St. Louis Cardinals Top 15 Prospects For 2024

After graduating both Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn from their farm system in 2023, St. Louis' organizational strength lies in its depth.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 27: Ivan Herrera #48 of the St. Louis Cardinals up to bat against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 27, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

2023 marked just the second time since 2000 that that St. Louis Cardinals finished with a record below .500. The Cardinals have nearly been the standard in Major League Baseball over the past two and a half decades, making four World Series appearances with mainly homegrown talent.

While the 2023 season presented rare challenges for John Mozeliak and the rest of the Cardinals front office, the tumultuous season did allow the opportunity for young slugger Jordan Walker to play nearly the entire season at the big league level and for shortstop Masyn Winn to debut for the final month of the campaign. There may not be a consensus top-25 prospect in baseball in the Cardinals system at the moment, but an excellent 2023 Trade Deadline bolstered a pretty deep farm.

1. Victor Scott II – OF – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 5th Round (157), 2022 (STL) | ETA: 2024


A natural hitter, Scott has become far more polished as a pro from both a swing mechanics and approach standpoint, while his 80 grade wheels have made him one of the most electrifying players in the Minor Leagues both on the base paths and in center field.

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Check out our interview with Victor Scott II

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Scott simplified his setup during the 2023 season, starting more in his base with the bat rested on his shoulder. He sinks into his back side with almost no stride, just picking up his heel as he loads. As Scott explained on “The Call Up“, he felt as though his adjustments helped him get to the same launch position more consistently and see the ball earlier. This not only resulted in more contact, but more impact as well.

Over his final 60 games of 2023, Scott slashed .320/.369/.445 at Double-A Springfield before heading to the Arizona Fall League where he produced an OPS of .805 while walking more than he struck out.

After making his adjustments a few months into the season, Scott ran a zone contact rate that hovered around 90% while boasting a lower chase rate than most contact-oriented hitters. He has an excellent feel for the strike zone and does not stray from his approach. Though the power is likely below average, Scott flashes fringy pop to his pull side and will look for the right pitch to do damage on in advantage counts.

Scott specifically struggled with changeups in 2023, often waving over them or seeing his swing break down. Though generally selective, Scott is more aggressive against heaters, which could play a part in his challenges against changeups. He should gain more comfort as he compiles at-bats and his ability to hit fastballs, sliders and left-handed pitching helps his outlook.

Scott projects as a plus hitter who can consistently put the ball in play and steal plenty of hits with his speed. There’s enough impact for mostly gap to gap power, but 10-15 home runs could be attainable.

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One of the fastest runners in all of professional baseball, both of Scott’s parents ran track with his father recognized in the Morris Brown College Hall of Fame. Scott’s speed is evident both in center field and on the base paths. He boasts ridiculous closing speed on balls in the gap or shallow flares while looking plenty comfortable tracking straight over his head. With an average arm to go with his blazing speed and already good jumps/reads, Scott is easily a plus defender in center.

If you add his Arizona Fall League stint in 2023, Scott stole 112 bags in 155 games. During the regular season, he tied Chandler Simpson of the Rays for the lead in professional baseball with 94 stolen bases.


While speed is the name of the game for Scott, he brings plenty more to the table with arguably the best hit tool in the Cardinals system, at least gap-to-gap power and great defense in center field. A higher floor prospect, Scott still provides plenty of upside as top-of-the-order bat capable of pacing the league in stolen bases.

2. Thomas Saggese – 2B – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 5th Round (145), 2020 (TEX) | ETA: 2024


A good feel to hit with the ability to drive the ball in the air consistently, Saggese has hit at every stop despite nothing quite jumping off of the page from a tools perspective.

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Starting upright, Saggese gets into a big leg kick and rhythmic hand load, but has little trouble timing things up. He has quick hands and a great feel for the barrel, helping him get to pitches in different locations and turn around velocity.

