St. Louis Cardinals: Ranking the players with the most value beyond 2021
Here we go– This is why Cardinal fans should feel good about the future. The Cardinals know how to develop talented young ballplayers, and these guys are going to deserve a real chance within the next two years.
12 & 13- Nolan Gorman (not on 40-man roster), Eleheuris Montero,
Former first-round pick Nolan Gorman has legitimate power at the hot corner. Between him and 2018 Midwest League MVP Elehueris Montero, the Cardinals boast two hit-first prospects at a position where the big league club has a clear need. While finding a fit for both of them might be a little tough, having too much talent at a position is always a good problem to have.
11- Ivan Herrera
I covered Ivan Herrera back before he was placed on the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule Five Draft. Basically, he’s overtaken Andrew Knizer as the catcher of the future. He’s still a year or so away (which is why there is room to resign Yadi), but Herrera is the real deal.
9 & 10- Zack Thompson, Matthew Liberatore (neither on 40-man)
Liberatore and Thompson could be with the big-league club as soon as this season. Both young pitchers showed encouraging progress during the 2020 summer camps. There is real potential here for these two to become a 1-2 lefty punch in the rotation.
You might be wondering why these five are ranked so highly on this list. They’re above many established major leaguers, even though they have yet to debut in the MLB. I put these prospects up here because this is a list about potential. Is it likely that all five pan out and become regulars in the Cardinal lineup? Unfortunately, that answer is no. But if the Cardinals are to be a successful team in the 2020s, they need their top prospects to deliver.