10. Randy Arozarena, OF
The 24-year-old right-handed Cuban, Arozarena, has been in the Cardinals organization since 2016. Previously, he played in Cuban National Series and the Mexican League where he impressed the Cardinals with his speed on the bases and in the field.
The team originally assigned Arozarena to High A Palm Beach in the Florida State League in 2017. After showing some power, he was promoted to AA Springfield. In 121 games he for hit a combined slash line of .266/.346/.437 with 11 HR and 49 RBI.
Arozarena spent 2018 between AA Springfield and AAA Memphis, hitting a combined slash line of .274/.359/.433 with 12 HR and 49 RBI in 113 games. The 5’11” 170 pound outfielder also proved his speed by swiping 26 bases between AA and AAA.
Arozarena’ s path to the St. Louis Cardinals suffered a setback on Monday when he suffered a fractured right hand and will be out several weeks. So far in Spring Training, Arozarena had a slash line of .346/.414/.538 in 18 games.
Nevertheless, when he recovers, Randy Arozarena will need to establish himself in 2019 at Memphis and continue to work on his OBP. If he can continue to improve his offensive performance, a call up this season is a real possibility.
9. Genesis Cabrera, LHP
The 22-year-old Cabrera came to the Cardinals from the Rays in the Tommy Pham trade last year. After posting a 4.74 ERA in over 24 innings pitched at AA Springfield, it was his performance in the Dominican Winter League that he began to open eyes. In 14 innings, pitching out of the bullpen, Cabrera posted a 1.26 ERA with 21 strikeouts.
The beef on Cabrera had been his high walk rate in the minor leagues. However, in the Dominican Winter League, he walked only two batters. If can keep his walks down, with his 98 mph fastball, he could be a big factor in the Cardinal bullpen in 2019.
Cabrera was placed on the St. Louis Cardinals 40-man roster in November and pitched in three innings during Spring Training, before being optioned to AAA Memphis on March 9th. Making the 25 man roster, was an unlikely possibility this spring. However, the young Dominican could be a call up this year if he can perform in Memphis as he did in the Dominican Winter League.
8. Malcom Nunez, 3B
Some prospect ratings have the young Cuban import rated higher than eight. However, Nunez just turned 18 in March and has only one summer in the Dominican Summer League under his belt. But what a summer!
The right-handed batter hit a slash line of .415/.497/.774 with 13 HR and 59 RBI in 44 games. He has incredible bat speed that is generated by his forearms and a body that many observers compare to Bo Jackson.
Nunez’s defense doesn’t look like he will be right for third base long-term, therefore many expect he will end up at first. Which makes sense especially since the Cardinals seem to be loaded up the third base throughout their minor league system.
Although the Dominican Summer League shouldn’t be mistaken for the majors, the St. Louis Cardinals are high on this young prospect. He will be placed somewhere in A ball this summer and where he ends up by the end of the season is anyone’s guess. The expectation is Nunez will arrive in the majors by 2022.
7. Jhon Torres, OF
The Cardinals traded highly regarded minor league prospect, outfielder Oscar Mercado, because they felt like they were overloaded with outfielders. So who did they get for Mercado? Well…two outfielders, Conner Capel, and Jhon Torres. What did you say? I know, and I hear you. But it may be the Cardinals got the better end of the deal, in the long run, with Jhon Torres.
The 18-year-old Torres is a 6-4, 200lb bopper who also has good speed. In 2018 he hit a slash line of .321/.409/.525 with 8 home runs and 30 RBI’s in the rookie league in 44 games. This includes the 17 games with the Gulf Coast Cardinals, where he hit a torrid .397 with an OPS of 1.176.
What impressed the Cardinals was his improvement between 2017 and 2018. Torres added weight, that improved his BA and Slugging percentage. He also started showing his arm strength in right field by throwing out four runners trying to take an extra base.
Some prospect ratings have already put Torres in the organization’s top 10 list. Listen, the Cardinals were not planning to protect Mercado anyway. So they got an outfielder in Torres who has all the tools to be a good hitter. It will be a while before he reaches the majors, but I think he is a prospect to keep an eye on.