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He is a somewhat aggressive hitter, running a 32% chase rate on the season, but he hedges that with above average contact rates that continued to improve as the season progressed. Over his final 75 games of the season, Saggese posted a contact rate of 76% and in-zone contact rate of 86%.

His 90th percentile exit velocity of 103 MPH is a tick above average, but Saggese was able to launch 26 home runs during his 2023 campaign in large part to his ability to drive the ball in the air consistently (37% ground ball rate) in a hitter-friendly Texas League.

That said, Saggese undoubtedly tapped into more raw power in 2023, seeing his 90th percentile exit velocity and average exit velocity jump by a tick as well as setting a new max. 

Aside from his approach being expansive at times, Saggese is a difficult hitter to get out because he hits all pitch types well. He crushed both fastballs and non-fastballs to an OPS over .900 during the 2023 season.

There’s potential for above average hit and at least average power for Saggese, but he has the characteristics of a hitter who will always outperform his peripherals, especially with the chase rate dwindling. 


Average range and an average arm allow Saggese to play a passable third base and second base, but sometimes struggles to make throws from different angles. He has good hands and decent actions, projecting as an average defender at second base who can play on the left side of the infield in a pinch.

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An average runner, Saggese is an opportunistic base stealer who is efficient when he decides to take off. After stealing 12 bags on 15 tries in 2022, he swiped 12 on 14 tries in 2023.


Even without a plus tool, Saggese has a balanced game across the board with plenty of offensive upside. His plus makeup and feel for the game have played a big part in his ability to climb through the minor leagues quickly, reaching Triple-A at just 21 years old. Saggese could develop into an offensive-minded infielder who can plug in at multiple spots.

3. Ivan Herrera – C – (MLB)

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $200K, 2016 (STL) | ETA: 2023


It’s been an interesting arc for Herrera, who went from the heir-apparent to Yadier Molina, to blocked by Willson Contreras, to potentially the team’s future behind the dish once again. He made some adjustments in the box that helped him tap into more power in 2023.

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Always having possessed decent bat-to-ball skills, Herrera struggled to produce due to both elevated ground ball rates and pull rates. A premature forward shift in his lower half paired with some swing path issues resulted in far too much weak contact. Despite boasting a max exit velocity of 111 MPH, Herrera’s average exit velocity was only 84 MPH in 2022.

He emerged in 2023 with an altered setup that has helped him not only make more consistent contact, but also more consistently hard contact. His 90th percentile exit velocity jumped from 103 MPH in 2022 to 107 MPH in 2023 while slashing his ground ball rate by around 7% and doubling his HR/FB rate.

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He also produced a new max exit velocity of 113 MPH and triple the amount of 105+ batted balls. Essentially, he improved in every single power indicator. Low chase rates, decent contact rates and plus raw power that he is tapping into much more effectively in games have Herrera trending like an above average offensive catcher.


A decent arm and pretty good mobility behind the plate, Herrera has the tools to be at least an average catcher. Some scouts were discouraged by Herrera’s receiving in the early going of his career, but he has improved with reps. Herrera blocks well and should continue to develop into at least an average defensive catcher with a chance for some more depending on his receiving.


Drastic improvements at the plate and a development behind the dish, Herrera may have played his way into favorability as the future at catcher in St. Louis. Above average offensive output with at least average defense give Herrera the outlook of an above average backstop. His makeup and work ethic inspire belief that the 23-year-old’s defense could continue to progress at the big league level.

4. Tekoah Roby – RHP – (Double-A)

Weight: 6’1″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 3rd Round (86), 2020 (TEX) | ETA: 2025


Acquired alongside Thomas Saggese in exchange for Jordan Montgomery at the 2023 deadline, Roby’s fastball/curveball combination can be a problem for hitters, but inconsistent secondary command and injuries have held him back some.

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Utilizing a four pitch mix, Roby leans heavily on his above average fastball that can flash plus. It sits 94-96 MPH with decent ride that plays up from a flat attack angle. He threw the pitch around 55% of the time in 2023 with a 70% strike rate.

