We are speeding right along. I’m going to squeeze in another vote today. It’s been a while since you guys have been predictable, but I probably would have put money on Brycen Mautz being selected for the #17 prospect. He had made a huge jump recently and the only hurdle was that Jimmy Crooks III wasn’t yet selected. Once he was off the board, it was clear for Mautz. That leaves the rankings at:
- 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
- Jimmy Crooks III
- Brycen Mautz
Unless somebody objects, I will not be adding any more starting pitchers from the 2022 draft. It’s clear from the voting that there hasn’t been a ton of enthusiasm for pitchers not named Cooper Hjerpe and I severely doubt anybody past the 5th round would get any real support. That’s great, Gabe, but who you adding? I am once again going to go the cautious route and pick someone who doesn’t have a parallel. Though how I will write about him, I’m not sure. That’s recent international signing, Reiner Lopez. We’ve had a couple pitchers without stats, but not really anybody with zero stats whatsoever. At least the college guys have, well college stats.
Mike Antico (OF) - 25-years-old
Acquired: Drafted in the 8th round of the 2021 Draft, 241st overall
Stats (High A): 321 PAs, .255/.358/.405, 12.8 BB%, 23.7 K%, .150 ISO, .330 BABIP, 116 wRC+
Stats (AA): 275 PAs, .233/.327/.383, 10.9 BB%, 24.4 K%, .150 ISO, .289 BABIP, 85 wRC+
It occurred to me as I was writing this that we aren’t actually sure where Antico will be sent. As you can see from above, he didn’t hit particularly well in AA. And he did get sent to the AFL as a testing ground, but if his performance there is any indication, he will repeat AA to begin the year. He batted .200/.347/.457, which sounds way more impressive than it is - I mean the average doesn’t, but the OBP is below average if you can believe it too. The average OBP in the AFL is .361. He did have a lot of power though (average slugging - .410)
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
One thing I’m extremely curious about is how many innings the Cardinals want Bedell to throw this year. This may be solved by small injuries throughout the year. But if he’s relatively healthy for the entire season, are they going to manage his innings? He threw barely any innings the past two seasons. He’s not exactly a high school draftee ala Tink Hence or Alec Willis, so it’s not a given they’ll treat him with kid gloves. But will he throw over 100 innings if he can? That is what I’m curious about.
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
Hansen went to Texas, so those stats were against pretty good college competition. I imagine he’ll go straight to High A, with Hjerpe. It is interesting that his K/BB numbers are basically elite but he had a 3.76 ERA. I mean that’s a lot of strikeouts and not many walks and a not particularly good ERA? Not bad, mind you, but not one that catches your attention.
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
I don’t know how many OOTP fans there are, but I don’t usually like playing with the Cards because I never like the ratings. Why do I bring this up? Because Ryan Loutos doesn’t grade well in the newest edition released yesterday. When I say doesn’t grade well, I mean 2 stars with 2 stars potential. I get excited about the players I like and I am inevitably disappointed when it highly disagrees with me. That’s probably an accurate reading objectively given the information they have, but ideally you only have 2.5 stars.
Reiner Lopez (SP) - 16-years-old
Lopez is 6’8 at 16-years-old and I think I’ll just share what Blake Newberry said about him when he shared the news of his signing:
“One thing that jumps out to me is that he sits 89-93 already and with his weight listed at just 196 pounds, it’s east to project some extra velocity on him. But the thing that stands out the most is right at the beginning of the scouting report. “He features a three quarters to over-the-top arm slot and a simple repeatable delivery.” Most 16 year olds don’t have repeatable deliveries and especially not 6’8” 16 years old who have a lot of extra length on their limbs to coordinate.”
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 was drafted at 22-years-old and didn’t pitch in the year he was drafted. Which means last year and last year’s stats are pretty much the only information we have for Love. This is good and bad. It’s good because he went straight to High A and showed enough for a promotion to AA. It’s bad because he was extremely hittable. That won’t get easier at Springfield.
Inohan Paniagua (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
The thing about Paniagua that I struggle with is the innings pitched jump. The Cards are usually very cautious about innings pitched. See how they treated Tink Hence and that no college draftee starting pitcher pitched last year. But Paniagua jumped from 46.2 IP to 137.2 IP, nearly a 100 IP jump. I can’t really make sense of it, especially since his High A stats weren’t especially good, possibly suggesting he was wearing down or he just had trouble at a higher level. We’ll maybe get a glimpse based on how he pitches in 2023.
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
Scott is a speed and defensen guy whose main question is his bat, something we probably won’t learn until he’s at levels closer to the majors leagues. An extremely encouraging thing, a thing that will be more difficult if he doesn’t show a good hit tool, is his patience. He is willing to take a walk. Pitchers will challenge him more if they aren’t at least a little afraid of him, especially if he’s going to steal when he reaches first base.
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
I’m hopeful that Willis can take a similar jump as Hence. No, I’m not hopeful that Willis will become a top 100 prospect - I think Hence was a little higher rated than Willis is currently. A similar jump will not make him a top 100 prospect. He’s also farther away from the big leagues at the same age. But if he can quickly learn to adjust to Low A, I think he could really jump in the prospect rankings.
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
It’s kind of cool to get a first-hand scouting report from Zuñiga before we actually see him in the big leagues. We got to see him pitch against MLB caliber hitters in important games and we have a little bit more information on him than we do for a pitcher in his position who didn’t get to play in the World Baseball Classic. I just think that’s really cool.
Who is the #18 prospect?
This poll is closed
Mike Antico, OF
Ian Bedell, SP
Pete Hansen, SP
Reiner Lopez, RHP
Austin Love, SP
Ryan Loutos, RP
Inohan Paniagua, SP
Victor Scott II, OF
Alec Willis, SP
Guillermo Zuñiga, RP