.

The Indians dealt Torres and outfielder Conner Capel to the Cardinals in return for Oscar Mercado at the July 31st deadline. Torres received rave reviews from scouts who saw him in the Rookie-level Arizona League, with that praise only getting louder after he arrived in the Gulf Coast League.

Torres, who hit .273/.351/.424 over 27 games for the AZL Indians 2, slashed an impressive .397/.493/.683 through 17 games for the GCL Cards in 2018. Overall, the 18-year-old slugged eight homers and drove in 30 runs between both teams.

“Jhon has a presence about him amongst the other players,” AZL Indians 2 manager Jerry Owens said. “You can kind of feel there is something special there as far as his overall game. He can play the outfield – play all three positions. He has an arm that plays at all three.

“His offensive tool-set is special. He has got some unbelievable power at the plate. He is also a good hitter, too. I feel like that is lost nowadays with all of the home runs being hit. He gives you a good at-bat and he is a good hitter as much as the raw power he has.”

The most impressive aspect about his game is the fact he is already tapping into his raw power at such a young age while controlling the strike zone relatively well.

In fact, Torres posted a combined 37-to-19 strikeout to walk ratio over 162 at-bats this past season.

“That is the most impressive thing for me that he is so young and he conducts himself like a professional,” Owens said. “Jhon embodies that when he plays.”

From a scouting perspective, Torres has the quintessential size (6-foot-4, 199 pounds) and strength of a power-hitting corner outfielder. And he still has growth potential from both a physical and mechanical standpoint.

Torres projects to have above-average power and a plus arm while his bat speed and strength allow him to have all-fields power.

Owens said Torres using the whole field as he advances and faces more advanced pitching in the higher levels will serve him well and unlock his ceiling.

“For Jhon to improve and progress, I told him this and I tongue-in-cheek asked him if he wanted to play in the big leagues,” Owens said. “Of course, he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘You need to use the whole field when you hit.’ He has power to all fields and it is common in young hitters to get pull-happy. I think he can grasp the idea of using the whole field and taking what the pitchers give him.

“Once he figures that out, he is capable, because I have seen him do it. I know he is capable of doing it.”

Scouts said his biggest in-season improvement in 2018 was that he controlled the zone and started making better contact, although he did have a tendency to struggle to pick up breaking balls from right-handed pitchers.

“He is so young and this was his first year playing in the States,” Owens said. “That comes with experience. You can count on one hand how many 18 and 19 year-old kids can do that right now. As he gets more experience, he definitely has it in him. I really am impressed by his approach at the plate as far as being a hitter not just a power guy, but being a hitter.”

With fringy speed, Torres is light on his feet and reads the ball well off the bat in right field, making all the routine plays.

Owens sees him sticking in right field down the road despite some questions about his limited range, especially as he fills out.

At maturity, Torres could be a 6-foot-5, 230 pound power-hitting force in the middle of the lineup, according to scouts.

That said, he is quite a ways off still, but it is hard to ignore how loud the reports were on him out of the complex leagues this past summer.

“He is kind of like a major-leaguer in an 18-year old body right now with everything that entails,” Owens said. “I think he is going to get to the major leagues as long as he continues to stay consistent and stay healthy. If he can make the adjustments as he moves up the levels and the pitching he is going to be seeing, his power plays and the arm plays. His defense plays.

“I think he is a guy that can hit .280. It is not a .230 boom-or-bust kind of a guy. He is a guy that is going to hit a lot of doubles. He is a special talent.”

Don’t be surprised to see Torres get his first crack at full-season ball in 2019.


Brian Walton (23): As I analyze and internalize what I have seen, heard and read about Torres, I have questions.

First and foremost, why did the Indians let the Colombian native go? And why at the bargain price he fetched? Finally, is his Cardinals debut a true indicator of how good he can become?

Capel is the more known of the two prospects to come over from Cleveland, because he has been around longer and has greater visibility, already having reached high-A. However, from almost the moment the trade was announced, one scout told me that Torres is “the get” in this trade.

Though the Cardinals appear to have made out well in the swap, I do not want to denigrate Mercado in any way. He was, in my opinion, the best hope of any player in the Cardinals system to eventually become a traditional leadoff man. Having already reached Triple-A and with a 40-man roster spot in hand, his St. Louis debut seemed close at hand, despite a lot of competition in the outfield.

Mercado had greatly improved his entire game, including significant increases in his on-base percentage and stolen base success rate. Yet, when the deal is reviewed, the Cardinals gave up their best base stealer for a slugger with tremendous potential who is five years younger, plus Capel, who is our no. 31 prospect for 2019.