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Roby’s strikeout pitch is his big curveball in the low 80s with sharp, downward bite. The action and depth of the plus pitch make it an effective weapon against both lefties and righties, both of which hit around .180 against it. It also tunnels well off of his fastball.

Though he is still trying to find a consistent feel for his slider and changeup, both pitches have flashed average or better in spurts. He will mix in the mid 80s slider more against right-handed hitters, but had the tendency to miss arm side or leave it over the plate.

The sample is small as Roby missed some time and only went to the pitch around 15% of the time, but right-handed hitters posted a batting average over .300 against the slider with below average chase. The shape of the pitch and the way it can tunnel off of his fastball and curveball give it a chance to be an average offering, though Roby will need to find more consistency with it.

Rounding out the arsenal is a changeup that he will throw almost exclusively to lefties. The action of the pitch is good, featuring good arm side fade in the low 80s, but he hardly gave the pitch a chance through stretches in 2023, landing it for a strike just 44% of the time. When he was around the zone, he picked up some ugly swings, though far too often he wasn’t picking up any swings at all.


Roby has dealt with multiple arm injuries over the last couple seasons, limiting him to just 185 innings since making his pro debut in 2021. When healthy, Roby has flashed middle-rotation talent. His injuries have resulted in him being handled with a bit more care, only exceeding six innings in two of his 41 pro starts while eclipsing the 80-pitch mark just twice in 2023.

The stretches of missed time and priority on building back up upon his return may have taken away from his ability to develop his slider and changeup, both of which could be big league offerings if he can take a step forward with his feel for them in 2024.

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There’s middle-rotation upside to dream on if the 22-year-old can build his workload up and at least find consistency with one of his changeup or slider.

5. Tink Hence – RHP – (Double-A)

Weight: 6’1″, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (63), 2020 (STL) | ETA: 2026


An electric athlete with elite arm speed, Hence overpowered Low-A hitters in 2022 before hitting a bit of a wall at Double-A in 2023. Some minor injuries likely contributed to him stalling out, but there were some challenges to repeat his delivery and far too many non-competitive pitches that raised some concern at points.

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Hence’s stuff can be extremely tough for hitters when he is on, but he rarely had his multiple secondaries working for him in the same start during the 2023 season. He dominated Low-A hitters in shorter spurts during the 2022 season, throwing his fastball nearly 70% of the time and just blowing it by inexperienced hitters.

With a focus on minimizing his fastball reliance at more challenging levels, Hence cut his fastball usage to around 55% in 2023. The challenge for Hence was that he could not find a consistent feel for his secondaries, specifically his changeup, which he landed for a strike less than 50% of the time.

The step back with his secondaries could have been due to some of the nagging ailments he was reportedly dealing with, but seeing the secondary command back up when the usage increased was less than ideal.

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The good news is, Hence was stretched out more in 2023 and maintained the same average fastball velocity. After not exceeding 60 pitches in 2022, Hence eclipsed that total in 17 of his outings while maintaining an average fastball velocity of 95.8 mph.

Hence can be a bit jerky with his mechanics, with his body getting ahead of his arm. The lag can create arm side misses and less jump out of his hand. When everything is in sync, Hence can buzz his fastball by hitters running his fastball up to the upper 90s from a 5.3 foot release height.

Though it was his most inconsistent pitch last season, Hence’s changeup has a chance to stand out among all of his secondaries, flashing plus in the low 80s. Hitters really struggle to pick it up from his over-the-top release with 17 inches of horizontal movement.

The third potentially above average pitch for Hence is a cutterish slider in the mid 80s. It is an effective weapon for him against right-handed hitters, but can also be used to bore in on lefties when he has a good feel for it.

Rounding out the arsenal is a slurvy breaking ball that Hence can mix in. It’s likely not much more than a taste-breaker.


A premium athlete on the mound, it is really fun to watch Hence pitch when he is on. The inconsistency from a delivery and results standpoint in 2023 was somewhat concerning, though it was his age 20 season and his first year truly handling a starter’s workload.

