2019 is setting up to be an exciting year for the St. Louis Cardinals. With the NFL season finally over the excitement of baseball season has peaked. Spring Training workouts have finally begun, and many young prospects are hoping for a chance to crack the opening day lineup.
The St. Louis Cardinals have a lot of good, young talent invited to Spring Training. Many of these players were apart of my 2019 Cardinals Top 50 Prospects. Will any of them get that Opening Day roster spot? Do any of them have a chance at getting a call up this year? I guess we will see what happens in the coming months. But for now I’m going to give you a few players to keep your eye on throughout Spring Training, the 2019 season, and beyond. The players on this list have yet to make their MLB debut, but should in the near future.
Andrew Knizner, C (Preseason rank: 5)
Knizner is coming into Spring Training as the Cardinals top catching prospect. After a great 2018 season through AA and AAA, Knizner is getting closer and closer to the MLB. As much as I want him to make the Opening Day roster, it’s looking like Franciso Pena will be the backup to Yadier Molina. Knizner will most likely be in AAA for a complete season before getting his chance to be in the majors for good, but could definitely make his MLB debut this season. Knizner should get his fair share of playing time in Spring Training and make a statement with his stellar play.
Genesis Cabrera, LHP (Preseason rank: 19)
Cabrera was impressive in the Dominican Winter League pitching out of the bullpen. Cabrera struck out 21 batters with only 2 walks in 14.1 innings. Cabrera was mostly used as a starter coming up through the Tampa Bay organization and started 5 games with AA Springfield after being traded to the Cardinals. The Cardinals haven’t ruled Cabrera out from becoming an elite starting pitcher but are greatly interested in what he can do as a reliever. Cabrera’s velocity as a reliever hovers around the 97-98 mph mark. His velocity as a starter was lower and sat around 94-95 mph. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Cabrera in the bullpen at some point this season. With so many potential starting pitchers lined up ahead of him, the bullpen is looking like the best place for Cabrera at this point in time.
Dylan Carlson, OF (Preseason rank: 11)
The Cardinals top switch hitting prospect is coming into his first Spring Training camp. Carlson has great plate discipline walking 62 times across A and A+ in 2018, while only striking out 88 times in 498 at bats. Carlson will most likely start the year in AA as one of the league’s youngest players. But don’t take that as a negative. He’s been one of the youngest players at each level, and never once looked out of place. He’s got the power from both sides of the plate, and will continue to improve that as he gets older and stronger. Carlson should impress in Spring Training and turn some heads. Keep an eye out for him to make his MLB debut in the coming years.
Lane Thomas, OF (Preseason rank: 33)
Thomas was one of the best hitters in the system in 2018, leading all Cardinals minor leaguers with 27 home runs and 88 RBI. He’s also got some speed stealing 17 bases. In the Arizona Fall League, Thomas had 1 home run, 10 RBI and added 8 stolen bases. He can play all 3 outfield positions as well which adds to his value. He’s going to start 2019 in AAA, but would be one of the first to get a chance to make his MLB debut if there’s an injury. I’d be looking for Thomas to keep tearing it up through AAA and have an excellent year.
Tommy Edman, SS (Preseason rank: 30)
The switch hitting Edman had a great 2018 hitting 7 home runs, 41 RBI, and 30 stolen bases. He moved onto the Arizona Fall League where he failed to hit a home run but had a .400 OBP. Although he will most likely spend the entire 2019 in AAA, he should have a solid spring training. I love the speed Edman possesses and wouldn’t be surprised if he stole 35+ bases this year in AAA. Edman does have the chance to make his MLB debut in 2019 but I’m not as confident that he will. I’d look for him to be making his MLB debut more likely in the 2020 season.
These are some of the players at the Cardinals Spring Training camp we all should keep our eyes on. Of course there are many other prospects that could be on this list that are at Spring Training such as Alex Reyes, Evan Kruczynski, Connor Jones, and Randy Arozarena. I’m sure we are all waiting with excitement/anxiousness to see what Reyes’ spring will be like. Although he most likely won’t be a starter right off the bat, he could be a huge asset out of the bullpen. Only time will tell, but I’m hoping he can stay healthy and complete a full season with no issues.
Again I would like to thank everyone for reading not just mine, but all the great writers’ articles for Prospects1500. We’re in for a great year of baseball. Good luck to everyone in their fantasy leagues this year!
I am the St. Louis Cardinals correspondent for Prospects1500. Live in Manitoba, Canada. Big sports fan for all sports. Love my Philadelphia Eagles, San Jose Sharks and the Boston Red Sox. Part of Diamond Duos V deep dynasty league. Always free to answer questions, or just chat fantasy sports. Thanks!! Follow me on Twitter at @ChrisEros
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