At this very early stage, I gave Torres a scouting grade of “6 high” – the first 6 in this year’s countdown. That indicates his projected ceiling is as an above-average MLB starter, with reaching that still having high risk – due to his limited experience and current distance from St. Louis. That could change quickly, though.

As already noted in both capsules above, there is anticipation that next spring, Torres will become the next in a line of teen outfield sensations to make the jump from the Gulf Coast League to Class-A Peoria to open the regular season. If Torres continues his progress through spring training, it seems attainable. And if he can deal with the cold weather and stick in the Midwest League (like Dylan Carlson, but not Magneuris Sierra), then the sky could be the limit.

But still, remember that Torres’ GCL breakout occurred over a very short period – just 17 games – roughly two and a half weeks. His BABIP during that period was a very high .457, but then again, he batted .397. It was impressive enough that Torres was named the rookie-level league’s August Player of the Month as he helped the Cards win their division.

Yet, because of that short period, I was not quite ready to place Torres in my system-wide top 20, ahead of players who have performed well longer at much higher levels. Though that could change quickly once the 2019 season gets underway – if he is in full-season ball.

How he reacts to a 140-game Midwest League grind – if that is what is just ahead – will tell us a lot about how fast Torres can advance toward St. Louis.

Link to Torres’ career stats


Our 2019 top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 50 countdown and 10 in-depth, follow-up articles coming up next. Most of them are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation. If you are not a member, join today so you do not miss out!

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 Cardinals Prospects – 2019

Also, join the daily discussion about each prospect at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Potential Cardinals Farm System Trade Fodder


Not yet a member?

If you enjoyed this article, please consider joining The Cardinal Nation to receive the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

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Gift Memberships to The Cardinal Nation at 20 Percent Off!

© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

TCN 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #25 – Johan Oviedo

photo: Johan Oviedo (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

FREE article. The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospect countdown for 2019 continues with a big right-handed pitcher who still has rough edges but remains a promising talent at 20 years of age.

2018 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
24 RHS 3 02 98 6-6 210 R R 2016 IFA

Link to Johan Oviedo’s player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Selected 2018 stats

Tm W L ERA FIP G GS SV IP H ER HR BB SO AVG WHIP G/AO BABIP
PEO 10 10 4.22 4.21 25 23 1 121.2 108 57 6 79 118 0.238 1.54 0.66 0.304

TCN Scouting Grade: 5.5, Risk: high (click here to review scales)


Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (34): During the community vote, Johan Oviedo finished as the 34th highest rated player, much lower than the cumulative Cardinal Nation vote. Oviedo got a lot of support early in the vote from VegasJim at pick #20.

Dennis Johnson liked that Oviedo is a big, strong right-handed pitcher, definitely one to keep an eye on. Stlcard25 mentioned that Oviedo has been pitching at a higher velocity this year, which is promising given he is still just 20 years old. CariocaCardinal posted that Oviedo’s issue with allowing walks are beyond being just an issue. The issue is a showstopper. Vegasjim commented that Oviedo seemed to hit a nice groove for a large part of the second half, going 9-5 with a 3.10 ERA with 79 K’s in 81 innings pitched.

Last year, bccran was curious how the Cardinals would allow Oviedo to progress given all the high-upside pitching in front of him. Flash forward a year and many posters, like Grenadier1, see the donut hole in the system now and are looking forward to seeing Oviedo pitch in the High-A Florida State League and progress to Springfield by the end of the summer. – Jeremy Byrd


Johan Oviedo (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Derek Shore (24): Oviedo’s first year in full-season ball, at Low-A Peoria in 2018, proved to be a tale of two halves.

After posting a 5.82 ERA in a rough first half, Oviedo quickly settled down to become one of Peoria’s more durable starters down the stretch. He finished the season 8-4 with a 3.06 ERA over his last 13 starts.

The Cuban righty struck out 68 batters through 70 ⅔ innings in that span, holding opposing hitters to a .212 average.

“There was a really good amount of progress made by Johan as far as just overall maturity and being in his first full season,” Peoria manager Chris Swauger said. “It is always what you like to see – guys getting stronger as the season goes along.”

Like many 20-year-old pitchers, Oviedo is not all that consistent yet, but he did make steady improvement. He cut his ERA by nearly three runs from the first half to the second half while also improving his walk rate and holding hitters in check for the most part.

“He corrected some things,” Swauger said. “He moved a little bit better and worked on the delivery of his throws. He was throwing more consistent strikes. That was the biggest thing with him. He was able to fill up the strike zone and start controlling all four of his pitches.

“He has got premium stuff. Now that he has been able to control it a little bit more, the results clearly spoke for themselves. A lot of that is maturation and hard work in the right direction by Johan.”

From a scouting perspective, a late-season uptick in stuff was the silver-lining for Oviedo in an up-and-down first full season. His velocity has been all over the place in his pro career, being anywhere from 87 to 97 mph since he signed.