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Hence has the stuff and athleticism to be a big league No. 3 starter. In order to get there he will need to clean up his delivery and find more consistency with his secondaries. 2024 will be a pivotal year when identifying what kind of track Hence is on as he presumably gets his second taste of Double-A.

6. Chase Davis – OF – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (21), 2023 (STL) | ETA: 2026


Strong underlying data and a silky smooth swing reminiscent of Carlos Gonzalez, Davis played himself into the first round after a huge season at Arizona but struggled a bit out of the gate in his pro debut.


Starting open with his hands right behind his head, Davis gets into a big gathering leg kick, much like Carlos Gonzalez, with a smooth swing geared for pull side power. He made major strides in the bat-to-ball department his Junior season thanks to an improved approach and more consistency with his pre-swing moves.

Davis hit .362 as a junior with more walks than strikeouts, seeing his in-zone contact rate jump by roughly 7% while trimming his chase rate by the same figure. The junior year breakout did not quite carry over to his pro debut, struggling in his 34 Low-A games, particularly against breaking balls.

Now with a chance at an average hit tool, Davis’ great feel for the strike zone and ability to draw walks helps his case. Producing a handful of exit velocities above 110 MPH with metal along with the ability to drive the ball in the air consistently gives him comfortably above average power potential.

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There’s hope that Davis can become an average hitter, but even if the hit tool is fringy, there could be enough power and patience for him to be a productive bat.


Though Davis only played center field in his pro debut, he predominantly played left field at Arizona and projects as at least an average defender in a corner with a plus arm. An average runner, Davis is not much of a factor on the base paths, but is far from a clogger.


Davis’ monstrous Junior year and strong underlying data made him a popular prospect heading into the draft, with some evaluators seeing him as a top 15 pick. He fell just outside at No. 21, earning the full slot value of $3.6 million.

The potential for plus raw power is important for Davis, as the hit tool looks like it could be average at best. Already with comfortably above average power, it’s easy to envision him tapping into a bit more. If the hit tool is fringy, Davis has the ability to provide enough slug and get on base to be an above average corner outfielder.

7. Cooper Hjerpe – LHP – (High-A)

Weight: 6’3″, 200 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (22), 2022 (STL) | ETA: 2025


A funky lefty who picks up more whiffs and weak contact than his stuff would suggest, Hjerpe is a high probability MLB arm. He returned four months after a procedure to remove a loose body in his elbow looking very sharp in the Arizona Fall League.

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Hjerpe’s delivery is extremely unorthodox, creating difficult angles for hitters and uncomfortable at-bats. He is long and lanky, but releases the ball from a sidearm delivery that is somewhat reminiscent of Chris Sale.

He stays closed for a long time, with his back facing a right-handed hitter almost until the moment his arm starts coming forward, making the ball hard to pick up and helping it get on hitters more quickly. Hjerpe’s arm will reach far out towards first base, helping the horizontal break of his pitches play up while creating a nightmarish angle for lefties.

Hjerpe’s fastball sat in the low 90s in college, but was more in the 88-90 MPH in 2023 as he worked around elbow discomfort from the loose body. Though he was still effective at the lower velocity, it will be important for him to operate closer to the low 90s for his stuff to translate at the highest level.

That said, Hjerpe still racked up an in zone whiff rate of 28% in 2023 (about 10% above average) with his fastball averaging 89 MPH. In addition to the deception, Hjerpe gets roughly 17 inches of horizontal movement on his fastball, combining with his 4.3 foot release height to create ride and run. This helps it play well at all four quadrants.

Working off of the fastball is an above average changeup that is extremely difficult for hitters to differentiate from the fastball. Sitting 78-81 MPH, Hjerpe will exclusively throw it to right-handed hitters, averaging more than 18 inches of horizontal movement, giving it screwball action. It should be a comfortably above average pitch as Hjerpe finds a bit more consistency with his feel to locate it.

