Here are the Cardinals' 2024 Top 30 prospects

March 5th, 2024

On the precipice of missing out on the postseason for just the fourth time since 2011, the Cardinals became sellers at last year's Trade Deadline and moved Jordan Montgomery, Jordan Hicks and Jack Flaherty for potentially impact prospects. The result is a 2024 St. Louis Top 30 Prospects list that has a slightly different feel to it, with seven talents acquired via trades, each of which came over in deals last season.

The two headliners are Tekoah Roby (No. 3) and Thomas Saggese (No. 5), and perhaps that's fitting because they joined the Cards in a trade for eventual World Series champion Montgomery. Roby has a deep pitch mix and above-average control that could make him a solid Major League starter, and Saggese, with his career .298 average and .877 OPS in the Minors, is as good a pure hitter as there is in his relatively new system. Sem Robberse (No. 13) and Adam Kloffenstein (No. 17) came over for Hicks, while Zack Showalter (No. 18), César Prieto (No. 19) and Drew Rom (No. 29) arrived in the Flaherty swap.

Don't get it too twisted, though; the Cardinals' bread-and-butter remains building a farm system through the Draft.

The club's two top prospects, Masyn Winn and Tink Hence, came from the vaunted 2020 class that also produced Jordan Walker and Alec Burleson, and 2022 fifth-rounder Victor Scott II was the organization's breakout prospect of the past year (see below). Last year's first-rounder Chase Davis has his own offensive upside with a swing many believe to be reminiscent of Carlos González's.

It may lack the type of top-tier prospect it boasted last year in Walker due to his graduation, but with the additions of 2023, the St. Louis system is at least as deep and robust as it has been entering recent campaigns.

Here's a look at the Cardinals' top prospects:

1. Masyn Winn, SS (MLB No. 43)
2. Tink Hence, RHP (MLB No. 64)
3. Tekoah Roby, RHP (MLB No. 99)
4. Victor Scott II, OF
5. Thomas Saggese, INF
Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2023 preseason list to the 2024 preseason list:

Jump: Victor Scott II, OF (2023: 29 | 2024: 4)
Taken in the fifth round out of West Virginia in 2022, Scott was expected to be fast as an 80-grade runner. His career might be progressing as quickly as his feet. The former Mountaineer tied for the Minor League lead with 94 stolen bases between High-A and Double-A in his first full season, and his defensive wheels helped him earn a Minor League Gold Glove Award on top of that. Scott keeps the ball in play, even showing plus-plus bunting skills, and should have enough bat to be an everyday option in center field for St. Louis as early as this summer.

Fall: Jonathan Mejia, SS (2023: 10 | 2024: NR)
A $2 million signing out of the Dominican Republic in January 2022, Mejia handled himself well in the Dominican Summer League that year but really struggled in his first trip stateside, batting just .159 with a .571 OPS and 28.8 percent strikeout rate in 41 games between the Florida Complex League and Single-A Palm Beach. No one's giving up on the shortstop yet -- he's still entering just his age-19 season, making him the age of a typical college freshman -- but with the other additions to the farm, he was squeezed out of the St. Louis Top 30 for now.

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. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 55 -- Thomas Saggese (Masyn Winn, Victor Scott II)
Power: 60 -- Joshua Baez
Run: 80 -- Victor Scott II
Arm: 80 -- Masyn Winn
Defense: 70 -- Victor Scott II
Fastball: 60 -- Edwin Nunez (Tink Hence, Tekoah Roby, Zack Showalter)
Curveball: 60 -- Tekoah Roby
Slider: 60 -- Ryan Fernandez (Gordon Graceffo, Brycen Mautz, Andre Granillo)
Changeup: 60 -- Tink Hence (Quinn Mathews)
Control: 55 -- Michael McGreevy (Tekoah Roby, Pete Hansen)

How they were built
Draft: 17 | International: 5 | Trade: 7 | Rule 5: 1

Breakdown by ETA
2024: 14 | 2025: 8 | 2026: 7 | 2029: 1

Breakdown by position
C: 3 | SS: 1 | INF: 2 | OF: 6 | RHP: 13 | LHP: 5