Here we have a player who could be making a huge impact in the St. Louis Cardinals’ power department, as he moves through the system.
Have I mentioned how much I liked the St. Louis Cardinals‘ 2015 draft yet? While my favorite player from the draft may be Harrison Bader, who we talked about the other day, Paul DeJong is a pretty close second.
DeJong is a player who many Cardinals’ fans may already be familiar with, as DeJong was drafted in the fourth round of this year’s MLB Draft out of Illinois State University in Bloomington, IL. DeJong luckily fell to the Cardinals in the fourth round, and could wind up being a huge steal for the Cardinals moving forward.
He’s absolutely one of the best prospects in the system, but what makes him top 10 worthy?
#10 Paul DeJong 3B
Scout Grade: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 40 | Overall: 45
Analysis: At ISU, he mostly was used as a catcher, but the Cardinals’ have primarily used him at third, but serious leg injuries have unfortunately ended his career as a catcher.
The big thing with DeJong is his power, as he easily translates as one of the top power bats in the system for the Cardinals, which isn’t saying much for an organization largely devoid of power bats (until this draft).
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DeJong got off to a flying start in Johnson City, with four homers in his first ten games, and was then sent up to Peoria not long after starting in Johnson City, where he finished the season with a total of nine homers between the two teams.
One of the most interesting things about DeJong that I have read came from Derrick May who is the St. Louis Cardinals’ Minor League Hitting Coordinator in an interview with Brian Stull of STL Baseball Weekly.
"“He’s got that straight-away power I don’t think that a whole of people in our organization have, there’s not too many. He’s got that type of power and I think he’s a very smart hitter too. Smart meaning that he keeps it very simple and he doesn’t over think it.” Derrick May"
The thing with DeJong is that he doesn’t have a natural position right now. He does have the potential to stick at third, but he is a bit of a tweener in that he doesn’t have a natural position. Much like an Allen Craig, according to John Manuel on the Best Podcast in Baseball.
Another interesting point about the power that DeJong shows comes from Viva El Birdos’ “The Red Baron”, “DeJong’s best quality at this point is his plus raw power, which shows up in games as an ability to drive the ball to all parts of the field with authority. Opposite-field power is a huge predictor of success for me, and it’s one of the things DeJong most excels at.”
This is interesting, because it’s something that the Cardinals preach, and something the really good hitters excel at. When you think of Albert’s best years in St. Louis, one can remember how well he could use his power to the opposite field, as well as Matt Holliday.
This makes DeJong even more impressive in my opinion.
Roster Prediction: A Peoria
I think he starts in Peoria and gets a bump to AA Springfield if he starts hot, I don’t see the organization sticking him in Palm Beach. I think the organization would rather see him get as many innings at third or a different position as possible, and if third doesn’t work out for him, then I see the Cardinals needing him to try out a new position and Peoria is a good spot for him to do so.
Thanks for reading Cardinals’ fans! If you have missed any of this “Top Prospects” series, you can check them out here.