Cardinals Prospects look as we continue our off-season look at the prospects that could impact the team in the next few years. Check out Part 1 HERE
Cardinals Prospects #20-16
#20- Won-Bin Cho
This 19 year old outfielder is 6’3″ and 200 lbs with an ETA to the Cardinals for 2027. He has power potential as exhibited in a showcase where he hit 15 bombs in November 2020. Cho decided to forego playing in his native South Korea and wanted to fulfill his dream of playing in the major leagues. The Cardinals liked what they saw and signed him.
A left-handed batter has show a wonderful swing and plenty of bast speed. His power is in the gap areas a this stage. He has foot speed for his size and he may move from center field to a corner as he matures.
He was a pitcher in his native land and his strong arm bodes well in right field. The Cardinals organization is impressed with his raw and untapped talent. He appears well beyond the skillset of most his age. He still has development left to refine.
#19- Dionys Rodriguez
He is 6″0″ and 188 lbs right handed pitcher with a 2024 ETA to the majors.
The Cardinals signed him as a 17 year-old and placed him in the Dominican Summer League in May 2018. He pitched out of the bullpen and showed control issues for two seasons. He threw 50 1/3 innings and walked 251 batters.
He went to Single-A Palm Beach and into the rotation. things appeared to improve as he finished with 3.36 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 88 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings. In 2022, he pitched in the rotation for High-A Peoria and did well there as he approached 90 innings for the first time.
His velocity has managed to creep up and sits at 93-94 mph with his fastball and can get to 97 when needed. He has a quality slider that is in the mid-80s. A change-up is average and can e sued sparingly with more success facing left-handers. If he gets straight there is a future for him soon in the major leagues.
#18- Leonardo Bernal
This switch hitting 18 year-old catcher shows great promise in the organization.The 6’0″ 200 lb’er was signed in 2021. Bernal hails from Panama which also where they found Ivan Herrera in 2016.
He already had international experience in his background and was the top prospect in Panama when the Cardinals nabbed him. He began in the Dominican Summer League had a slow star with five home runs and a .209 batting average. In February, he was the youngest player in the organization at the Minor League Spring Training.
The Cardinals moved him in June where he played for Single- A Palm Beach. there he showed the ability to make contact from the left side and slugged more from the right.side. He is projected to hit double digit home runs as he advances and have above average arm strength defensively. He shows his ability of an older player.
Right now he is the age of an American high school senior but still has a long road of development ahead of him. His defense will allow him to advance up the chain for the Cardinals organization. The ETA for Leonardo Bernal is 2026.
#17 Austin Love
He is a right-handed pitcher and stands 6’3″ and 231 lbs. The 23 year old was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2021 draft. Current projections has him as a 2024 major league pitcher.
He was in the starting rotation at UNC in 2021 and had a good year with a 3.71 ERA, and 129 strikeouts in 102 innings pitched. The Cardinals selected him in the draft in the third round and sent him to the Rookie Level baseball and proceeded to face 27 batters and fanned 13 of them.
Love throws and mid 80’s change-up that has heavy fade and is a potent weapon when facing left-handers. His fastball sits between 91 and 95 mph with little or no movement. His slider is also a mid 80’s pitch which is an effective third pitch.
#16 Alec Willis
Willis is a big 19 tear-old right pitcher. He stand 6’5 and 230 lbs. The Cardinals took him in the seventh round out of Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado. He was committed to the University of Minnesota. But a million dollar bonus did the trick.
He is a progress in work with his size, the projectability shows he will increase his pitching speed. Since he is at a young age, don’t be surprised if the organization takes it low for this pitching prospect, Currently, his STA is 2025 to reach the major leagues.
Cardinals Prospects #15-11
#15 Max Rajcic
This 21 year-old right handed pitcher came out of UCLA starting rotation where he should success. Though his is only 6’0″ 210 lbs., he never has shied away from being in the spotlight. The Cardinals liked that attribute and selected him in the sixth round and gave him a hefty signing bonus.