Early in 2018, Oviedo was at 90-94 with below-average secondary stuff. As the season went on, though, he touched 96 and flashed a plus changeup and curveball.

At a workhorse-like 6-foot-6, it seems reasonable to think Oviedo’s command will come later the more he grows into his body and is able to control his limbs.

He has the ceiling of a mid-rotation hurler if the quality of his stuff stays consistent and he refines his control. There is a range of potential outcomes for Oviedo from a possible starter to candidate to be released.

All in all, there is no denying the potential with Oviedo, who once was proclaimed as having frontline starter potential when he first signed with the organization two years ago.

Expect to see him start next year at High-A Palm Beach with an outside shot at Double-A Springfield.


Johan Oviedo (Peoria Chiefs)

Brian Walton (21): If this was a ranking of results in 2018, Oviedo would not be at no. 21 on my list. But these rankings are about potential and he has a lot of it. In my opinion, Oviedo has as much upside as any pitcher in the system who pitched at Springfield or below in 2018.

In his scouting grade, I had Oviedo pegged last year at “6 high,” which is an upper-to-mid rotation starter. This year, he is down a half-step to “5.5 high,” where “5” is a back-end guy. That is still pretty darned good, but the “high” indicates the rough edges that remain.

Let’s step back for a moment. Oviedo left Cuba in his teen years before his path brought him to sign with the Cardinals on July 2, 2016 for a $1.9 million bonus. I do not have details on what he was doing in his formative years, but he settled in Haiti, not exactly a baseball hotbed. Oviedo is likely less developed as a pitcher than the average 20-year old from the US who spent years on travel teams and in showcases.

Physically, Oviedo is the most impressive physical specimen of any pitcher in the system, in my opinion. He is tall and while large, is well-built. Could he do more in the weight room? Good question, but I do not know his level of commitment today. I can say that he was listed at 220 pounds when signed but now is 260, on a 6-foot-6 frame.

With fewer than 100 career innings as a professional, Oviedo was placed by the Cardinals into cold-weather Peoria to start the 2018 season in April. He was a year and a half younger than the average pitcher in the league and the second-youngest pitcher on the Chiefs (after no. 37-ranked Alvaro Seijas).

Results were not great to start, but as noted above, he showed enough to remain, going on to make a team-high 23 starts for the Chiefs.

Here is a summary of his first- and second-half splits.

Oviedo Avg IP ERA K/9 BB/9 WHIP BAA
1H 2018 4 1/3 5.82 8.8 6.9 1.80 0.272
2H 2018 5 1/3+ 3.06 8.7 5.1 1.38 0.212

Oviedo pitched on the average more than an inning deeper into his second-half outings. He held his strikeout rate and lowered his walks considerably, which the latter still his primary problem. His batting average against dropped 60 points to a very strong .212. In doing so, he allowed almost one fewer baserunner on the paths every two innings. Given all that, basically cutting his ERA in half from the first half was a reasonable, deserved and strong result.

So, as the season progressed, Oviedo demonstrated considerable improvement. Isn’t that the idea? Challenge a young player and watch him work his way up to the level of his league, and beyond.

Still, I think Springfield would be too aggressive for Oviedo out of the gates in 2019. Perhaps he can hone his control and solidify his fastball velocity while initially working in the larger ballparks of the Florida State League and go from there.

Link to Oviedo’s career stats


Our 2019 top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 50 countdown and 10 in-depth, follow-up articles coming up next. Most of them are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation. If you are not a member, join today so you do not miss out!

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 Cardinals Prospects – 2019

Also, join the daily discussion about each prospect at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

TCN 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #26 – Evan Mendoza


Not yet a member?

If you enjoyed this article, please consider joining The Cardinal Nation to receive the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

TCN 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #30 – Seth Elledge

photo: Seth Elledge (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

FREE article. The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospect countdown for 2019 continues with the first player drafted in 2017 to reach Triple-A Memphis, a big, strapping right-handed reliever acquired from Seattle.

2018 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Drafted Round
NA RHR 5 20 96 6-3 230 R R 2017 4th (Sea)

Link to Seth Elledge’s player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Selected 2018 stats

Tm W L ERA FIP G GS SV IP H ER HR BB SO AVG WHIP G/AO BABIP
A+Sea 5 1 1.17 2.61 31 0 9 38.1 18 5 1 15 54 0.140 0.86 1.14 0.221
Spr 3 1 4.32 4.47 13 0 4 16.2 13 8 3 6 20 0.220 1.14 0.88 0.250
Total 8 2 2.13 44 0 13 55 31 13 4 21 74 0.165 0.95 1.05

TCN Scouting Grade: 4, Risk: medium (click here to review scales)


Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (28): Seth Elledge, the return from the Sam Tuivailala trade with the Mariners, is the 28th highest rated player during the community vote. Elledge finished just behind a slew of position players, indicating a clear divide from the higher-rated pitchers in the system and the second tier of pitchers. Dennis Johnson began voting for Elledge first at #14.

