I was very afraid of another tie, with four players receiving between 20% and 24%. But coming out of nowhere quite honestly, Won-Bin Cho had the highest percentage with 24%. To the best of my memory, he hasn’t really gotten many votes up until this point - so this surprised the hell out of me. But I suspect it somewhat has to do with marketing. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a peek at his twitter, but he runs a pitch perfect athlete twitter account, complete with highlights and pictures of his dog. But whatever he does in 2023 statistically will probably impact his prospect ranking in the future more than good marketing. Here are the rankings so far:
- Jordan Walker
- Masyn Winn
- Tink Hence
- Gordon Graceffo
- Alec Burleson
- Ivan Herrera
- Cooper Hjerpe
- Matthew Liberatore
- Michael McGreevy
- Moises Gomez
- Joshua Baez
- Leonardo Bernal
- Jonathan Mejia
- Connor Thomas
- Won-Bin Cho
I’ve mentioned before that I like to pick guys earlier than maybe I would otherwise if I have no real parallel on how many votes they’ll get. I ran a reliever poll earlier in this process and Ryan Loutos, currently on the list, got the most votes. In second place was Jake Walsh. But Guillmero Zuniga was not far behind him and well, I ran that poll before Zuniga garnered some national attention with his play in the WBC. I don’t know how much that changed things for voters, so he goes on the list.
Ian Bedell (SP) - 23-years-old
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 MLB Draft, 122nd overall
Stats (Complex + Low A): 5.2 IP, 34.5 K%, 10.3 BB%, 53.3 GB%, 3.17 ERA/1.75 FIP/1.99 xFIP
Scouting: 40/45 Fastball, 55/60 Curve, 40/50 Change, 35/60 Command
I mentioned in the last post that we didn’t know anything about Bedell’s progress, but well that’s not true anymore. According to John Denton, he threw a scoreless inning in a minor league spring training game. In fact, he struck out the side. So for now, he’s healthy. I perhaps have a bit too much optimism for Bedell given he looked very good in his rehab innings and now he’s striking the side in minor league spring training games. Also, I really really am very greedy about that 2020 draft. Not enough for Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, and Alec Burleson to pan out. Give me a capable starting pitcher too. Is that too much to ask for?
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
I’m very excited to get a full season on Crooks III in High A. Actually, if things go really well, he may play in AA by the end of the season. Certainly not something to expect though. But only doing what he did in 96 PAs is the one knock against him and getting 300-400 PAs at a higher level will tell us more about him than his performance in Low A. Which is why I’m excited.
Pete Hansen (SP) - 22-years-old
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2022 Draft, 97th overall
Stats (College): 107.2 IP, 27.7 K%, 4.4 BB%, .230 BAA, 3.76 ERA
Scouting (TCN): Pete Hansen: 40/45 FB, 50/60 SL, 45/55 CB, 40/50 CH, 50/60 command
I mentioned this in the last vote, but the one thing that sticks out about Hansen to me is that he has four pitches graded by Blake Newberry at TCN. The other two 2022 draftees who have fallen on this list have only gotten three pitches rated and that’s most likely because that’s all the pitches they’ve needed in college. Hansen flashed enough to have three off-speed pitches with above average potential and because he’s a Cardinal pitching prospect not named Tink Hence, a below average fastball.
Ryan Loutos (RP) - 24-years-old
Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent in July 2021
Stats (AAA): 27 IP, 22.1 K%, 9.2 BB%, 52.8 GB%, .471 BABIP, 6.33 ERA, 4.73 FIP, 3.91 xFIP
Scouting: 60/60 Fastball, 45/50 Curve, 60/60 Command
Loutos followed the path of Kodi Whitley, which is maybe not a comparison that will help him on this list. But he went undrafted in a 20 round draft - Whitley was drafted after the 20th round back when more rounds existed. He started his season in High A and finished in AAA, just like Whitley in 2019. Whitley later made his MLB debut in 2020 though there were some extenuating circumstances that aren’t going to be there for Loutos. But still, Cards fast track players who they believe him, and he was very fast fracked. Loutos is also a year ahead of Whitley - Whitley was 25 in the 2020 season.
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
Love is in a situation where I would say 2023 is almost his make-or-break season. He was an old draftee and mostly didn’t pitch the year he was drafted. So last year, at age 23, was basically his first professional season. This is the downside to drafting 22-years-olds. They run out of time really quickly. He’ll be 24 in AA, which is not young, but it won’t matter if he can immediately figure out AA hitting. He’ll have earned his prospect status if he does, because Springfield is not an easy place to pitch.
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
In case you hadn’t noticed, I struggle with what to say about players who were just drafted who have no stats. Mautz is a hopeful starter whose fastball/slider combo should make him about as safe a bet to land in an MLB bullpen if the whole starting thing doesn’t work out. At least as safe of a bet as a guy who hasn’t thrown a professional inning can get. I’m excited to see stats for these guys though because that’s my bread and butter, not the scouting.
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
Comparing Panigua with Love is interesting. They’re both basically as old as they can be at the level they are expected to pitch and still plausibly be called a prospect. Love was drafted at 22, and that’s essentially why he’s in the position he’s in. Panigua is in the position he’s in, because of 2020. He had made it to short season A ball in 2019, though did not do well, but it’s likely he pitches some innings in Low A if the 2020 minor league season happened. It’s at least likely he doesn’t get limited to 46.1 IP in Low A in 2021, which is part of the reason (I think) that he repeated Low A and wasn’t promoted to High A despite a 2.18 ERA in 17 starts (though the advanced stats are not quite as impressive)
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
Here’s your obligatory mention of Scott II stealing 13 bases to 3 caught stealing in his 31 games played. Which if you’re not a master of quick math, is a pace that would give him 63 stolen bases over 150 games. So the speed is there and given speed, you have to imagine the defense is also there, which leaves his questionable hit tool. Hopefully, he doesn’t struggle too much with the bat.
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
Willis was an upside play in the 7th round and he hasn’t really pitched very much since he was drafted. That’s primarily due to injury. I’m hopeful the Cards are high enough on Willis to send him to Low A so we can see what he’s really made of, though I wouldn’t expect him to arrive in April or maybe May given his likely innings limit. They may give him the Tink Hence treatment in fact.
Guillermo Zuñiga (RP) - 24-years-old
Acquired: Signed as a free agent in December 2022
Stats (AA): 48 G, 54.2 IP, 27.4 K%, 12.4 BB%, 38.6 GB%, .267 BABIP, 4.77 ERA/5.95 FIP/4.85 xFIP
Scouting: 70/70 Fastball, 55/55 Slider, 40/40 Change, 30/30 Command
You are not going to put him on this list based off his stats. You may vote for him based on the fact that he struck out Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, and then got Nolan Arenado to weakly ground out. He actually repeated AA and pitched worse than he had in 2021. Hopefully, something has changed in between when he pitched in AA and now. It’s the same conundrum as Connor Thomas, except we have less data on Zuñiga than we did on Thomas and it’s more based on just how good his pitches actually are.
Who is the #16 prospect?
This poll is closed
Ian Bedell, SP
Jimmy Crooks III, C
Pete Hansen, SP
Ryan Loutos, RP
Austin Love, SP
Brycen Mautz, SP
Inohan Panigua, SP
Victor Scott II, OF
Alec Willis, SP