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St. Louis Cardinals prospects: Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver pitching well in the Arizona Fall League

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While we would much rather be focused on the big-league Cardinals in the World Series, it is still nice to see top prospects like Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver pitching well in the Fall League.

Dennis Sievers/Peoria Chiefs

Just five days ago, the red baron briefed us on the St. Louis Cardinals representatives (eight in total) in the Arizona Fall League. Since then, the sample sizes haven't grown all that much, but it is still promising to see that top pitching prospects Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver have had solid performances up to this point. It would be nice if I was to still writing about the big-league Cardinals competing in the World Series, but positive reports from the Fall League should not be underappreciated because these prospects represent a very bright future for the team. For four or five of the Cardinals representatives (Reyes, Weaver, Dean KiekheferAledmys Diaz, and Mike Ohlman), the "future" could be as soon as next season.

Pitcher G GS IP H K BB ERA
Alex Reyes 3 3 11.2 9 12 7 0.77
Luke Weaver 3 0 8.1 2 10 2 1.08

We already know quite a bit about Reyes as he is widely considered the organization's top prospect, but despite being a first rounder coupled with a stellar 2015 campaign (2.28 FIP in 105.1 High-A IP), Weaver seems to still be flying under the radar a little bit. Sure, Reyes finished the 2015 minor league season one rung higher than Weaver on the organizational ladder (Double-A Springfield versus High-A Palm Beach), but this can largely be attributed to the fact that Weaver had to deal with a shoulder injury early in the season. In case you are not familiar with what Weaver throws, Jeff Moore, while he was still writing for Baseball Prospectus, penned a positive review of the 22-year-old righty's repertoire and concluded that Weaver "should be able to remain a starter."

With the big-league starting rotation currently full for 2016 (Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia, Marco Gonzales, Tim Cooney), I wouldn't expect either one of these pitchers to make a starting rotation splash next season. While exciting, both definitely need further polishing, especially Reyes and his walk rate. Then again, general manager John Mozeliak has already put it on record this offseason that Reyes is "knocking on the door" of the big leagues. And to be honest, there is an outside shot of seeing Weaver toe the rubber at Busch Stadium next season as well, but that largely depends on the way Mozeliak constructs the 2016 bullpen.

Fall League Reports

Reyes

I reached out to Alex for his thoughts on the Fall League experience thus far, and this is what he had to say, "The fall for me just has been a great experience. The hitters here are very good. Good approaches and it's a challenge. In all honesty, our entire team is just fun to be a part of. And the talent we have in the clubhouse is unreal and really humbling. It's an awesome experience." And don't worry, I made sure to ask him about MLB Pipeline's/Gameday's classification of his "fastball" clocking in at 91 MPH on the low end: "Yeah, that [pitch] is a changeup." For perspective, Trevor Rosenthal's changeup averages a tick over 88 MPH while Jaime Garcia's sinker is in the 90-91 MPH range. That's just filthy.

Weaver

For a scouting profile on Weaver, I recommend reading Bernie Pleskoff's piece on him from two days ago. While I am not nearly as optimistic as Pleskoff is regarding Weaver's mechanics, the news that Weaver has found a new grip for a slider is welcome development. Already known for having a good fastball and an "outstanding" changeup, the quest was on for a consistent breaking ball. If he is able to command this new slider, as I said earlier, don't be surprised if we see Weaver come out of the MLB bullpen late in 2016.

The future is most definitely bright. Is it time for the 2016 season to start yet?