The St. Louis Cardinals have always relied on their home-grown talent and have been very proud of their farm system. That tradition can continue as there are a number of stars-in-waiting playing in the minor leagues that are close to producing at the major league level.
The St. Louis Cardinals have virtually been THE model for developing and scouting young talent. Their farm system has been the backbone of the franchise and has led the organization to 15 winning seasons over the past 16 years.
Now, the Redbirds are in the offseason trying to figure out who to sign and who to trade for in order to catch up to the 2016 World Series winners, the Chicago Cubs. Many fans and writers have speculated about big name signings and trades but those aren’t always the best moves for the organization.
With any free agent signing or any trade, an organization has to consider all of the possible consequences. Before a team signs a free agent, especially long-term, organizations have to evaluate their depth at the specific position and see if they are potentially blocking someone that has the skill set to contribute at the big-league level. For example, it would be foolish for a team to sign a center fielder if they have Mike Trout waiting in Triple-A.
When discussing possible trades, general managers and their associates must determine what all they can give up and what is the value given and received. This part is especially tricky because trading away a future star could cripple your own farm system and organization for years to come. But, sometimes trading away a player with a boat load of potential works out like trading Brett Wallace for Matt Holliday.
However, the risk is there and with an organization like the St. Louis Cardinals who always seem to develop, sign, and draft young talent well, the risk seems a bit higher. Right now, Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver headline the Cardinals top prospect list but there are a number of other names fans should be aware of. These guys may not be “untouchable” but trading them would surely bring in a big return.
The following four players should be on Cardinal Nation’s radar since they are on their way to becoming the next stars that sport the birds on the bat.