Drafted at the end of the second round in 2020, Alec Burleson was a two-way player at East Carolina. The Cardinals believed in his bat, and the 23 year old has proved them right.
Alec Burleson has done nothing but hit. The number eight prospect in the St. Louis system, Burleson has an OPS of .931 this season at Triple-A Memphis with 16 home runs. Those are absolutely outstanding numbers.
The problem for Burleson, however, is that there is no current path for him to the big league team in St. Louis. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt have the corner infield spots locked down, while Juan Yepez and Brendan Donovan took over the depth spots early this season and ran with the opportunity. Add in Nolan Gorman’s ceiling, Tyler O’Neil and Dylan Carlson in the corner outfield spots, plus Jordan Walker needing a place soon, and you can see the issue quite clearly.
As I mentioned, Burleson is currently ranked as the eighth best prospect on the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s clearly major-league ready, despite only two seasons in the minor leagues. While it would be a shame to lose this talented left-handed bat, the Cardinals should capitalize on Burleson’s value while they still can.
Unless the Cardinals suddenly lose faith in Yepez and Donovan, Burleson is almost a guarantee to be traded. If he’s not, then either the Cardinals didn’t do enough to make this team better, or something very unexpected has occurred.