KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
The next group of six are either ready for the big leagues, or will be ready quite soon. It’s a mix of top prospects and older minor leaguers, each showing that they will be able to contribute to a major league ball club.
On practically any other team, Alec Burleson would have a spot on the 40-man roster. This man has done nothing but hit, and is deserving of a major league opportunity. Unfortunately, as I explained a few weeks ago, there’s just no room for him. I’m already annoyed by how many runs Burleson will drive in when he faces the Cardinals next season.
If you want to talk about improving your stock overnight, Moises Gomez is the place to start. Although he still strikes out a lot, Gomez burst onto the scene in 2022 by launching a ridiculous amount of home runs in Double-A. He earned a promotion to Memphis a little over a month ago and has continued to hit for power. Only 23 years old, the former Rays prospect might be the diamond in the rough discovered by the Cardinals this season.
Like Burleson and Capel, I covered Scott Hurst a few weeks ago. Hurst was the Cardinals top pick in 2017 after the team lost their first two selections. Hurst is 0-5 lifetime in MLB (in a short stint with the big league team last season), but he plays all three outfield spots and boasts a .776 OPS at Memphis this season.
Part of the deal that brought over Conner Capel, Jhon Torres has struggled a bit since the pandemic took away the 2020 season. However, Torres has shown in the past that he can hit for power and average, and he has a strong enough arm for right field.
Ben DeLuzio– or as I like to call him, Mr. Stolen Base– is an exciting baseball player. A third round pick by the Marlins in 2013, DeLuzio is slashing .278/.365/.451 with 27 stolen bases at Memphis this season. DeLuzio might be the weakest member of this list. However, he plays all three outfield positions and boasts a plus tool (speed) that has legitimate major league value.
And now we’ve come to the big one. I should mention that Jordan Walker has never played the outfield in his professional career. At this point in his young career, the 20 year-old former first round pick is still a third baseman. And the counter to that point is nine-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado, currently at the hot corner and not going anywhere.
Jordan Walker is a top ten prospect in all of baseball, with a special ability to hit a baseball very well, very far, and very consistently. At some point within the next two years, the St. Louis Cardinals will find a spot for Walker on the big league team. And unless he becomes a permanent DH, that spot will be in right or left field. Walker is on this list for a reason.