His preferred weapon to left-handed hitters is a sweepy slider in the mid 70s. Flirting with 20 inches of horizontal break at times, it can be difficult for Hjerpe to consistently land it for a strike. It’s less of an issue against same-handed hitters as they will expand the zone more frequently against it, but when Hjerpe is on, he will freeze righties through the back door as the pitch seemingly starts in the other batter’s box. The lower velocity of the pitch does limit the chase/whiff potential some, making it more likely to be an above average pitch at best at the highest level.

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The southpaw will also mix in a cutter in the mid 80s a little over 10% of the time. He upped his usage of the pitch as a pro, especially against left-handed hitters, giving him a third speed between the 88-90 MPH fastball and 74-77 MPH slider. It should be a viable third offering to same-handed hitters.


The Cardinals snagged Hjerpe in the first round of the 2022 draft over some higher upside arms with the idea that the polished lefty could be fast tracked to St. Louis. His elbow procedure threw a bit of a wrench in what could have been a season where Hjerpe flew through multiple levels, but his strong finish to the year in the Arizona Fall League should have the Cardinals brass feeling as though Hjerpe is back on track for a potential 2024 debut. He most likely projects as a back-end starter, with the floor of an effective lefty reliever.

8. Gordon Graceffo – RHP – (Triple-A)

Weight: 6’4″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 5th Round (151), 2021 (STL) | ETA: 2024


A late riser in the 2021 draft after a dominant Junior season at Villanova and on the Cape, Graceffo kept things rolling into pro ball, pitching to a combined 2.78 ERA through his first two pro seasons (165.1 IP). Though a minor shoulder issue and Triple-A competition stifled some of his momentum in 2023, Graceffo looks like a back-end starter who could help the Cardinals as soon as 2024.

Check out our interview with Gordon Graceffo


A four pitch mix, Graceffo leaned on his fastball and slider more in 2023, going to the two pitches a 80% of the time. His fastball jumped by several ticks in 2022, something Graceffo attributed to some mechanical adjustment that allowed him to work downhill. The jump in fastball velocity was important as the shape can leave a bit to be desired. Now sitting 94-96 MPH, Graceffo’s straighter fastball can be masked a bit better.

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His best pitch is his plus slider at 86-88 MPH. It features short, late bite, tunneling off of his fastball effectively and generating plenty of whiff within the zone. With a swinging strike rate of 21% and chase rate above 35%, Graceffo could probably get away with bumping his usage of the pitch up from 25%.

Left-handed hitters will see more of Graceffo’s average curveball and fringy changeup, finding more success with the downer curve in the upper 70s. Averaging 16 inches of vertical break, Graceffo can get hitters from both sides of the plate to swing over the pitch when he has a feel for it. The strike rate was just 54%, but opponents also only hit .120 against it with low-end exit velocities. It could develop into a solid third offering.

Graceffo’s changeup took a step back from 2023, cutting down his usage to below 10%. The pitch flashed average in 2022, but he threw as many balls as strikes when going to the changeup in 2023, decreasing his usage further as the season progressed.


While the stuff may not jump off of the page, Graceffo’s track record of throwing strikes with at least three viable big league pitches gives him a good chance at sticking as a No. 5 starter with flashes of what could be a solid No. 4 starter. His strong makeup and competitiveness on the mound only helps his case. Graceffo should debut sometime in 2024.

9. Leonardo Bernal – C – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 200 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $680K – 2021 (STL) | ETA: 2027


A switch-hitting catcher, Bernal turned heads with how comfortably he handled Low-A competition in his age-18 season (2022), but he did not quite take the step forward some expected when repeating the level in 2023. He still provides plenty of offensive upside for a catcher with a chance to stick at the position.


A similar set up from both sides of the plate, Bernal starts slightly more open from the left side with his weight stacked on his back side some. His left-handed swing is more fluid and explosive, posting stronger exit velocities but similar contact rates.