Stlcard25 remarked that Elledge has excellent K rates and a good WHIP in his career. He thinks that Elledge will factor into the bullpen as soon as 2019. Bw52 liked that Elledge, a hard-throwing reliever, had 74 strikeouts in his 55 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Cardinals27 echoed that, saying that Elledge has a mid-90’s fastball and supposedly could gain velocity. CariocaCardinal believes Elledge has starter potential even. – Jeremy Byrd


Seth Elledge (Modesto Nuts)

Derek Shore (31): When Elledge was traded to the Cardinals this past summer from the Mariners in exchange for right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala, he admitted he was surprised.

“There was definitely a little bit of a shock-factor,” Elledge said. “Being with the Mariners for the last year – that is kind of all that you think about. Whenever the news came, I was excited for a fresh start with a new team.

“It was quite the adrenaline rush knowing that I was getting traded to an organization as good as the Cardinals. I enjoyed my time with the Mariners. I feel like I developed a lot as a person and as a pitcher. I just want to thank them for drafting me and believing in me and giving me a chance to start my pro career.”

Elledge, who was drafted by Seattle two years ago in the fourth round out of Dallas Baptist, is yet another in the long line of hard-throwing relievers to come from that program. It is a program that preaches its pitchers’ velocity gains and sharpening off-speed offerings.

The 6-foot-3, 230 pounder, took to that philosophy and saw his fastball tick up to 92-95 with the ability to touch 96-97 mph. That helped him become the Patriots’ all-time saves leader, converting 27 saves.

With a lively fastball, Elledge also developed a hard curveball which was considered major league average going into the 2017 draft. That combination allowed him to strike out 11.9 batters per nine innings in his final season with Dallas Baptist.

After receiving $400,000 signing bonus, Elledge began his pro career with the Low-A (short-season) Everett AquaSox in the Northwest League.

After appearing in four games with Everett, he was promoted to Low-A Clinton in the Midwest League, finishing his debut summer there with a 3.00 ERA over 15 games and 35-to-6 strikeout to walk ratio through 38 ⅓ innings pitched.

Evaluators in the industry took notice of Elledge. Baseball America rated him as Seattle’s No. 17 prospect following the 2017 season with scouts raving about his high-spin fastball and deceptiveness that induces a lot of swings and misses by opposing hitters.

Elledge’s outstanding success continued into his first full season in 2018. He posted an excellent 1.17 ERA in 38 ⅓ innings at Modesto in the High-A California League, which is a very hitter-friendly league. He also sported an impressive 54-to-15 strikeout to walk ratio and had a stretch where Cal League hitters went 0-for-38 against him.

Modesto pitching coach Pete Woodsworth gave his assessment of Elledge.

“I have seen a guy that when he is in the right situation, a save situation with a little pressure, he rises to the occasion,” Woodsworth said. “He has a switch that he can flip on which is very rare to see at his age, having that closer mentality.

“When he flips that switch on, he throws bowling balls and atom bombs. He is very difficult to square up. With two pitches, he gives righties and lefties a very uncomfortable AB.”

Elledge credited his success at Modesto to having a more consistent second pitch this season.

“My main goal coming into this year was sharpening my curveball and making that a true number two weapon to play off my fastball,” Elledge said. “Just being able to throw it for strikes and being able to throw it for a put-away pitch to complement my fastball. I would probably say that has been my biggest growth from last year to this year.”

Prior to the trade, Baseball America rated Elledge as the M’s 10th-best prospect, which stood out to the Cardinals’ brass.

“When we’re looking at where we need to be the rest of this season and into next year, we were a little nervous about guys without options and not having that flexibility as we move forward,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said regarding Tuivailala.

“Trying to get someone like we did in that trade made a lot of sense to us in Elledge because he gives us that flexibility. He’s someone we believe will move quickly.”

Elledge was assigned to Double-A Springfield, where he posted a 4.32 ERA over 13 games. The 22 year old converted four saves in six chances, striking out 20 batters through 16 ⅔ innings pitched.

The reliever was asked if the natural movement he generates on his fastball is something he has always possessed.

“Yeah, I guess you could say so,” Elledge replied. “That is not something I strive for. I guess it just kind of happens whenever I throw it. I really just try to throw it with full intent, aggressiveness, and attack the hitter with it.”

