I did not want to assume that Leonardo Bernal would win since 75% of the people didn’t vote for him for the #11 prospect, but I very well could have. He easily won the vote. We have returned to sort of a free-for-all as far as I see it with one player receiving 18%, one receiving 17%, and the rest under 10%. This puts the results, to date, looking like this:
- Jordan Walker
- Masyn Winn
- Tink Hence
- Gordon Graceffo
- Alec Burleson
- Ivan Herrera
- Cooper Hjerpe
- Matthew Liberatore
- Michael McGreevy
- Moises Gomez
- Joshua Baez
- Leonardo Bernal
When it came down to picking who to add to the vote it was really quite simple. I had five players on my mind, and all of them had a player in the previous vote who I could look at, see how well they did in the vote, and use it to pick a player. For four of those players, the players I was looking at combined for 19 total votes. The fifth player’s comparison point - which was a weak one admittedly - was 2022 draft pick Jimmy Crooks III. He had 20 votes. The choice was clear. Victor Scott II is getting added in this vote for two reasons. Because of Crooks III, but also because there hasn’t really been a comparable player to Scott so far. So the range of what you guys might do with such a player is wider.
Here’s the obligatory mention of how the scouting grades work. Scouting is graded on a 20 to 80 scale, with 50 being average. 40 is one standard deviation below average, 60 is one above. It’s meant to grade the rarity of their skill in that category. You’ll see two numbers, the first of which is their scouting grade right now and the second number is their potential. It’s meant to show where they are now, and how close they are to reaching their potential.
I’ll use Jordan Walker as an example again, because it’s fun. His actual power is graded at 55 right now and his potential is 80. 55 is marginally above average power and 80 is Aaron Judge. You will not see any 80s in any category moving forward.
Won-Bin Cho (OF) - 19-years-old
Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent out of South Korea in January 2022
Stats (Complex): 100 PAs, .211/.400/.316, 20 BB%, 27 K%, .105 ISO, .313 BABIP, 118 wRC+
Scouting: 20/40 Hit, 25/55 Game Power, 45/60 Raw Power, 40/40 Speed, 35/50 Fielding
This is where prospects become prospects. Cho had a good sampling of games in the complex league. Didn’t have much power, but had a ton of patience. He has a lot of power potential, which he doesn’t really need to show in 2023 to still be a good prospect. But what he probably needs to do is perform at Low A. And 18-year-old doing well in the complex leagues is interesting, a 19-year-old performing well is someone to pay attention to.
Jimmy Crooks III (C) - 21-years-old
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round of the 2022 Draft, 127th overall
Stats (Low A): 96 PAs, .266/.396/.468, 12.5 BB%, 22.9 K%, .203 ISO, .333 BABIP, 149 wRC+
Scouting (TCN): 35/55 Hit, 40/60 Power, 35/50 Field, 55/55 Arm, 40/40 Speed
With some prospects, you might need to do a bit more dreaming. They have some tool that hasn’t shown up, maybe the stats haven’t. With Crooks III, you don’t really have that issue. It’s easy enough to see the good version of him. It’s not exactly the 2022 version - that’s too good to imagine - but the basic idea is there. And that he did at 20-years-old is ever so slightly more impressive than if he was your typical 21-year-old college draftee. Which is probably why the Cards like the “young for your class” prospect more than most.
Austin Love (SP) - 24-years-old
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2021 MLB Draft, 90th overall
Stats (High A): 25 GS, 125.2 IP, 26.8 K%, 9.2 BB%, 47.3 GB%, .366 BABIP, 5.73 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 3.79 xFIP
Scouting: 50/50 Fastball, 55/55 Slider, 40/50 Change, 45/55 Command
I mentioned above that the 2023 season could be an important step in Won-Bin Cho’s evolution as a prospect, just by virtue of his age and his possible landing spots, supposing he adjusts reasonably well to the higher level. Well it’s the opposite with Love I think. Given his age and his probable landing spot, he pretty much needs to pitch well. And given his advanced stats in High A, one would expect him to adjust well to a harder level.
Brycen Mautz (SP) - 21-years-old
Acquired: 2nd round of the 2022 MLB Draft, 59th overall
Stats (College): 15 GS, 90.2 IP, 129 Ks, 22 BBs, .256 BAA, 3.87 ERA
Scouting (TCN): 45/55 Fastball, 50/60 Slider, 35/50 Change, 55/60 Command
Since this is the first player with the TCN after scouting, I must share that it’s fellow writer Blake Newberry’s scouting of Mautz from The Cardinal Nation website. You can see that he’s very close to being an MLB reliever with two pitches near MLB ready, but with his command and potential for a third average pitch, it’s also easy to see starting pitcher in his future. And he’ll likely remain a starter, barring hiccups, for most of his minor league career.
