The Cardinals’ farm system is towards the middle of all farm systems in baseball. It has a stud in Alex Reyes and a few other guys who could be good major leaguers but doesn’t have a tremendous amount of potential impact talent. Although, the Cardinals do tend to consistently produce average players from guys who were barely even prospects during their time as a minor leaguer. The Cardinals’ player development is one of the best in the league. Having said that, here are my Top 50 Cardinals prospects for 2017.
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster
1. Alex Reyes, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 8/29/1994)
Arguably the #1 pitching prospect in baseball. His only weakness is he walks a lot of batters but besides that he’s amazing. 1.57 ERA in 46.0 IP in the majors.
2. Luke Weaver, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB 8/21/1993)
Weaver has one of the best FB/CHG combinations in the minors. Didn’t fare too well in his MLB debut but destroyed AA and AAA. 1.40 ERA in 77 IP in AA.
3. Sandy Alcantara, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 9/7/1995)
Can hit 100 with his FB and has average secondary stuff. Next to Reyes he probably has the best stuff in the Cardinals system. 153 K in 122.2 IP.
4. Carson Kelly, C
Age: 22 (DOB 7/14/1994)
Drafted out of HS as a third baseman. After switching to catcher his defensive game began to flourish and is now one of the best defensive catchers in the minors. After a few years in the majors he could begin to unlock some more power. When Yadier Molina’s contract is up he could be the catcher of the future for the Cardinals.
5. Harrison “Darth” Bader, OF
Age 22 (DOB 6/3/1994)
He can hit for power and steal bases. If he can cut down on his strikeouts, he could quickly become a starter for the Cards. 19 HR and 13 SB in 465 AB in AA/AAA.
6. Delvin Perez, SS
Age: 18 (DOB 11/24/1998)
Drafted more for his glove but he can hit and should stick at short. He could be a 10 HR/30 SB guy in his future.
7. Magneuris Sierra, OF
Age: 20 (DOB 4/7/1996)
Tremendous speed, good hitter and a tremendous glove but lacks power. In his prime, he will barely reach double digits in homers.
8. Jack Flaherty, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 10/15/1995)
Has the potential to have three or four average pitches and should be an average starter for fantasy purposes. 3.20 FIP with 126 K and 45 BB’s in 134.0 IP in High-A.
9. Dakota Hudson, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 9/15/1994)
1st round pick this season who can hit 97 with his fastball and has a great slider. If he can improve his command just a tiny bit, he will be a lock to stick in the rotation.
10. Junior Fernandez, RHP
Age: 19 (DOB 3/2/1997)
Fernandez hit 99 on the radar gun multiple times throughout the year and has a solid change. If he can improve his command and breaking ball, his ceiling is one of the highest in the system.
11. Randy Arozarena, 2B/SS/OF
Age: 21 (DOB 2/28/1995)
Signed this July and could play 2B/SS/CF. Another guy who can hit and will steal a lot of bases but lacks power.
12. Austin Gomber, LHP
Age: 23 (DOB 11/23/1993)
His upside is limited due to his stuff but he has a 3 average pitches that play up because of his excellent control. Pitched extremely well in the AFL and impressed with his pitchability. 2.69 ERA in 127.0 IP.
13. Dylan Carlson, OF
Age: 18 (DOB 10/23/1998)
Considered an overdraft when he was selected but impressed scouts during his time in the GCL. Only has doubles power right now but he should grow into more.
14. Paul De Jong, SS/3B
Age: 23 (DOB 8/2/1993)
After lighting it up during his debut season, he followed it up with 22 HR in AA although with way too many K’s (144). His value should jump up this year because he will be moving to SS in AAA.
15. Connor Jones, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 10/10/1994)
Drafted out of UVA in the 2nd Round of the draft. Gets a lot of groundballs and has an impressive slider which helps to contribute his high floor.
16. Edmundo Sosa, SS
Age: 20 (DOB 3/6/1996)
Didn’t perform too well this season but he should stick at SS and has a good approach as well as developing power.
17. Bryce Denton, 3B
Age: 19 (DOB 8/1/1997)
Didn’t play too many games this season but scouting report stays the same. He should stick at 3B with an average hit tool and above average power.
18. Jake Woodford, RHP
Age: 20 (DOB 10/28/1996)
Another high-floor pitcher with average command and the chance for four average pitches.
19. Ronnie Williams, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 1/6/1996)
Raw pitcher who needs to improve his command for his pitches to play up. All of his pitches began to improve this season and he could take a step forward next year.
20. Nick Plummer, OF
Age: 20 (DOB 7/31/1996)
Didn’t play at all during the 2016 season but has an advanced approach with a chance for above average power.
21. Eli Alvarez, 2B
Age: 22 (DOB 10/15/1994)
Had a tremendous season in A-ball this year. .404 OBP with 6 HR, 36 2B, and 36 SB.
22. Alvaro Seijas, RHP
Age: 18 (DOB 10/10/1998)
Signed as an IFA in 2015 and is extremely projectable. 55:19 K:BB in 69.1 IP.
23. Victor Garcia, OF
Age: 17 (DOB 9/16/1999)
Considered to have the most raw power out of all the IFA’s this year. Yes, even more than Kevin Maitan. Scouts are split on if he can hit but if he can he could make a major impact in fantasy.
24. John Gant, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 8/6/1992)
The Cards traded for him in the Jaime Garcia trade. Had a decent MLB debut and should be in the majors for a lot of next season. Not going to win any leagues but could be an average pitcher who racks up innings.
