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Gordon Graceffo is your #6 prospect. Vote on the seventh best here

Lot of players received a somewhat significant amount of votes, but it was not a close call.

St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Last week’s vote featured the biggest difference of opinion among readers, featuring five players who received at least 12% of the vote. But oddly, nobody but one was close to winning: Gordon Graceffo. Graceffo fell in the prospect rankings, being voted as the 4th best prospect last year. Which makes sense as he was a top 100 prospect last season and I’m not sure any site still calls him that. That leaves the rankings at:

  1. Masyn Winn
  2. Tink Hence
  3. Victor Scott II
  4. Tekoah Roby
  5. Thomas Saggese
  6. Gordon Graceffo

Throughout most of this feature, I have added two players, with one player being the highest ranked from last week’s top 20 and the other being a player where I can’t even guess where they’d rank. I can’t guess where they’d rank, because they were, for one reason or another, not part of the picture last year. Last week, I picked the highest ranked and another player on the top 20 who was more or less the best left on the list. This week, I’m giving you two players of the unknown variety: Adam Kloffenstein and Max Rajcic.

I forgot that I had a scouting section last year, and the reason for that was simple: I had no stats to share for Cooper Hjerpe. I ended up adding them this time because I realized most people probably don’t know the scouting of Rajcic, and they couldn’t easily look if they tried. He has no scouting grades on Fangraphs because he wasn’t on their list. I checked The Cardinal Nation and luckily, he was one of the free access players. So since I added him, I’m adding everyone’s, and they are from Fangraphs

Joshua Baez (OF) - 21-years-old

Last year’s ranking: #11

Stats (Low A): 358 PAs, .218/.341/.383, 12.6 BB%, 34.1 K%, .164 ISO, .337 BABIP, 101 wRC+

Scouting: 20/40 Hit, 20/60 Game Power, 60/70 Raw Power, 50/40 Speed, 40/50 Fielding

One thing I forgot about adding Joshua Baez to a vote maybe earlier than he needs to be added: I really only have one paragraph’s worth of things to write about Baez. Has a lot of power potential. But for now, he strikes out too much and he’ll probably never not strike out a lot, but the key to his future is figuring out a way to balance the power he is ultimately capable of reaching with managing to make contact just enough to form a good hitter.

Ian Bedell (SP) - 24-years-old

LR: Unranked (I had him 16th)

Stats (High A): 27 G (19 GS), 96 IP, 27.2 K%, 8.7 BB%, 39.3 GB%, 2.44 ERA/3.50 FIP/3.72 xFIP

Scouting: 40/40 FB, 55/60 CB, 40/50 CH, 35/60 Command

Bedell started the year in relief and while it was presumably a strategy to keep his innings down, he dominated so thoroughly that he would have forced a move to the rotation anyway. The Cardinals never got around to promoting him to Springfield, and this is what I would call an important year for him as a prospect. It’s sink or swim. Tough hitter’s league, not young for the level, has to perform.

Leonardo Bernal (C) - 20-years-old

LR: #11

Stats (Low A): 323 PAs, .265/.381/.362, 15.2 BB%, 17 K%, .097 ISO, .319 BABIP, 111 wRC+

Scouting: 20/50 Hit, 20/40 Game Power, 40/45 Raw Power, 40/40 Speed, 35/55 Fielding

Speaking of players who had a good argument for promotion, Bernal spent all of 2023 in Low A. The fact that he was 19-years-old probably had a good deal to do with it. Not even Yadier Molina was in High A at 19-years-old. But still, he could maybe have forced the issue more. He barely improved offensively despite repeating.

Won-Bin Cho (OF) - 20-years-old

LR: #15

Stats (Low A): 452 PAs, .270/.376/.389, 14.2 BB%, 21.7 K%, .119 ISO, .341 BABIP, 114 wRC+

Scouting: 30/40 Hit, 35/55 Game Power 50/60 Raw Power, 50/50 Speed, 30/50 Fielding

I thought his placement on a top 20 list was premature. But he did deliver. Or rather, he essentially repeated his rookie league numbers at a higher level. But there’s a difference between an 18-year-old with a 118 wRC+ in rookie ball and a 19-year-old with a 114 wRC+ in Low A.

He’s theoretically got power upside, though it has been in hibernation so far. But he has shown a good eye and cut his K rate at a more advanced level. The next step is power.

Chase Davis (OF) - 22-years-old

LYR: Not in organization

Stats (Low A): 131 PAs, .212/.366/.269, 19.1 BB%, 26 K%, .058 ISO, .310 BABIP, 91 wRC+

Scouting: 30/50 Hit, 35/55 Game Power, 55/60 Raw Power, 50/50 Speed, 30/50 Fielding

Much like Baez, there’s only so many ways I can write the same thought. Davis started his professional career slowly, though not without some positives (BB rate), however most of the reason he would place on this list is the same reason he’s a 1st rounder: his scouting.