Jonathan Mejia (SS) - 18-years-old
Acquired: Signed as amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in January 2022
Stats (DSL): 208 PAs, .267/.418/.479, 15.9 BB%, 23.1 K%, .212 ISO, .348 BABIP, 145 wRC+
Scouting: 25/60 Hit, 20/45 Game Power, 30/45 Raw Power, 55/55 Speed, 40/55 Fielding
In the original vote, I only added the top 100 prospects - that is the players who were on a top 100 list. After that, Jonathan Mejia was one of two players I added. So he’s been on these lists for a while at this point and this is probably the first real chance he has of actually getting off the voting. Mejia is similar to Cho in that if he plays at Low A and does reasonably, his prospect status will rise. Only Mejia is a year younger than Cho and looks like a future above average defender at SS.
Freddy Pacheco (RP) - 25-years-old
Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in November 2017
Stats (AAA): 33.2 IP, 32.6 K%, 9.1 BB%, 36.6 GB%, .205 BABIP, 2.41 ERA/2.97 FIP/3.92 xFIP
Scouting: 70/70 Fastball, 55/60 Slider, 30/40 Command
I suppose there is some doubt that Pacheco will pitch at the MLB level. There normally wouldn’t be, but the Cardinals have a lot of pitchers and it’s going to be tough to crack the MLB. But usually you need every possible pitcher at some point. And since Pacheco is already on the 40 man, I think the question is less “will we see Pacheco at the MLB level?” and more “how much will we see of Pacheco in the MLB?” His AAA performance could go a long way towards determining that.
Inohan Panigua (SP) - 23-years-old
Acquired: Signed out of the Dominican Republic in December 2017
Stats (Low A): 99 IP, 26.9% K%, 5.8 BB%, 43.7 GB%, .272 BABIP, 2.18 ERA/3.01 FIP/3.62 xFIP
Scouting: 35/40 Fastball, 55/60 Curveball, 40/50 Change, 35/60 Command
Two things I find really strange about Panigua as a prospect. The first is that they had him repeat Low A. The Cardinals are usually pretty aggressive with their prospects and Panigua was kept at Low A after a solid season. That said, he also pitched most of 2021 in the bullpen. The other strange thing was that they increased his workload A LOT, and they’re usually careful about that. He went from 46.1 IP to 137.2 IP. And to my knowledge, he didn’t play winter ball either.
Victor Scott II (OF) - 22-years-old
Acquired: Drafted in the 5th round of the 2022 MLB Draft, 157th overall
Stats (Low A): 142 PAs, .222/.358/.389, 16.9 BB%, 18.3 K%, .167 ISO, .262 BABIP, 115 wRC+
Scouting (TCN): 35/50 hit, 35/45 power, 55/65 field, 50/50 arm, 70/70 run
I don’t make it a habit to point out the stolen bases, because most of the time, it’s not really moving the needle on a prospect. But I would be remiss not to mention that Scott II has 13 stolen bases to 3 caught stealing in his professional debut. A guy with the plate approach - so far anyway - get on base - and a propensity for stealing is a fun combo. Not to mention the defense. While the speed and defense are probably semi-reliable for the future (aside from how hard it is to grade defense), how will his bat hold up upon promotion will be more important for his future career.
Connor Thomas (SP) - 25-years-old
Acquired: 5th round of 2019 MLB Draft, 155th overall
Stats (AAA): 25 GS, 135 IP, 17.9 K%, 6.5 BB%, 51 GB%, 5.47 ERA/4.53 FIP/4.29 xFIP
Scouting (TCN): 40/45 Fastball, 50/55 Change, 55/60 Slider, 50/55 Cutter, 55/60 Command
Thomas struck out over 30% of the batters he faced in the AFL and walked less than 5% of batters. Compare that to his AAA stats and you may be confused. AAA is probably harder, but not that much harder to explain those stats. And this was in a hitting happy environment with an average OBP of about .360. He used a cutter he recently learned, but only began to trust. But as I’ve said many times, it’s all about to 25 innings versus the rest of his minor leaguer career.
Alec Willis (SP) - 20-years-old
Acquired: 7th round of 2021 MLB Draft, 211th overall
Stats (Complex): 6 G, 11.1 IP, 34.8 K%, 4.3 BB%, 42.9 GB%, 1.59 ERA/2.94 FIP/2.28 xFIP
Scouting: 40/50 Fastball, 45/55 Curve, 30/50 Change, 20/50 Command
While a lot of the prospects around this range have sample size issues - while it’s better to have a bigger sample if you want to be a top ten prospect, it’s almost better to have less chance to disappoint in this range. But aside from the 2022 pitchers, none have less innings to use than Alec Willis. But it was a very, very good 11.1 innings that he threw. Hopefully, the Cardinals think he’s ready for Low A, although I doubt the sample size issue will go away: he’s going to have an innings limit.
Who is the #13 prospect?
This poll is closed
Won-Bin Cho, OF
Jimmy Crooks III, C
Austin Love, SP
Byrcen Mautz, SP
Jonathan Mejia, SS
Freddy Pacheco, RP
Inohan Panigua, SP
Victor Scott II, OF
Connor Thomas, SP
Alec Willis, SP