Bernal features a pretty flat swing, helping him hit fastballs well, especially at the top of the zone, though it could be a hinderance to his game power some. Already posting decent exit velocities, Bernal has a chance to grow into above average power as he matures both physically and at the plate, though there’s not a ton of room for projection on his frame. That said, a slight step backwards in the power department from 2022 to 2023 is a bit concerning.

He showed improved patience at the plate in 2023, cutting his chase rate by nearly 10% which helped his walk rate balloon to 15%. Like many young hitters, he struggled with secondary stuff, though his improved plate discipline helped hedge those issues, running a chase rate below 25% against non-fastballs.

To develop into an average hitter, Bernal will need to improve his right-handed swing as well as his ability to hit soft stuff. He has an outside shot at average hit and above average power, but probably lands just shy in both departments.


Bernal has lost some mobility and agility as he has matured which has adversely affected his blocking some. His arm is average, flashing above average at times with decent pop times. Receiving wise, he improved in 2023, helping his overall outlook at the position some. Acknowledging he has the ability to become an everyday big league catcher, Bernal will need to make some strides defensively to get there.


The trend of Bernal’s body is somewhat concerning when assessing his longterm outlook. It’s not entirely unusual for teenage catching prospects to struggle as they mature physically, maybe not skating by on their athleticism as easily as they used to.

If Bernal can regain some quickness and agility, he could become an average defensive catcher with enough offensive upside to be an above average bat at the position in higher-end outcomes. He’s more likely a tweener who can plug in and be a serviceable starter, but heading into his age-20 season, there’s still reasonable hope for more.

10. Won-Bin Cho – OF – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 200 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $500K – 2022 (STL) | ETA: 2027


Signed for $500,000 out of Korea, Cho is a physical hitter who offers above average power potential from the left side.


Starting upright with the weight on the ball of his front foot, Cho gathers into his back side with a slower building leg kick. When everything is on time, Cho’s bat explodes through the zone, flashing above average power to his pull side. His lower half can be inconsistent at times, leaking forward prematurely at times or looking rushed at foot strike. This likely affects his path and contributes to his elevated ground ball rate.

He hits fastballs really well, with an average over .300 and OPS just shy of .900 against them last season. The lower half inconsistencies reared their head more against non-fastballs, posting just a .600 OPS with more in zone whiff. A patient hitter, Cho was much more comfortable recognizing spin and sticking to his approach, running a chase rate below 20% in 2023.

Flashing exit velocities above 110 mph in his age 19 season, Cho easily projects as above average in the raw power department. He will need to create more leverage to tap into his power consistently in games. Possessing a big frame, he has some room to grow into even more strength.


An average runner with an average arm, Cho already started to see more action in the corners in 2023, where he should be a decent defender. He was more aggressive on the base paths in his second pro season, swiping 32 bases on 43 tries. He likely is a threat to steal closer to 10-15 bags at more competitive levels.


Moving to a corner puts more pressure on Cho’s ability to either develop above average game power or at least an average hit tool. He has a chance at either, giving him a chance to be a regular. His ability to draw walks helps his offensive profile. If it all comes together, Cho could post average contact rates with 20-25 homers and good on base skills.

11. Sem Robberse – RHP – (Triple-A)

Weight: 6’1″, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $125K – 2019 (TOR) | ETA: 2024


Acquired alongside Adam Kloffenstein in exchange for Jordan Hicks at the 2023 deadline, Robberse was immediately promoted to Triple-A Memphis, settling in with several strong starts to close the season out.

Signed by the Blue Jays out of Zeist, Netherlands, Robberse has put up respectable numbers at every stop despite possessing mostly average stuff. Already with a great feel for his curveball and changeup, Robberse’s fringy fastball places added importance on the two above average offerings to consistently be on.

Opponents smashed Robberse’s fastball to an OPS over 1.000 compared to a .580 OPS against all other pitches in 2023. His feel to pitch and pair of above average secondaries give him a No. 5 starter outlook.

