St. Louis Cardinals’ 2016 Top Prospects: #13 Harrison Bader

St. Louis Cardinals
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Bader could be one of the best picks from this year’s MLB Draft – Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

The St. Louis Cardinals may have an answer for their present lack of outfield depth in the minors.

The next St. Louis CardinalsTop Prospect is another one I am quite fond of. Harrison Bader has the potential to become one of the crown jewels of the 2015 MLB Draft for the Cardinals. He has the potential to be an answer for the Cardinals in the expected Matt Holliday departure by the end of 2017.

There are a lot of things to like about Harrison Bader that I have grown to know in the short time he has been a Cardinal. I have been telling you about Bader for a few months now, and I truly believe that if he continues to light it up in the system, we could be seeing him sooner rather than later, and he may well be the first of the Cardinals’ 2015 draft class to make it to the majors.

So, what makes Bader so special?

#13 Harrison Bader OF

Season Stats:

State CollegeA-7302961120242005.379.400.6551.05511

Provided by View Original Table

Scout Grade: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

Analysis: Bader was drafted this season by the Cardinals in the third round and signed with the team after playing in the College World Series with the University of Florida, hitting .326 with four homers and three doubles during the tournament, and being named to the 2015 All-Tournament Team.

I have talked a lot about Bader here since he has been drafted, recapping him being drafted, as well as recapping his 2016 professional season. Bader is the one player I have had my eye on the most since the draft, and I expect he will continue to be that player into next season.

I think that he has a real shot to make the big club by the end of 2017. He proved that the New York Penn League was no match for him as he blasted through seven games with them and then was on to Peoria for the remainder of the season.

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What there is to like about Bader is that he reminds me a lot of Bryce Harper, not in the way that Harper can hit by any means, but in the sense that he plays with such reckless abandon and willingness to go the extra mile. He seems ready for anything and ready to be the best.

Now, mind you Bader’s tools don’t shout like a guy who is going to come up and dominate, but he could become a very good player for the Cardinals in the years to come. There are some concerns to his overall ability. According to John Manuel, there are questions on where Bader may ultimately play in the majors.

However, his hit tools represent the kind of player the Cardinals have not had in their system for quite some time. Viva El Birdos’ writer “The Red Baron” puts Bader’s skill set this way, “At the plate, Bader brings an aggressive mentality to both the frequency and violence of his swings. He’s capable of hitting the ball out of pretty much any part of any park, and actually possesses solid contact skills as well.”

With a 50 grade arm and 55 grade fielding, I think he has a good shot to be either a CF or RF. He has speed to play either position. With his offensive ability and ability to field as well, I think he could potentially make the Cardinals glad that they did not re-sign Jason Heyward in a couple of years.

Next: Cardinals' 2016 Top Prospects: #14 Jake Woodford

Roster Prediction: AA Springfield

If Bader continues his solid play that he had in Peoria and State College last season, he will very likely excel in Springfield and could finish out 2016 in Memphis. It is not out of this realm to expect Bader to have some kind of role on next season’s team.

Scout Grade via