photo: Logan Gragg (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Born: 8/8/1998 (22)
Hits / Throws: R/R
Acquired: 2019 Draft – 8th round (245th overall)
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Click on the above photo to be taken to his player page at The Cardinal Nation, with additional biography and history information.
2021 individual rankings – Brian Walton #42, Matt Thompson #26
Prior top 50 rankings – 2020 not ranked
Matt Thompson’s scouting report
Physical Description: Lanky, long, skinny frame. Fits the Cardinals archetype. Tall, projectable arms. Takes care of himself physically, got stronger during Tommy John rehab, and in today’s weird fact of the day, he doesn’t like ice cream. Oh, the things you learn when you sit behind the plate and chat with guys as they chart pitches.
Mechanics: Stands tall on mound, but delivery doesn’t fully utilize XL frame. Flexes back leg and drops body before delivering towards the plate. High three-quarters arm slot. Just a lower release point than you might think. Weak front side that I would look to incorporate more. Best way to explain it, glove hand is just along for the ride as he goes towards home and not helping him generate torque.
Fastball: Sits 92-94. Can touch 95. Works the pitch primarily on the outer quadrants, and sticks to the lower quadrants primarily against lefties. Will need to be less strict with his patterns and move the fastballs around more. Hitters can crowd the plate knowing he won’t attack them inside. Grade: 50
Slider: Inconsistent shape. Wish he would throw it more inside, with intent. The versions that end up in miss the catcher’s glove by six-to-eight inches. Gets more horizontal break than drop against lefties. Right-handers get a slurvier version that he looks to catch on the corner or get them to chase off the plate away. Grade: 50.
Changeup: Haven’t seen enough of this pitch to be firm on a grade here, to be honest. I suspect if he moves to the bullpen full time he would simply eliminate this pitch from the arsenal. Grade: 40.
Control/Command: Struggles to repeat. That was a focus of his after entering pro ball. Was better, but tough to completely ignore his college numbers. 40 Control 30 Command
Overall: I see a lot of potential here with Gragg, sort of look at him like a blank slate. Only started a handful of games for Oklahoma State after coming over from Connors State College, a junior college in Oklahoma. High risk due to command issues.
Future Value: 40
Role: Spot Starter/Long Relief
Brian Walton’s environmental impact report
In his junior year, Gragg served as a swingman for Oklahoma State as he both started and came out of the bullpen.
After being drafted as a junior and signing for his eighth-round slot value of $167,800, Gragg joined short-season Class A State College to begin his professional career.
For the Spikes, the Arkansas native posted a 2.45 ERA and quickly moved up to Low-A Peoria after only eight relief appearances. With Peoria, the right-hander’s role changed as he logged a 3.38 ERA over nine games (eight starts).
Overall, Gragg registered a 3.15 ERA in 17 games. He struck out 50 batters and walked 15 through 45 2/3 innings, showing considerable improvement in strike-throwing over his college results.
2020 recap – Assignments
- January instructional camp – yes
- St. Louis’ spring training camp – no
- St. Louis Summer Camp – no
- Springfield alternate camp – no
- St. Louis – no
Gragg was one of the many to receive a head start in the January instructional camp in Jupiter, Florida, but his relative lack of experience kept him from yet being invited to any of the big league camps. Therefore, he was not a part of the Springfield alternate camp, either.
Another instructional camp invitation seems likely, but it feels too early for Gragg to receive a non-roster invitation to 2021 St. Louis spring training camp.
Based on his eight successful starts at Class A, Gragg could open 2021 at High-A. To be assessed in spring camp along with his readiness for the level will be how he stacks up against the considerable rotation competition, which I expect will increase for all five remaining minor league clubs in the US.
If Gragg does need to return to Class A to open 2021, and assuming he will continue to take care of business on the mound, he should be able to earn his way forward before the season extends too far.
A normal progression would be Double-A in 2022 and Triple-A in 2023, with perhaps a St. Louis debut in the second half of 2023. At that point, Gragg will be 25 years of age.
A possible complication will be his Rule 5 eligibility after the 2022 season. At that point, based on the aforementioned promotion scenario, Gragg would potentially be exposed coming off his Double-A season. Of course, he could show enough to be protected – and/or have moved ahead more quickly.
As far as his eventual St. Louis role, it is just too early to tell. But in many cases, even if a pitcher is projected as an eventual starter, chances are better that he will first have to break into the majors as a reliever because of a lack of rotation openings. Claiming a spot among St. Louis’ starting five is not easy, but generally speaking, that is a good thing.
MLB debut: 2023
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