12. Travis Honeyman – OF – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 3rd Round (90) – 2023 (STL) | ETA: 2026


With plenty of moving parts to his swing, Honeyman had no issue making consistent content at Boston College in 2023, running a zone contact rate around 90%. He’s an aggressive hitter, who struggled to pick up spin at times, resulting in a chase rate north of 40% against secondaries.

Flashing average raw power, Honeyman has not tapped into it consistently in games yet, hitting just 12 homers in 92 contests at Boston College. However, he did launch four homers in 24 games with wood in the Cape Cod League on his way to an impressive .930 OPS.

An above average runner with an above average arm, Honeyman has the tools to stick in centerfield, but does not look entirely comfortable with his reads and will take inefficient routes. If he moves to a corner, he would project as an above average defender, though it would be a steep hill to climb to provide corner outfield production. With some projection across the board, Honeyman is a candidate to make a leap in his first pro season.

13. Cesar Prieto – INF – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 5’9″, 170 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $650K – 2021 (BAL) | ETA: 2024


A contact machine who has hit .300 as a pro with just a 12% strikeout rate, Prieto turned heads with his feel to hit out of Cuba, earning a $650,000 bonus from the Orioles after he defected. The Orioles sent him to St. Louis in exchange for Jack Flaherty at the 2023 Trade Deadline. His ability to get to pitches in seemingly any location is a blessing and a curse as Prieto tends to be swing-happy, with a chase rate north of 35%.

A versatile defender, Prieto plays a solid second base and third base with the arm strength and footwork to be able to plug in at shortstop in a pinch. Prieto projects as a quality utility piece who grinds out at bats and consistently puts the ball in play.

14. Michael McGreevy – RHP – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 6’5″, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (18) – 2021 (STL) | ETA: 2024


A pitchability right-hander who is athletic on the mound, McGreevy likes to pitch to contact and get ground balls. His athleticism on the mound stands out, repeating his quick delivery well and filling up the strike zone.

His low 90s sinker was the lead contributor in his 55% ground ball rate in 2023, featuring 15 inches of horizontal movement with late action that helps him avoid barrels. His best swing and miss pitch is his above average slider in the mid 80s. He will also mix in a changeup that flashes average and a taste-breaking curveball to occasionally steal strikes.

McGreevy’s athleticism and ability to repeat his mechanics gives him comfortably above average command, which is imperative to his ability to turn lineups over with lesser stuff. Tossing nearly 300 innings from 2022 to 2023, Mcgreevy is durable and could be a ground ball inducing No. 5 starter who eats innings.

15. Jimmy Crooks – C – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 4th Round (127) – 2022 (STL) | ETA: 2026


A fourth round pick out of the University of Oklahoma in 2022, Crooks has drastically improved defensively, now looking like an above average backstop. His arm is above average while the blocking and receiving skills are right there as well. Crooks threw out 28% of attempted base stealers in 2023.

Offensively, Crooks is largely dependent on his ability to ambush fastballs. He hit around .350 against High-A heaters while hitting just .170 against all other offerings. Crooks also had dramatic platoon splits in 2023, posting an OPS of .850 against right-handed pitching compared to just .570 against southpaws. With a 90th percentile exit velocity of 103 mph and relatively high ground ball rates, his power is likely to be fringy.

His defensive improvements give him a good chance at becoming at least a back up catcher, but if the bat can come along a bit more, there’s an outside shot at developing into an everyday catcher. He is likely more of a tweener.

Other Names to Watch

Joshua Baez – OF – (Low-A): The 20-year-old Baez’s first full season of professional baseball didn’t come until 2023 after being taken in the second round in ’21 and a wrist issue sidelining him for a good chunk of ’22. While the power numbers weren’t as gaudy as many hoped the 6’4″, 220-pound then-teenager would produce this past season, he surprisingly stole 30 bags in Low-A. If Baez is going to tap into his big league potential, he’ll need to drastically cut down his 34% K-rate in his first 146 minor league games.

