The St. Louis Cardinals entered the year with multiple top end prospects including Jordan Walker, who started the year in the MLB and Masyn Winn who is teammates with Walker at the AAA level. Despite their pedigree though, neither have been breakout stars this season. Both are sub .240 hitters and they’ve combined for only 7 homers between the two of them and have been outperformed by the teams eighth best prospect. Down below we are going to review who that is and who else has gotten off to a hot start.
(Stats as of May 22nd)
Ivan Herrera - C - AAA
2023 stats - .271/.400/.467, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 21 BB, 29 K
Amongst Walker, Winn, Moises Gomez and Herrera (the four top 30 Cards prospects who are hitters at the AAA level) Herrera has the highest average, on base percentage, slugging percentage and the most doubles. That in it of itself makes it a breakout year for Herrera, but when digging a bit deeper the numbers look better. His walk percentage is up 2.5 percent, his isolated slugging percentage has jumped .068 and his wOBA is up .040. A big part of the reason for his success this season is his line drive percentage is up 11.7 percent and his ground ball rate is down four percent. With how much turmoil there has been at the catching position for the Cards this season expect to see Herrera in the bigs at some point soon.
Leonardo Bernal - C - A
2023 stats - .297/.400/.396, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 16 BB, 19 K
Another breakout catcher for the Cards, Bernal is tearing the cover off of the ball. In just 29 games the 2021 international signee already has four more walks than he did last season in 45 games. His slugging has taken a bit of a step back this season as it’s dipped .059 points from last season, but with his improvement in both his average and plate discipline it’s much more palatable. Bernal does seem to have made an effort to use all parts of the field as well as his pull percentage has gone 7.9 percent this season.
Victor Scott ll - OF - A+
2023 stats - .276/.357/.428, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 13 BB, 32 K
The numbers don’t jump off of the page as a true breakout season, but Scott ll has certainly improved his stock as a prospect. Despite moving up a level, we’ve seen his average increase .054 from last season, how wRC+ has gone up 10 this season and he has 31 stolen bases in just 37 games. Last season he had “only” 13 in 31 games. Additionally, he was caught three times on just 16 attempts, this season he’s only been caught twice on 33 tries. Stolen bases alone aren’t enough to catapult a prospects stock, but the increase in average and wRC+ as well certainly helps.