St. Louis Cardinals Top 20 Prospects

15) Harrison Bader – OF

Date of Birth: June 3, 1994
Height/Weight: 6′ 0″/190 lbs.

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round in 2015

Bader, the 21-year-old out of the University of Florida, hit 17 home runs in his final season at Florida. His power is real. Bader has a good talent for barreling up the ball while using his good strength and plus bat speed to drive the ball. After being drafted, it took Bader only a week to blaze through short season State College and get promoted to Low-A where he continued to impress.

Bader profiles as a better Randal Grichuk, better in that although Bader does chase, his strikeout rate isn’t nearly as bad, as it was only 18.9% in 2015 compared to Grichuk’s almost 34%. Bader also provides good value on the defensive side, as he has plus speed, and the arm strength to play all three outfield spots. Although he is likely to start the year at High-A, if Bader can keep it up to start 2016, he could easily find himself at AA fairly early. Bader is a prospect worth watching, and could be at the doorstep of the big-league club by next year.

14) Bryce Denton – 3B

Date of Birth: August 1, 1997
Height/Weight: 6′ 0″/190 lbs.

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round in 2015

Denton was drafted for his bat and big power potential, yet he only hit one homer in his first pro season, and struggled mightily overall. However the potential is still there and as an 18-year-old Denton has a lot of time to let his good bat speed, and great contact skills catch up to pro pitching. Denton will also have to find a defensive position, as the general consensus is that he can’t stick at the hot corner and may end up in left field. He’ll start 2016 in the Gulf Coast league.

13) Jake Woodford – RHP

Date of Birth: October 28, 1996
Height/Weight: 6′ 4″/210 lbs.

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Drafted in the first round (39th overall) in 2015

Woodford’s tall, athletic body makes him a force on the mound, as the 19-year-old can hit 95 mph and will possibly gain a few miles as he gets stronger. Woodford also possesses secondary pitches that he can use well. Being only 19, Woodford has time to grow and improve. He has enormous potential and profiles as a mid-rotation type. Woodford’s fastball already possesses good sink, making him the ground-ball pitcher teams want, and he’ll likely stay at the Low-A level next season with a chance to make it to High-A. At only 19, Woodford will be brought slowly and made comfortable for now.

12) Ronnie Williams – RHP

Date of Birth: January 6, 1996
Height/Weight: 6′ 0″/170 lbs.

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round in 2014

Although a bit smaller than your prototypical starter, Williams can hit the high 90s and has a good feel for his secondary pitches. Despite his small frame Williams uses minimal effort in his motion, and can pound the strike zone well. The Cardinals were excited to see what Williams could do in 2015 as it was his first full year as a pitcher, and he did not disappoint. Williams will be expected to show even more improvement in 2016, and at 19 years old, could make it to High-A and finish the year at AA. Williams has a lot of potential to work with and it will be up to him to harness it, and he could bust into the top 10 with another year of improvement.

11) Patrick Wisdom – 3B

Date of Birth: August 27, 1991
Height/Weight: 6′ 2″/210 lbs.

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (52nd overall) in 2012

The 24-year-old Wisdom has a ton of upside, but also has a lot of aspects working against him. First is the swing. While Wisdom has power upside, his swing has some holes in it, and despite strides made at AA this past season, Wisdom still needs some work and it will be worth monitoring if he can fix his pull tendencies and recognize secondary pitches better. Defensively Wisdom has agility and an absolute cannon but makes far too many errors and needs to clean it up at the hot corner. The Cardinals have stuck with him though and his potential is still there. If Wisdom can put it together he’ll be a huge asset. He’ll start 2016 in AA, but with improvement Wisdom can find himself at AAA by season’s end.

One Response

  1. Braxton Thomas

    Pretty good list. I disagree that Luke Weaver has ace potential. He has a wiry body that calls into question him being a workhorse. Also, serviceable is the highest praise he has gotten on his breaking pitch which bodes better for a mid rotation starter over an ace.


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