Here's where the Cardinals' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

April 5th, 2024

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Cardinals’ Top 30 prospects are projected to start:

1. Tink Hence (MLB No. 60), RHP -- Springfield (Double-A)
2. Tekoah Roby (MLB No. 94), RHP -- Springfield (Double-A)
3. Victor Scott II (MLB No. 95), OF -- St. Louis (MLB)
4. Thomas Saggese, INF -- Memphis (Triple-A)
5. Chase Davis, OF -- Palm Beach (Single-A)
6. Cooper Hjerpe, LHP -- Peoria (High-A)
7. Leonardo Bernal, C -- Peoria (High-A)
8. Gordon Graceffo, RHP -- Memphis (Triple-A)
9. Won-Bin Cho, OF -- Peoria (High-A)
10. Travis Honeyman, OF -- Extended spring training
11. Jimmy Crooks, C -- Springfield (Double-A)
12. Sem Robberse, RHP -- Memphis (Triple-A)
13. Max Rajcic, RHP -- Springfield (Double-A)
14. Michael McGreevy, RHP -- Memphis (Triple-A)
15. Pedro Pagés, C -- Memphis (Triple-A)/St. Louis (MLB)
16. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP -- Memphis (Triple-A)
17. Zack Showalter, RHP -- Palm Beach (Single-A)
18. Cesar Prieto, INF -- Memphis (Triple-A)
19. Ian Bedell, RHP -- Springfield (Double-A)
20. Brycen Mautz, LHP -- Peoria (High-A)
21. Quinn Mathews, LHP -- Palm Beach (Single-A)
22. Zach Levenson, OF -- Peoria (High-A)
23. Edwin Nunez, RHP -- Springfield (Double-A)
24. Ryan Fernandez, RHP -- St. Louis (MLB)
25. Branneli Franco, RHP -- Extended spring training
26. Pete Hansen, LHP -- Peoria (High-A)
27. Andre Granillo, RHP -- Springfield (Double-A)
28. Drew Rom, LHP -- St. Louis (MLB) injured list (left shoulder biceps tendinitis)
29. Joshua Baez, OF -- Peoria (High-A)
30. William Sullivan, 1B -- Peoria (High-A)

Team to watch
The Cardinals are sending their top two arms to Double-A Springfield in Hence and Roby, who will be getting the Texas League club’s first two starts of the season on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The two combined for 26 Double-A starts in 2023, and given the quality of their stuff, their Springfield stays may not be long ones if their arsenals play as they should. Another interesting note is that the fire-balling Nunez is expected to join the Springfield rotation after working in relief over his first three seasons in the system. Crooks, an above-average defender behind the plate, will be tasked with working with the talented Springfield staff to begin his second full season.

Teams on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV
Triple-A Memphis
Double-A Springfield
High-A Peoria

Players we could see in 2024
Scott and Pagés have been two early callups for the Cards due to injuries, and Fernandez made the big club out of camp as a Rule 5 pick. Saggese, who is the reigning Texas League MVP, has the hit tool to make quick moves up to St. Louis when the organization needs Major League infield help, and it’s been notable that all four of his early Memphis starts have been at shortstop. Graceffo, Robberse, McGreevy and Kloffenstein will be competing to be the first starter called up from the Memphis rotation, and it might help the cases of Robberse and Kloffenstein -- two former Blue Jays acquired in last year’s Jordan Hicks trade -- that both are already on the 40-man.

New faces
Mathews became an NCAA postseason sensation when he threw 156 pitches for Stanford against Texas in the Super Regionals, and he finished with 124 2/3 innings during his final season with the Cardinal. Understandably, St. Louis didn’t give the 2023 fourth-rounder any Minor League games after signing him because of that workload, and now he’ll make his professional debut with Single-A Palm Beach. The 23-year-old southpaw has shown better velocity this spring, touching 95.6 mph in a scoreless Spring Breakout inning, and with his plus changeup, he might not be long for the FSL.

On the shelf
Rom was picked up from the Orioles in last year’s deal for Jack Flaherty and made eight starts (33 2/3 innings) for the Major League club, putting him on the brink of graduation. However, left shoulder biceps tendinitis has placed him on the IL, and he’ll probably make rehab starts in the Minors before becoming a Major League option again. By then, the 24-year-old southpaw will be competing with the other Memphis arms to be in consideration for an MLB rotation spot.