Something that also stands out about Elledge is his deceptive delivery, which is both high-energy and high-effort, but he has shown he can repeat it well and command his two pitches.

“I really don’t know (where the deceptiveness comes from),” Elledge said. “I have heard that term thrown around. I like to think of it as a positive, so I just go out there and do my thing. The deception helps. I don’t really think there is anything that I can do that can generate that. It is definitely a good tool to have in my back-pocket.”

With the potential to be a seventh inning to set-up man in the big-leagues, Elledge is expected to be ready for the majors sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, though, he should open 2019 at Triple-A Memphis.


Seth Elledge (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Brian Walton (30): Despite being big and durable at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, Elledge was a true under-the-radar acquisition among the flurry of moves of prospects into St. Louis’ system for major leaguers that occurred in July.

Though the most recent of the Cardinals’ seven trade acquisitions to have turned professional, Elledge could be the first to make an impact with St. Louis. In fact, Seattle’s fourth-round selection in 2017 could help make up some for what has been to date is a disappointing 2017 Cardinals draft class to date. When he was promoted to Memphis as the regular season neared its end, Elledge became the first player from that year’s draft to reach the Triple-A Redbirds – ahead of all 38 players drafted by St. Louis.

A fast riser in Seattle’s system before the Tuivailala trade, the sturdily-built reliever had saved all nine opportunities with a 1.17 ERA at high-A Modesto, and was named a California League mid-season All-Star. Fortunately for the Cardinals, Elledge was in the system of wheeler-dealer Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto, known for his numerous trades, many of which have strained Seattle’s farm depth to the maximum.

The Mariners’ loss is the Cardinals’ gain. When announcing the deal, the Cardinals disclosed their expectation that Elledge’s rapid ascension would continue. They proved it by immediately promoting the 22-year old to Double-A Springfield, and then upward to Memphis as mentioned above. At his final stop, the Frisco, Texas native logged valuable post-season experience, tossing a scoreless frame against Fresno and likely previewing his initial 2019 destination.

The fastball/curveball specialist impressed his first Cardinals manager, Johnny Rodriguez.

“(He is) a competitor,” Springfield’s leader said. “He competes and throws strikes. Not afraid. The ball has life. It gets on you quick and he has a deceptive delivery. You can just see it when he gets going. It’s hard to pick up. The hitters don’t get going on time. He is 92-to-95 (mph) with some finish.

“I call him “Edge,” because that is what he gives me,” Rodriguez said.

Looking at Elledge’s numbers, there are several suggestions his impact in Springfield was greater than his 4.32 ERA. These include a .220 batting average against, a 20-to-6 strikeout to walk count and a 1.14 WHIP. Three home runs hurt, but all three were in his final trio of Double-A outings. Perhaps the grind of his first full professional campaign, consisting of 45 outings, manifested itself in this manner.

Two different scouts queried agreed independently that Elledge could contribute to St. Louis’ bullpen as soon as 2019. While he is still several years from Rule 5 consideration, he can force the 40-man and 25-man issue with continued strong performances, because there will always be a need for bullpen help in St. Louis – if not one week, then the next.

I set his initial scouting grade at “4 medium,” meaning an impact reliever ceiling with some, but not extensive, gains needed to get there. The more Elledges the Cardinals can find and develop, the fewer veteran reliever disappointment risks they will need to take. And who can disagree with that approach?

Link to Elledge’s career stats


Our 2019 top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 50 countdown and 10 in-depth, follow-up articles coming up next. Most of them are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation. If you are not a member, join today so you do not miss out!

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 Cardinals Prospects – 2019

Also, join the daily discussion about each prospect at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

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TCN 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #35 – Delvin Perez

photo: Delvin Perez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

FREE article. The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospect countdown for 2019 continues with St. Louis’ top draft pick from 2016 who has yet to turn the corner offensively.

2018 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
16 SS 12 24 98 6-3 175 R R 2016 1st

Link to Delvin Perez’ player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Selected 2018 stats

Tm AVG BABIP G AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SB wRC+ OBP SLG OPS
SC 0.213 0.272 64 239 22 51 5 1 21 28 54 8 76 0.301 0.272 0.573

TCN Scouting Grade: 5, Risk: high (click here to review scales)


Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (37): Delvin Perez has now dropped three straight off-seasons in the community prospect vote from a best of #4 in the 2017 rankings to #20 last year to finishing at #37 this year. In the most recent voting, Mrperkins first raised Perez in the community rankings rather early at #10.

Mrperkins justified his early vote, comparing Perez to former prospect Oscar Mercado. Mercado looked horrible after his first two years and then turned it on and Mrperkins believes Perez could have just such a resurgence. Grenadier1 posted that Perez had a better year at State College in 2018 with fewer of the maturity issues showing up. He mentioned that Perez is still not far off from where Francisco Lindor began as a prospect, although Perez likely doesn’t have that kind of a ceiling any longer. Grenadier1 also believes that Perez will put it all together in Low-A Peoria and move back up the ladder.

