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Mailbag: Prospect Sleepers, Risers, and Technology

MiLB: JUN 23 Florida State League - Cardinals at Blue Jays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A little while back I put out post asking for mailbag questions and the response I got was wonderful, so thank you all for that. That ensures this will definitely happen again next month.

Before I jump into this, there are a few house cleaning things to take care of. First, I need a catchy name for this mailbag, so comment below if you have a name! Secondly, I only have space and time for a limited number of questions here, but I’ll be going back to answer others that were asked in the original post. So if you don’t see your question here, go back and check over the next couple days.

So, let’s open the mailbag.

Do you have any favorite sleeper prospects in the system right now? Say, a pitcher and a position player that you think could see their stock take a big jump in 2020? Jack’sSmirkingRevenge

This is a good one. The first player that comes to mind is the pitcher with rising stock, and that is Griffin Roberts. I’m not exactly going out on a ledge here with Roberts, but his stock is down because his career has had trouble getting off the ground. I think his stock may rise the most of anyone in the Cardinals farm system. As for hitters Trejyn Fletcher has the tools to rise, I hesitantly think Conner Capel will be on the upswing as well. Fletcher is toolsy and I swear every time I’ve seen Capel hit a ball it’s been loud contact...against right-handed pitching that is.

P.S. I know there was a call for stock trending downward too, but it’s the offseason, let me be positive.

Where do you see the 3rd base trio starting the season? Montero Memphis or Springfield? Nunez Peoria or lower? Gorman Palm Beach or Springfield? -Oldman51

The Cardinals have been fairly aggressive with Elehuris Montero to this point. Even though his 2019 was marred by injury, his participation in the Arizona Fall League and inclusion on the 40-man tell me that he should start the year in Memphis. As for Nolan Gorman, I think there is still some things left to do in Palm Beach. I would anticipate that he start the year there, but quickly find his way to Springfield. Malcom Nunez shined in the DSL then struggled stateside. I think it would be smart to keep him in Johnson City, but a super aggressive placement in Peoria wouldn’t totally shock me.

To recap, Montero to Memphis, Gorman to Palm Beach, Nunez to Johnson City to start the year if I were calling the shots.

Will Trackman technology change how prospects are evaluated/promoted/ ranked? -MattK

The simple answer here is that teams already have it and have for at least a couple years. I was working with the Toledo Mud Hens a couple years back and they were pulling spin rates of pitches. So yes, it does change it. The more information teams can have of their players the better and it will only improve how things are done. Baseball America’s recent rankings included exit velocities for hitters so if the rankers can get that information then it will be reflected in rankings as well. Evaluation will never stop, it will always be changing.

Who are you less excited about in our system than other prospect lists? -thp0344

One guy I’m generally lower on is Justin Williams. Partially because of the logjam he is up against, but also there is still some things left to be desired to me. The Cardinals have done a good job making some adjustments, but I see him as a platoon/pinch hitter against left-handed pitching at best for Williams. I hope I’m wrong, because there is certainly some really good talent there, but I don’t see him earning an everyday role as a Cardinal.

Does Gorman have a bad swing? -TeddyRugby

The extra information leading up to this had to do with his group at instructs. I will make sure to dedicate a post soon breaking down his swing in depth, but no he doesn’t have a bad swing. His bat speed and bat path are fantastic for bringing out his fantastic raw power. If anything I would say they might be focused on his approach. During his time in Johnson City in 2019 Gorman pulled the ball nearly 50 percent of the time, per Fangraphs. Strikeouts will come with his power, but his swing has a lot of nice parts to it. He’s still young, so his inclusion in a group could have to do with his approach or age, but likely not his swing.

Who hasn’t played in full season yet but could be a top five organization prospect by the end of 2020? -PN_Ben

Two names I like: Trejyn Fletcher and Patrick Romeri. Fletcher comes to mind because of how athletic and raw he is. There is still a long way for him to go, but if it all clicks there’s something special there. However, he gets plenty of love for that. Romeri generally doesn’t. Matt Thompson’s write up of him on the Prospects Live top 30 Cardinals prospect list is enough to excite anyone. According to trusted eyes Romeri has big power and can square up baseballs. He’s really a name whose stock I could see exploding quickly.

Thank you!

That is all I have for you this go round. I’ll be sure to do this again in a month! Make sure to check the comments on the old post because I’ll go back and answer them as I have time. And don’t forget to comment your name ideas!