He is a four pitch pitcher that can throw up to 95 mph and averages around 91. He has the ability to throw high strikes and low strikes consistently His usable slider comes in the form of 80 mph and his change-up is thrown with conviction in the low 80’s.
With his ETA at 2025, Rajcic has time to get it all figured out, His size and demeanor is a reminder of Astros former hurler Roy Oswalt. He may run the risk of being a reliever in the future.
While none of Rajcic’s pitches grade out as plus, they play up because he can throw strikes at the top and the bottom of the zone very consistently. He’s super-competitive on the mound and has never shied away from the spotlight, something that likely appealed to the Cardinals, even if his size and delivery carry some reliever risk.
#14 Pete Hansen
He is a left handed hurler that is 6’2″ ans 205 lbs. The22 year-old is a classic pitcher although he had three years in a row of bad luck. He hurt his leg in high chool and registered few innings then a pandemic shutdown as a freshman at Texas.Then he go COVID and his numbers dipped further.
Then in 2021 he was looking good and the Cardinals took jim in the third round of the draft. His is not an overpowering hurler as his slider is 78-82 mph. However, it is very effective against lefties and a good pitch against right-handed batters. His curve has some movement and is effective at 72-76 mph. Hansen can spot his fastball as it comes in around 90 mph and scouts believe it is gaining velocity over the previous few seasons.The change-p has moderate sin and fade and is used primarily against right-handers. His simple and easy delivery along with his sneaky precision and speed shows him with 2025 hopes for the major leagues as a back of the end of rotation type.
#13 Inohan Pagiagua
He is a 22 year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic that is 248 lbs and 6’1′ who signed with the Cardinals in December of 2017.
He again was affected by the pandemic and had two seasons cut short. . In 2021, he made his debut at A-Palm Beach with 11 appearance from the bullpen and 5 starts. Hr fanned 62 in 4 innings and went tot he full time rotation and became the most dominant pitcher in the Florida State League.
He has a sinker that can average 92-93 but can get to 95-96 if needed. His curveball is his best pitch as it drops about just short of 5 feet and get most of his strikeouts with it. The change is about 85 mph to either side of the dish but is not reliable or effective yet. Without an effective change, his future is in the bullpen and if he can develop it, he is a major league starter with an ETA at 2024. Paniagua is Rule 5-eligible this upcoming off-season, so a decision is looming.
#12 Brycen Mautz
was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2022 draft. He is 6″3″ and 190 lbs at 21 years of age. He throws from the let side . He pitched at the University of San Diego and in te summer was in the Northwoods League. He was an effective starter as he always has had sing and miss stuff,
This past spring he stepped it up to a different level as he throws form a three-quarters arm slot with 90-95 mph stuff. He also is a ground ball inducing machine. The slider comes in the mid 80’s and he gets frequent strikeouts with it. The change-up is not thrown much but does fool hitters at times.
He is a frequent strike thrower and that has led to success. He cut his walk rate but some concern in the organization about his delivery. Once he shows repeatable delivery, he will be a legit starter. His ETA is 2025.
#11 Joshua Baez
is only 19 years old plays the infield with shortstop and second bas e for the most part. He was drafted in the second round of the 2021 draft. He 6’4″ and 220 lbs. which makes him a large infielder.
He likely move to second or third depending on the progress of Masyn Winn and the longevity of Nolan Arenado. He will test catchers with his baserunning skills. His skills at the plate help him move along the minor leagues. He has a 107 mph exit velocity.
Baez has been prone to swing for the fences often, worrying evaluators how much he’ll swing and miss in the pros. That was noticeable in the Florida Complex League, where Baez fanned 28 times in 95 plate appearances after signing, though early post-Draft performances can often be discounted coming off a long spring.
His ETA for the majors is 2025. This may mean he becomes a center fielder with a cannon arm.
NEXT UP: Part 3 Prospects #10-1
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