Cooper Hjerpe (SP) - 23-years-old

LYR: #7

Stats (High A): 10 G (8 GS), 41 IP, 29.8 K%, 14.6 BB%, 43.2 GB%, 3.51 ERA/5.68 FIP/4.16 xFIP

AFL: 7 G, 8.1 IP, 40.5 K%, 16.2 BB%, 4.32 ERA

Scouting: 45/45 FB, 55/60 SL, 50/55 CH, 35/55 Command

Hjerpe didn’t really quell his detractors in 2023. He has reliever risk and injury concerns and.... he got injured and walked a bunch of guys. He does have the fairly high floor of being a probable good MLB reliever, but he was obviously drafted with the eye towards starting. And maybe he can. In his last four starts, he struck out 29% of batters and walked just 10% for a 1.54 ERA. I feel like he has to repeat High A, but he’ll probably get promoted very quickly if he pitches well.

Adam Kloffenstein (SP) - 23-years-old

Stats (AA): 17 GS, 89 IP, 27.6 K%, 8.9 BB%, 51.3 GB%, 3.24 ERA/3.47 FIP/3.37 xFIP

AAA: 9 (8 GS), 39 IP, 21.2 K%, 12.7 BB%, 45.2 GB%, 3.00 ERA/5.78 FIP/5.60 xFIP

Scouting: 45/45 FB, 60/60 SL, 45/50 CH, 45/50 Command

As you can see, Kloffenstein had seem to figure out AA, so the Cardinals chose to promote him. He did not pitch particularly well, though given the run environment, not as bad as it looks. I see it as the Cardinals wanting him to get a head start on the difficulties of AAA. He had already made 35 AA starts, and his numbers were very good in the current season. Hopefully, he hasn’t hit a wall in AAA and instead manages to make the adjustment.

Michael McGreevy (SP) - 23-years-old

LYR: #9

Stats (AA): 3 GS, 18.2 IP, 22.5 K%, 1.4 BB%, 67.3 GB%, 1.45 ERA/2.30 FIP/3.22 xFIP

AAA: 24 GS, 134.1 IP, 18 K%, 6.2 BB%, 52.4 GB%, 4.49 ERA/4.52 FIP/4.37 xFIP

Scouting: 40/45 FB, 55/60 SL, 45/50 CB, 40/55 CH, 55/60 Command

From a statistical point of view, McGreevy only really has one stat you can argue with: K%. He was above average at an extreme hitter’s league at just 22-years-old. But his strikeout percentage wasn’t high. If you can’t strike out AAA hitters, you can’t strike out MLB hitters. But also, he can still raise that K%. Adjusting and improving to AAA suggests he can do the same at the majors.

Max Rajcic (SP) - 22-years-old

LYR: Unranked

Stats (Low A): 12 GS, 62 IP, 28.6 K%, 3.8 BB%, 36.2 GB%, 1.89 ERA/3.08 FIP/3.50 xFIP

High A: 11 GS, 61.1 IP, 21.9 K%, 7.2 BB%, 36.4 GB%, 3.08 ERA/3.21 FIP/4.02 xFIP

Scouting (via TCN): 45/50 FB, 40/45 SL, 55/60 CB, 50/55, CH, 50/60 Command

I’m not entirely sure if Rajcic will start the year in AA, but that would be pretty aggressive. Despite being both a college pitcher and in the same draft as Cooper Hjerpe (who is 23), Racjic was actually drafted at 20-years-old, so kind of similar to McGreevy, the age has to somewhat be taken into account with his performance.

Sem Robberse (SP) - 22-years-old

LYR: Not in organization

Stats (AA): 18 GS, 88.2 IP, 23.1 K%, 8.9 BB%, 42.7 GB%, 4.06 ERA/4.61 FIP/4.12 xFIP

AAA: 8 G (7 GS), 26.2 K%, 14.3 BB%, 38.9 GB%, 4.84 ERA/5.58 FIP/4.84 xFIP

Scouting: 40/45 FB, 50/55 CB, 55/60 CH, 40/45 Cutter, 35/60 Command

Robberse had less of an argument for promotion to AAA though he ended up pitching better. He was merely fine instead of good in AA, but because a few extra homers, that’s kind of how he pitched in AAA too. Though the shape of that was much different. He pitched terribly for his first four games, and pretty great for his last four. Hopefully, the last four indicate he’s going to have a breakout season.

We got a bit more wide open of a race, or so it seems, for this vote.

Poll

Who is the Cardinals #7 prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Joshua Baez
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Ian Bedell
    (33 votes)
  • 5%
    Leonardo Bernal
    (39 votes)
  • 7%
    Won-Bin Cho
    (58 votes)
  • 21%
    Chase Davis
    (156 votes)
  • 24%
    Cooper Hjerpe
    (178 votes)
  • 4%
    Adam Kloffenstein
    (31 votes)
  • 21%
    Michael McGreevy
    (160 votes)
  • 2%
    Max Rajcic
    (20 votes)
  • 8%
    Sem Robberse
    (61 votes)
741 votes total Vote Now