Check out the four young stars for the Cardinals that made the prestigious MLB Top 100 Ranking.
The MLB just released their top 100 prospect rankings, and several players in the Cardinals organization are on the list. If these players pan out then the Cardinals will be in good hands in the future. Here are some names to watch out for:
ALEX REYES – 18
St. Louis still has high hopes for their top pitching prospect coming off of his February 2017 Tommy John Surgery. He last pitched in 2016, making his Major League debut in late August of that year.
He started five games, winning 2 of them, and going at least 5 innings in all of his starts. Reyes looked poised for a solid 2017 before the injury happened.
This will be an important season for Reyes as he looks to bounce back and maybe crack the big leagues once again at a time when the rotation will be in need of an ace. If the Cardinals can find that ace from within, instead of needing to sign a free-agent or make a trade, he will be a massive asset to the organization.
JACK FLAHERTY – 38
Flaherty is another pitching prospect who the Redbirds will need big things from if they want to contend in 2018. After his September call-up, Flaherty made 5 starts, but ended up with just an 0-2 record.
Upon first glance, his 6.33 ERA leaves a lot to be desired, but when you take into account that he gave up 5 earned runs in one start in San Francisco, and 4 in another against Milwaukee, the high number makes more sense since he only pitched 21 innings.
If you want a more accurate look at what Flaherty brings to the table, look at his stats from the rest of 2017 when he was still in the minor leagues. Flaherty posted a record of 14-4 with an ERA of 2.18. With an average against of just .220, he has the stuff to make a real difference to the major league rotation.
CARSON KELLY – 46
Cardinals fans hope that Carson Kelly will be ready to step in to the everyday catching role once Yadier Molina decides to hang up the cleats. Kelly filled that role in AAA during 2017 and put together a good season. He batted .283 with an OBP of .375, and had a good season behind the plate as well.
After a call-up in late July, he struggled to put it together at the plate. In the majors his average was only .174, and his OBP was slightly higher at .240. While defensively Kelly looks poised to make the jump to the big leagues full time, he needs to bring his bat with him when he makes the move from AAA in order to make an impact. If not, then the catcher position will become a hole the Cardinals will need to fill.
TYLER O’NEILL – 94
Coming over in a mid-season trade with the Seattle Mariners, Tyler O’Neill is an outfielder who has the potential to be a solid every day starter in the future. He spent all of 2017 in AAA where he hit 31 home runs. If he continues to develop his bat he likely could end up knocking out 2 birds with 1 stone for the cardinals. He can be a consistent power bat, and add some consistency in the outfield.
The main criticism of O’Neill’s game is his high strike-out rate, however if he puts the work in while he’s still in AAA he has the potential to overcome these issues and be a solid major league hitter.
Photo Captured By: USA Today Sports-Jeff Curry
Stats courtesy of fangraphs.com