St. Louis Cardinals: Dark Horse Prospects for 2016
Here we have a player who has not gotten a lot of attention in the Cardinals’ minor league system and I am not sure why. Voit is a local kid coming from Lafeyette High School (the same high school as David Freese and Ryan Howard), who was drafted by the Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2013 draft out of Missouri State University. Voit is a bit older than most in the system as he just turned 25.
However, Voit has had some impressive numbers in his brief Cardinals’ career. After hitting just .242/356/.329 in 2013 with State College, the Cardinals pushed him through to High A Palm Beach at the start of 2014. Voit responded by hitting .276/.342/.442 with 35 extra base-hits (nine homers, 21 doubles, five triples) in 93 games. The big deal about this is that this was done in the pitching rich and pitcher friendly Florida State League.
This is a big accomplishment. However, the Cardinals apparently did not see enough to send him through to Springfield last season. He was assigned to Palm Beach again for 2015, and if you had any concern about his numbers not being legitimate he proved that to not be the case, as he hit .273/.360/.405 with 34 extra base-hits (18 doubles, 11 homers, five triples).
Not many are high on Voit though, I spoke with our own Chris Greene who covered Palm Beach for Scout.com last year, and he said this, “He was definitely the big offensive threat in Palm Beach last year. That said, he’s pretty old for a prospect, and I would guess that the Cardinals have a reason for not promoting him more aggressively.”
John Manuel of Baseball America doesn’t view him as a prospect either saying, “He had a nice year, but has limited athleticism and defensive ability. I asked a lot about him in the FSL for the reasons you mentioned and was shot down by managers and scouts alike. Here’s hoping Voit proves them wrong.” This is interesting, as even Manuel claims that it’s near impossible for a hitter to do great in the FSL.
Not only that, but the Cardinals normally have their top hitters skip this level. Carson Kelly even struggled there this year, as did Anthony Garcia before him and both guys are said to be good hitters. So, I don’t think we can count out Voit yet. He should do very well in Springfield this year, and from there we will know a bit more. Maybe just maybe he could factor in at first sooner than we know.
Next: More pitching?