Stlcard25 commented that the bat is in need of a boost, but the glove plays. Wiley was surprised by the votes for Perez, questioning why the shortstop receives a free pass for being a former steroid user and a bust. – Jeremy Byrd


Delvin Perez (State College Spikes)

Derek Shore (35): St. Louis’ 2016 first round pick started showing signs of life with the bat in 2018 at Low-A (short-season) State College.

Case in point, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said on Dan McLaughlin’s Scoops with Danny Mac podcast in the early part of the New York-Penn League season he thought Perez had finally turned the corner at the plate.

“It is definitely coming together for him.” Mozeliak said on the July 9 Monday’s with Mo podcast “Obviously, that is a challenging league, and to see him have early success is great. From his standpoint, having some confidence as he moves forward is exactly what he needs. I also think getting out of Florida – he is more refreshed and there is more of a bounce in his step.

“From an offensive standpoint, it is just great to see he is swinging it.”

But after a fast start (.709 OPS in June and .645 OPS in July), Perez slowed down considerably with the stick, finishing the season with a .157 average (17-for-108) over his final 30 games with the Spikes.

Despite the struggles, State College manager Joe Kruzel liked what he saw in his young shortstop.

“It really looks like Delvin is starting to come into his own a little bit,” Kruzel said. “His defense is excellent. He is making the routine plays and then some. He is really doing a tremendous job out there on defense. Now, his offense is starting to pick up a little bit, so that is a great sign.”

From a scouting standpoint, evaluators said Perez had a down year offensively again. As an amateur, he had the look of a five-tool machine, but the positive PED test tanked his draft stock and his physicality declined significantly.

While his offense has fallen off, Perez is still an exceptional defender at shortstop with above-average speed.

Offensively, he struggles to command the strike zone, particularly having troubles picking up breaking balls. The hit tool is still a big question mark, but he did flash gap type line drive power this past season.

Overall, his body strength and durability are concerns as well, though his age and frame suggest he has room for physical growth.

And from the makeup side, scouts said Perez showed a lot of maturity compared to previous seasons.

All in all, Perez still has a chance to become an everyday shortstop, especially if he progresses offensively to grow into an all-around performer.

“Delvin has three tools you can see playing in the big-leagues,” Kruzel said. “His defense has really improved. He has got good hands. His arm strength and his ability to run. You have those three traits with him.

“Hopefully as he matures and gets a little older and keeps progressing on the path that he is with his offense, he will move in the right direction.”

Expect to see Perez open next year at Low-A Peoria.


Delvin Perez (St. Louis Cardinals)

Brian Walton (35): I was wrong again about Perez. I thought that with his pedigree, he would play well enough to make full-season Peoria out of spring training. That jump from Johnson City would have been the same move at the same age as fellow 19-year old prospect Alvaro Seijas made. The latter, a starting pitcher, stuck the entire season in the Midwest League, yet has already appeared in this prospect countdown.

So why is Perez ranked ahead of Seijas (and a number of others who put up better numbers)? The shortstop received over $2.2 million dollars to sign two and a half years ago. That premium draft pick halo continues to remain, but how long should it?

Instead of progressing to full-season ball in 2018, Perez did not break camp until short-season began, with State College in June. Though Perez had suffered a season-ending wrist injury in 2017, he played in the U-18 World Cup qualifier last November. Perhaps the extra two months of work in extended spring training was deemed best, though he was not there the entire time.

The bottom line is that this became his third year in short-season ball. At this methodical pace, Perez would play in Triple-A in 2022, only to become a minor league free agent following that season.

I am not predicting that will occur, but I am also straining to see progress. In one of our many prospect discussions at The Cardinal Nation message board, a reader drew a parallel between Perez and another former Cardinals first-round draft pick shortstop, Pete Kozma. While the latter became a journeyman rather than a star, his glove has kept him employed at Triple-A this entire decade, with annual appearances at the MLB level.

Pete Kozma (USA TODAY Sports Images)

As that thought intrigued me, I looked into the numbers. Though both were high school draftees, Kozma was 19 years of age at the time and Perez just 17. That is the only comparison factor in Perez’ favor, however.

Kozma spent just his first summer in short-season ball, not three years, and he OPSed .701 (mostly at Johnson City). His OPS generally dropped as he moved closer to MLB. In his three seasons in short-season ball, Perez’ OPS was .745 (GCL) then .585 (JC/GCL) and .573 (State College). So, Perez’ OPS is falling annually, too, but on this trajectory, he is not going to hit enough to ever reach the majors.

