St. Louis Cardinals: Top 10 Prospects

1. Alex Reyes, 20

When I first thought about who would take the top spot in my prospect rankings, there was really no debate for me. I had the 20-year old Reyes’ name marked in ink at the top of my list. Throughout the 2014 season, Reyes would have his ups — like June 11th where went 7 innings and allowed just 2 hits and a run — and his downs — like his first start of the season where he went 5 innings and allowed 3 hits while walking 7  batters — but would always flash brilliance on the mound. Reyes has ace stuff, including a fastball that can hit 97 and a knee buckling curve ball, but has yet to be fully consistent with it. Late in 2014, things started to change and the consistency started to develop. Over his last 6 starts, Reyes had a 2.31 ERA and a WHIP of 1.06 while striking out 48 over 35 innings. The thing that killed Reyes in 2014 was not his hits allowed as he held opponents to just a .207 batting average against, but his walks. He walked 61 batters in his 109 innings on the mound, which is a number that is not sustainable at the major league level. But again, late in the season, things turned around as he walked just 6 in his last 4 starts to lower his WHIP during that time to 0.88.

Alex Reyes has the potential to be an ace in a major league starting rotation and that potential is what vaulted him to the top of my rankings. Yes, he is a high risk prospect as he is a young 20 and has had control issues, but working with Peoria pitching coach Jason Simontacchi helped him tremendously in 2014. Like Peoria teammate Rob Kaminsky, I would like to see Reyes start the season at Palm Beach, but would get it if the club wanted him to continue that late season consistency at Peoria to start the season. Reyes’ ETA to St. Louis may be a little behind Kaminsky’s, but his ceiling is much higher.

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