Here are the Cardinals' 2023 Top 30 prospects

March 1st, 2023

If anyone ever doubted the Cardinals’ ability to draft, then they should check out MLB Pipeline’s updated 2023 ranking, where 20 of St. Louis’ Top 30 talents came through the amateur ranks.
Perhaps the strength of the Cardinals’ Draft apparatus was never more present than it was during the shortened five-round 2020 Draft. Four of St. Louis’ five Top 100 representatives -- Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, Tink Hence and Alec Burleson -- were selected three years ago when the pandemic affected the process and are now surging their way toward the Gateway to the West. Walker’s potential has especially created a lot of buzz this spring as he looks to bring his near-plus-plus power to the Majors after moving from third base to the outfield.

The other Top 100 talent, Gordon Graceffo, was just a fifth-round pick in 2021 but showed much-improved stuff quickly upon entering the system and finished off his first full season with 18 starts at Double-A.
The 2022 Draft class comes with plenty of its own potential. First-rounder Cooper Hjerpe shows a good three-pitch mix out of a funky, deceptive delivery that helped him dominate at Oregon State, while Brycen Mautz (second round) and Pete Hansen (third round) also deepen St. Louis’ stable of southpaws. Those looking for a potential sleeper can find one in fifth-rounder Victor Scott II, an elite runner who might squeeze out just enough bat to pop off in 2023 and beyond.
This isn’t to say there isn’t international talent here either. Catchers Ivan Herrera and Leonardo Bernal and shortstop Jonathan Mejia all feature within St. Louis’ top 11 prospects on the new list. Bernal and Mejia, in particular, have the potential to climb even higher as they find their footing stateside while Herrera is trying to find his way to return to the Majors after the Cards signed Willson Contreras as their long-term backstop this offseason.

Here’s a look at the Cardinals’ top prospects:
1. Jordan Walker, OF/3B (MLB No. 4)
2. Masyn Winn, SS (MLB No. 50)
3. Tink Hence, RHP (MLB No. 77)
4. Gordon Graceffo, RHP (MLB No. 79)
5. Alec Burleson, OF (MLB No. 91)
Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2022 preseason list to the 2023 preseason list:

Jump: Gordon Graceffo, RHP (2022: No. 24 | 2023: No. 4)
The Villanova product was showing improved velocity heading into his first full season, and that held as he was sitting 94-96 mph during his time at High-A Peoria and Double-A Springfield. His plus slider and above-average changeup eased his transition to the upper Minors, but it’s his 60-grade control that truly locks in his chances to be a starter. Graceffo could go from a fifth-round pick to a key part of the St. Louis rotation within his first three years of pro ball.

Fall: Jhon Torres, OF (2022: No. 18 | 2023: NR)
Having spent the previous season at High-A Peoria, Torres hit just .208/.255/.354 with a 29.4 percent K rate over 27 games at Single-A Palm Beach and moved back down to the Florida Complex League in August. Though Torres had previously shown flashes of potential above-average power, that was a particularly tough look for a player whose perceived value was so tied into his bat.

Top 30s

Best tools

Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. This list only includes players among the Cardinals’ Top 30 prospects. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 60 -- Alec Burleson
Power: 65 -- Jordan Walker (Moises Gómez)
Run: 80 -- Victor Scott II
Arm: 80 -- Masyn Winn
Defense: 60 -- Masyn Winn (Victor Scott II)
Fastball: 65 -- Tink Hence (Freddy Pacheco)
Curveball: 60 -- Tink Hence (Matthew Liberatore)
Slider: 60 -- Andre Granillo (Gordon Graceffo, Pete Hansen)
Changeup: 55 -- Tink Hence (Gordon Graceffo, Austin Love)
Control: 60 -- Gordon Graceffo (Pete Hansen)

How they were built
Draft: 20 | International: 7 | Trade: 1 | Free agent: 2

Breakdown by ETA
2023: 11 | 2024: 8 | 2025: 8 | 2026: 2 | 2027: 1

Breakdown by position
C: 3 | 1B: 0 | 2B: 0 | 3B: 0 | SS: 2 | OF: 7 | RHP: 13 | LHP: 5