In other words, a Kozma comp appears too lofty because Perez’ offense just is not there.

How bad is it?

You many have noticed an earlier comment about improvement in gap power. While Perez is not a burner, he has above-average speed. Still, in 2018, he managed a grand total of just five doubles and three triples in 269 plate appearances. Including a lone home run, the only one of his career to date, Perez compiled an anemic .272 SLG and .059 isolated power (ISO) in 2018.

.272 is the lowest slugging percentage of any current player in the entire Cardinals system who had at least 150 at-bats this season. Yet, as bad as they were, Perez’ 2018 power numbers represent considerable improvement over his .222 SLG and .039 ISO at Johnson City in 2017. That same summer, he had been briefly demoted to the Gulf Coast League.

Overall, Perez’ OPS+ of 76 means his offense was 24 percent below the average New York-Penn League hitter this season.

With both being middle infielders from Puerto Rico, it was understandable that Cardinals coach Jose Oquendo would take special interest in Perez. Though they worked together regularly in 2016 and 2017, Oquendo returned to the St. Louis staff for 2018. Still, the teacher and pupil remained in frequent contact.

Delvin Perez, Jose Oquendo (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

“He (Oquendo) is like my Dad,” Perez told me in July. “I just treat him like my Dad. He teaches me a lot. I love him. He is the best guy in this organization. I talk with him daily.”

The extra attention hasn’t accomplished its desired effect with the understudy as of yet, however. As Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch wrote regarding Perez last month, “… The Cardinals and coaches also feel that he needs some improvement with his preparation and strength and devotion to the practice of being a better player.” Also noted is a need for Perez to “take responsibility”. This is consistent with what I have seen and heard independently.

Yes, Perez has the athleticism and the potential ability to go far, but we’ve been saying that for three years now. The results are not there offensively, nor is his overall trend positive. After all, in the first winter after he was drafted, Perez was our no. 3 Cardinals prospect. Last year, he fell to no. 16 and now he is no. 35.

Taking everything into account, I lowered Perez’ prospect grade considerably from last year’s “7 high” to “5 high”. In good conscience, I can no longer pretend to squint and proclaim that Perez’ ceiling is that of an MLB All-Star. An average starter seems a much more realistic goal, and honestly, that also seems far, far away.

Link to Perez’ career stats


Our 2019 top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 50 countdown and 10 in-depth, follow-up articles coming up next. Most of them are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation. If you are not a member, join today so you do not miss out!

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 Cardinals Prospects – 2019

Also, join the daily discussion about each prospect at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Potential Cardinals Farm System Trade Fodder


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TCN 2019 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #40 – Scott Hurst

photo: Scott Hurst (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)

FREE article. The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospect countdown for 2019 continues with St. Louis’ top draft pick from 2017 who looks to put an injury-plagued 2018 behind him.

By The Cardinal Nation staff

2018 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
37 OF 3 25 96 5-10 175 L R 2017 3rd

Link to Scott Hurst’s player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.

Selected 2018 stats

Tm AVG BABIP G AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SB wRC+ OBP SLG OPS
GCL 0.400 0.462 5 15 5 6 3 0 2 5 2 2 223 0.550 0.600 1.150
Peo 0.295 0.353 49 190 28 56 11 3 25 19 41 7 121 0.361 0.411 0.772
PB 0.354 0.421 14 48 10 17 6 1 9 8 10 1 180 0.439 0.542 0.980
Tot 0.312 68 253 43 79 20 4 36 32 53 10 0.389 0.447 0.836

TCN Scouting Grade: 4, Risk: high (click here to review scales)


Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (41): Hurst dropped from 38th in the community vote to 41st this year after manning the outfield primarily for the A-ball Peoria Chiefs and the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals. Hurst was first selected in the community vote this year at #30 by Bw52.

Hurst caught CariocaCardinal’s eye during August after he went 0-for-20 after his promotion to Palm Beach, then went 10-for-12 after. Grenadier1 stated that if Hurst can stay healthy, he could see him moving up rapidly in the system as he has a good hit tool and a great arm. Stlcard25 believes Hurst has a higher ceiling than another Cardinals outfield prospect, Chase Pinder. He likes that Hurst doesn’t strike out a lot and is a decent defender.

Desmetlas12 posted that Hurst had an overall line in 2018 of .312/.389/.447 and he liked that Hurst performed better after getting promoted to Palm Beach. Robert Reed mentioned that Baseball Prospectus and Clay Davenport like the defense in centerfield and he believes that Hurst’s likeliest outcome is Shane Robinson, a mighty fine bench guy for a few years. – Jeremy Byrd


Scott Hurst (State College Spikes)

Derek Shore (38): After a solid start to his pro career with Low-A (short-season) State College, Hurst’s performed well in a 2018 season during which he was on the disabled list four different times.

