As we’re about a week into Spring Training games, the Cardinals are looking to start off 2021 on the right foot. After losing multiple players in 2020 due to Covid-19, the Cardinals are poised to stay healthy and make a solid run for the championship. With the massive addition of Nolan Arenado, the hot corner hasn’t looked this good in St. Louis for quite some time. The Cardinals definitely won this trade in a landslide having to only give up Austin Gomber, Mateo Gil, Elehuris Montero, Tony Locey, and Jake Sommers. As an added bonus the Rockies also threw the Cardinals a ton of money in the form of $51 million. Not a bad haul if you ask me.
There are a few first time invitees to Spring Training this season for the Cardinals. Some of which are included in my St. Louis Cardinals Top 50 Prospects, and some on previous Top 50 lists. The following is a list of first time prospect invitees with my 2021 ranking in parentheses.
Conner Capel, OF (#48)
Capel is much better in the field than he is with the bat. He’s able to play all 3 outfield positions fairly well, and has decent enough speed to cover lots of ground. As for the hitting, he’s much too aggressive leading to lots of swing and miss tendencies.
Scott Hurst, OF (NR in 2021, #46 in 2020)
A 3rd round pick in 2017, Hurst hasn’t been able to produce much through the minors. Between A+ and AA in 2019, Hurst hit just 5 HR, 33 RBI, with an average of just .217.
Lars Nootbaar, OF (NR in 2021, #41 in 2020)
Drafted in the 8th round in 2018, Nootbaar moved through the systems pretty quickly in 2019. Between A, A+, and AA, he hit 7 HR, 38 RBI, with a .269 average.
Delvin Perez, SS (NR in 2021, 35 in 2020)
Perez is a good defensive asset to have. He’s got great speed and range allowing him to get to most balls hit his way. Offensively however, Perez needs a lot of work. He will never have much for power, and struggles hitting breaking balls. His speed is a great asset once he gets on base, but it’s his defense that will carry him.
Kramer Robertson, SS/2B (#41)
Robertson is a solid versatile defender that can play multiple positions. He’s got good speed in the field, as well as on the base paths. Not much for power, but has a pretty good eye at the plate.
Justin Toerner, OF (#36)
Toerner has great defensive skills and adds in decent hitting ability. He has some power hitting 11 HR in 2019, and makes good contact most of the time. His defense in centerfield is top knotch, and does anything he can to get to a ball. Toerner is definitely good enough to land a MLB role in the future.
Sanchez was acquired from the Mets just before Spring Training started. He is a defense first catcher with little offensive upside. He lacks power and on-base, but has solid contact to all fields. His defense behind the plate will keep him in the MLB in the future.
With all these guys being at camp for the first time, I’m excited to see what they can do. Most of them lack the offensive upside, but have solid defensive skills. If some of them can tap into some offense at the MLB level this spring, to go along with the defensive potential most of them have, Spring Training will be a great learning process for them.
Joining us in Jupiter 👇
The Cardinals’ other non roster invitees are headlined by Cardinals top prospects Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, and Zack Thompson. They have tons of potential in the future and within the next couple years a lot of these invitees could crack the MLB lineup. I’m eager to get these Spring Training games started to see how well these guys can perform.
With less than a month until the season starts, I’m sure everyone is as excited as I am. Hopefully we can get in a full season with not many games being postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Everyone stay safe and enjoy the articles put out by Prospects1500 staff on an almost daily basis.