Ian Bedell – RHP – (High-A): Bedell was as successful a pitcher as any that spent the entire season in the Midwest League, throwing to a 2.44 ERA in 96 innings with 106 strikeouts as a Peoria Chief. The newly-turned 24-year-old produced these numbers in his first season back from Tommy John Surgery, having thrown just 5.2 IP during the 2022 campaign. Bedell’s strong four-pitch mix should have him climbing quickly in 2024, assuming full health.

Moisés Goméz – OF – (Triple-A): The 25-year-old Gomez has been in affiliated baseball since 2015, but it took until 2022 to find his footing. The former Rays farmhand led Minor League Baseball with 39 home runs in 2022, making the 35% K-Rate somewhat palatable. In 2023, a nine homer drop-off to go along with a 3% dip in BB-Rate docked his wRC+ by about 40 points. Gomez is a below average defender and is probably best suited for a DH role, but his absurd power could possibly net him that opportunity in the big leagues.

Pete Hansen – LHP – (Triple-A): Hansen’s lack of exemplary pitch data pushed him to the third round in the 2022 MLB Draft, but the former Texas Longhorn has figured out a way to keep hitters on their heels both in the Big 12 and in pro ball. In his draft year in Austin, Hansen punched out 120 and issued just 19 free passes in 107.2 IP. This past year brought more of the same, logging 10.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 with a 3.12 ERA in his 112.2 IP in Low-A. He threw a 1-2-3 inning in relief with Memphis at the end of the year, but he could very well be a starter for the Triple-A club in late March of ’24.

Adam Kloffenstein – RHP – (Triple-A): Kloffenstein was acquired in the Jordan Hicks deal with Toronto at the 2023 deadline in the midst of an excellent year after back-to-back brutal seasons in 2021 an 2022. After an ERA just under 6.00 in the two previous seasons combined, the 6’5″, 240-pound Kloffenstein produced a 3.16 ERA and .228 BAA in 128 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. A mid-90s fastball and several variations of his slider could earn him a big league audition in 2024 if the Cardinals need a spot start.

Quinn Mathews – LHP – (Complex): Matthews may be best known now as the guy that threw 156 pitches in a single game for Stanford in their 2023 Super Regional matchup with Texas. The four-year starter for the Cardinal has yet to make his professional debut, but the newly-turned 23-year-old and his plus changeup should be revved up and ready to roll heading into 2024.

Brycen Mautz – LHP – (Low-A): Mautz may have been a one year wonder at the University of San Diego, but his ridiculous 129/22 K/BB ratio in his Junior season was enough to convince the Cardinals to take him in the second round of the 2022 draft. Mautz spent the entirety of 2023 in Low-A, where he punched out 115 and walked 45 in 104 innings with Palm Beach. The 22-year-old has a riding fastball and strong slider, but his lack of third pitch may be the main thing getting in the way of an ascension through the Cardinals’ system.

Edwin Nunez – RHP – (Double-A): Simple. The 21-year-old right-hander sat in the high 90s and touched 100 while getting plenty of outs in Low-A and High-A this past season. The complexities with Nunez are that he doesn’t rack up as many punchouts as he should with 100 and his secondaries have a long way to come. Regardless, if you throw 100 at a young age and kind of know where each pitch is going, you’re a name to watch.

Zack Showalter – RHP – (Low-A): The return for Jack Flaherty at the 2023 Trade Deadline, Showalter allowed just eight earned runs and struck out 42 in his first 31.1 IP of professional baseball. He’s set to turn 20 years old in the coming weeks, but there’s too small of a sample to make any sweeping claims about his future production.

Max Rajcic – RHP – (High-A): Southern California born and raised, Rajcic was St. Louis’s sixth round pick in 2022 after a season at UCLA where he posted a 3.28 ERA and just 2.1 BB/9 in 85 IP. In his first professional season this past year, Rajcic logged a 2.48 ERA in 123.1 IP with a 123/27 K/BB ratio. The righty features a low 90s fastball, solid curveball and average changeup, and the 22-year-old should headline the rotation with Double-A Springfield this coming season.