Only because of a minor arm injury did Hurst, the Cardinals’ highest-drafted player last June, remain behind in extended spring training to start the year. The only question was whether St. Louis’ third-rounder from Cal State Fullerton would make his full-season introduction at High-A Palm Beach or Low-A Peoria.

The latter wound up being the case as he was assigned to Peoria on April 25.

But two months later, the 22-year old, who slashed .295/.361/.411 over 49 games for the Chiefs, landed on the shelf with a hamstring injury.

Hurst returned to official action on August 1 with Palm Beach, where he hit .354/.439/.542 in 14 games in-between two DL stints.

Despite spending the majority of the season on the DL, Hurst still opened the eyes of his coaches.

“He is an exciting player,” Peoria manager Chris Swauger said. “He did a lot of things well. He has got a good amount of fast-twitch characteristics. Good runner. Very explosive bat. He has some impressive power at times. Very good arm strength. Very good defender at all three outfield spots.

“He has got some versatility. He takes good at-bats. He just does a lot of good things. When you look at him on the surface you might not think there is a ton there, but then you watch him play a game or two and you realize this is a very exciting player. He has some true assets and will play at higher levels.

“I’m excited to see what he can do as long as he is healthy.”

From a scouting standpoint, Hurst is a tweener through and through. The California native is a fine defender in center field and above-average in the corners, might hit enough to play every day but he profiles best as a reserve outfielder.

The main reason why he is a tweener is because he doesn’t have the power for a corner (projects to hit for doubles power) and will have to prove he can stick in center despite just average speed.

Hurst will get that shot at either Palm Beach or Double-A Springfield to open 2019.


Brian Walton (44): It is not Scott Hurst’s fault that he is the flag-bearer for the Cardinals’ shortened 2017 draft class. That blame goes to Chris Correa for his illegal activity and to his former colleagues in the front office for their decision to sign then-free agent Dexter Fowler. As a result, three picks were forfeited and Cal State Fullerton’s outfielder Hurst became the organization’s initial pick, at 94th overall, in the third round.

It is also not Hurst’s fault that the remainder of his draft class has not yet delivered on its collective promise. Other than Evan Mendoza and Evan Kruczynski, two prospects yet to come in this prospect countdown, Hurst is the best-ranked prospect from his class – at 40th overall in the system. Ouch!

Still, it is difficult not to consider other standout Cardinals such as Andrew Knizner, Harrison Bader, Jordan Hicks and Paul DeJong, all of whom were drafted later than 94th overall in the two years immediately prior to 2017.

It is also not Hurst’s fault that he was injured so much in 2018, but the reality is that he was. Instead of his first full season being a triumph, it became a morass of DL stints and rehabs. Instead of a full-season of about 140 games, Hurst played in just under half, 68. At least the injuries do not appear chronic, with a later issue being hamstring-related. Still, his legs are key to his game.

At the start of August, the 22-year old was promoted to Palm Beach. (In fact, he had already been rehabbing for some time in Jupiter, making the final month move easy,)

While Hurst’s numbers took an uptick at high-A around his final two DL moves, his BABIPs should cause concern. An already-high .353 mark at Peoria jumped up to an unreasonable .421 in the Florida State League. In other words, a considerable downward correction was likely just ahead.

When all is said and done, instead of stepping forward in his first full season, Hurst lost ground in our prospect rankings year to year.

It is clearly not all negative, but as Derek already outlined, Hurst is a jack of all trades, but likely will be a true master of few at the big-league level, with a most likely ceiling of a reserve outfielder. This is reflected in the “4 high” scouting grade. Hurst can get on base, but doesn’t steal a lot. He can hit for average, but not with power. He can play all three outfield positions well, but isn’t a prototypical specimen at any.

It seems like the Cardinals have had so many outfielders with a similar profile in the past. Specifically, it is hard for me to get overly excited about a Shane Robinson II from a third-round pick.

Again, my caution based on others who came before him may not be fair to Hurst. He can change my tune with a healthy and productive breakout in 2019. There should be roster room when he shows he is ready for Double-A. Triple-A may be another matter, but first things first for Hurst.

Link to Hurst’s career stats


Our 2019 top 50 series continues

To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 50 countdown and 10 in-depth, follow-up articles coming up next. Most of them are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation. If you are not a member, join today so you do not miss out!

50 Days, 50 Nights, 50 Cardinals Prospects – 2019

Also, join the daily discussion about each prospect at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Setting the Memphis Roster is Crucial to Rule 5 Protection Strategy


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If you enjoyed this article, please consider joining The Cardinal Nation to receive the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

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