There are two under-the-radar prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals system who are opening some eyes. However, you may never see the two in St. Louis because of who’s in the way.
Rangel Ravelo and Ivan Herrera are two under-the-radar prospects who are beginning to get some attention in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. But Revelo, a first base prospect is blocked by Paul Goldschmidt, and Herrera, a catching prospect, is likely blocked by Andrew Knizner.
With Paul Goldschmidt signed through 2024, and Andrew Knizner being groomed as Yadier Molina’s successor, Revelo and Herrera would seem to have a difficult path to St. Louis. Nevertheless, these two rising prospects, under the right circumstances, could make it to St. Louis.
Here’s a closer look at these two up and coming prospects.
The 27-year-old right-handed batter was drafted by the Chicago White Sox out of high school in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB draft. He spent his first five seasons in the White Sox organization, topping out at AA, before being traded to the Oakland Athletics after the 2014 season.
Ravelo gradually rose in the A’s minor league system, eventually reaching AAA Nashville in 2016. However, the Cuban native was blocked by Matt Olson, who was being groomed at first base by the A’s. The A’s released Ravelo before the 2017 season.
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The St. Louis Cardinals then signed the first base prospect to a minor league contract and assigned him to AAA Memphis. At Memphis in 2017, Ravelo hit a slash line of .314/ .383/.480 with 8 homers and 41 RBI in 89 games. He returned to Memphis in 2018 and hit a slash line of .308/.392/.487 with 13 homers and 67 RBI in 100 games.
Ravelo has also proven to be a solid defensive contributor at first base while in the minors. He has RF/9 of 9.32 and an RF/G of 8.70 at first in his minor league career. This year the Cardinals are also giving Ravelo playing time in Right and Left Field.
After hitting .333 in 49 PA in the 2019 Spring Training, Ravelo was reassigned to Memphis to start the 2019 season. He now has a ten-year minor league slash line of .296/.366/.432.
The Cardinals signed Herrera out of Panama in 2017 when he was only 17 years old. He was assigned to the Cardinals affiliate in the Dominican Summer League where he opened eyes by hitting a slash line of .335/.425/.441 with 27 RBI in 49 games.
In 2018, the right-handed catching prospect was assigned to the Cardinals Gulf Coast League affiliate where he impressed with a slash line of .348/.432/.500 and 27 RBI in just 28 games. Herrera was promoted to AA Springfield at the end of the season, but only saw action in two games.
The Cardinals have assigned the 18-year-old to A ball Peoria in the Midwest League to start the 2019 season. Thus far in 12 games, he’s hitting a slash line of .282/.408/.564 with three homers and four RBI.
Herrera’s offense is considered to be ahead of his defense at this point. His blocking, receiving, and game management skills need further development, but the Cardinals feel he will continue to improve with time.
Rangel Ravelo is currently in AAA Memphis but may be further away from making his debut in St. Louis than Herrera. Paul Goldschmidt is firmly planted at first base in St. Louis, especially now with his extension.
The only chance we may see Ravelo in St. Louis is if an injury to Goldschmidt should occur and he goes on the IL. However, Ravelo is not currently on the 40-man roster, so it’s not guaranteed he would be called up. The likely scenario would be Jedd Gyorko would play first and another middle infielder who’s on the 40-man roster would be called up (Robinson or Sosa).
Ivan Herrera future with the Cardinals really depends on Andrew Knizner. If Knizner succeeds Yadier Molina and shows he can be the everyday catcher for the Cardinals, Herrera’s future with the Cardinals is limited. If Knizner fails to develop, then Herrera may be the catcher of the future.
Whatever their future may be, it’s good to know the Cardinals have talented prospects such as Ravelo and Herrera in their minor league system. Who knows, one day they may be called upon.