25. Jordan Hicks, RHP
Age: 20 (DOB 9/6/1996)
Another guy with an average fastball, average secondaries and decent control. 1.76 ERA in Low-A.
26. Ryan Helsley, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 7/18/1994)
Sharp control and hit 97 during the season but with inconsistent secondaries.
27. Zac Gallen, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 8/3/1995)
Another Cardinal’s pitcher with a low 90s fastball and average secondaries who throws strikes.
28. Jonathan Machado, OF
Age: 17 (DOB 1/21/1999)
Recently signed as an IFA. Impressive speed and should stick in Center but has an aggressive approach and lacks power.
29. Tommy Edman, SS
Age: 21 (DOB 5/9/1995)
Drafted out of Stanford, he impressed in his debut. Won’t hit for too much power but has a good approach at the plate and can steal bases. Depending on how much power he ends up with he could stick in a utility role.
30. Marco Gonzales, LHP
Age: 24 (DOB 2/16/1992)
Injured almost all of this season but ranked highly before this season. One of the best change-ups in the minors and should stick in a relief role if he can’t start.
31. Jeremy Martinez, C
Age: 22 (DOB 12/29/1994)
Impressed many scouts after being drafted in the 4th round this year. Had a .419 OBP and 157 wRC+ in Low-A.
32. Chris Ellis, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 9/22/1992)
His stock dropped by a large amount this season after a poor performance in AAA even with a good performance in AA. 2.75 ERA in AA, 6.52 ERA in AAA.
33. John Kilichowski, LHP
Age: 22 (DOB 5/17/1994)
After being picked in the 11th round had 51 K in 53.1 IP. But he did let up a homer to Tim Tebow.
34. Daniel Poncedeleon, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 1/16/1992)
Workhorse starter who doesn’t strike a lot of people out but can rack up innings with a decent ERA.
35. Breyvic Valera, 2B
Age: 25 (DOB 1/8/1992)
Has an impressive approach and is an extremely good hitter but lacks power. He fits best in a utility role.
36. Derian Gonzalez, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB 1/31/1995)
He could be a big riser this upcoming season and is worth an investment in deep leagues. 2.16 ERA with 94 K in 100 IP in A/High-A.
37. Luke Voit, 1B
Age: 25 (DOB 2/13/1991)
A guy who could come out of nowhere. Limited to 1B but slashed .297/.372/.477 with 19 HR in 482 AB in AA.
38. Luke Dykstra, 2B
Age: 21 (DOB 11/7/1995)
Acquired as a part of the Jaime Garcia trade. He has hit throughout every level in the minors albeit with almost no power. Probably fits best in a utility role.
39. Anthony Garcia, OF
Age: 25 (DOB 1/4/1992)
Had a poor 2016 season but had always held his own in seasons before. He fits best in a 4th OF role.
40. Corey Littrell, LHP
Age: 24 (DOB 3/21/1992)
Below-average stuff but has good command so he could stick as a starter. Likely fits best in a relief role.
41. Matt Fiedler, OF
Age: 21 (DOB 3/22/1995)
Drafted in the 9th round in 2016. .325/.386/.487 in Rookie ball.
42. Andrew Morales, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 1/16/1993)
Average stuff with good command. Has a chance to fit in the back-end of a rotation.
43. Trey Nielsen, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 9/1/1991)
Pitched well as a relief pitcher in AA but doesn’t get many strikeouts, which will hurt him if he stays in the pen.
44. Rowan Wick, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 11/9/1992)
Former catcher converted to pitcher. 57 K in 44.1 IP in High-A/AA. Could be a quick mover throughout the minors and possibly move to STL at some point this season.
45. Ian McKinney, LHP
Age: 22 (DOB 11/18/1994)
Below-average stuff with decent command. Most likely fits best in middle relief. Had a 4.17 ERA in High-A.
46. Walker Robbins, OF
Age: 19 (DOB 11/18/1997)
Very raw outfielder who was drafted out of high school. Didn’t impress in his debut.
47. Oscar Mercado, SS
Age: 22 (DOB 12/16/1994)
.215/.296/.271 in High-A and 33/53 on SB attempts. Great defensively but if he hits like this he has almost no chance to be a regular.
48. Darren Seferina, 2B
Age: 22 (DOB 1/24/1994)
After an impressive 2015 season, he followed it up with a poor season. Didn’t hit very well and when he did it was mostly singles.
49. Sam Tuivailala, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 10/19/1992)
Once a highly heralded relief prospect, he got hit hard in AAA/MLB. Only good part of his season was his high strikeout totals in AAA.
50. Mike Mayers, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 12/6/1991)
He got completely destroyed in his one MLB start. Most likely an up and down guy who fills in when in need of a starter.
Bonus prospect! Don’t sleep on him!
51. Andrew Knizner, C
Age: 21 (DOB 2/3/1995)
Drafted in the 7th round this year. Most likely won’t stick at catcher. .319/.423/.492 in Rookie ball with a 21:21 K:BB.
How long til Alcantara makes an appearance in the MLB?
I would say he should be in the majors in 2019. That could change depending on how well or poorly he does at the next few levels.
It looks like you omitted Junior Fernandez.
It has been fixed. Thanks!
Fernandez was an accidental omission. He’s now in there at #10. Ryan just fixed that though. Sorry about that. Good catch!!
Don’t sleep on Johan Oviedo – think he’ll be a Tier 3 (possibly T2) sooner rather than later!