The Cardinals certainly have a lot of work ahead of them this offseason to rebuild their roster into one that can compete for a playoff spot in 2024 -- namely filling three empty lots in the starting rotation -- but they did accomplish one of their goals at the MLB Trade Deadline by restocking the talent pool in their Minor League system.
In trading away future free agents Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery, Jordan Hicks and Chris Stratton and reliever Génesis Cabrera, the Cardinals got back big league bullpen arm John King and nine Minor League prospects -- six of them pitchers. As one indicator of the Cardinals' lack of organizational pitching depth, four of those prospects -- right-handers Tekoah Roby, Sem Robberse, Adam Kloffenstein and Zack Showalter -- immediately went onto MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 midseason rankings list. Four prospects acquired by St. Louis were moved to Triple-A, giving the organization the belief that they will be ready to help the big league club by 2024.
“We feel like we really gave ourselves a chance to add to our bench, if you will, and to give us a lot of options moving forward and something we won’t have to wait four or five years to see a return on,” Cardinals president John Mozeliak said. “So net-net, we’re excited about that.”
Those arrivals help soften the tumbles of fellow pitching prospects Gordon Graceffo (from No. 3 to No. 6) and Michael McGreevy (from No. 7 to No. 12). McGreevy, a first-round Draft pick in 2021, is 7-4 at Triple-A Memphis, but he has a 4.38 ERA and just 72 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings. Graceffo, 23, has been limited to just 61 innings because of shoulder trouble.
Shortstop Masyn Winn and hard-throwing right-hander Tink Hence -- dynamic 21-year-old prospects acquired from the same 2020 MLB Draft that produced prized rookie Jordan Walker -- are still the top two prospects in MLB Pipeline’s midseason Top 30 rankings for the Cardinals. Winn, who has backed up a stellar Spring Training with a strong season in Triple-A, could soon join Walker with the big league club.
Like Winn, Victor Scott II combined his superior speed and defensive abilities with an offensive game that was much more advanced than the Cardinals originally realized. With his 74 stolen bases between High-A Peoria and Double-A Springfield, Scott has been the organization’s biggest riser, going from No. 29 to No. 4 in MLB Pipeline’s rankings.
Here is a look at the Cardinals’ top five prospects: