Cardinals: These two prospects have the tools to break out in 2023

Mar 9, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Evan Mendoza (70) hits during the fourth inning of a spring training game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Evan Mendoza (70) hits during the fourth inning of a spring training game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cardinals Nick Dunn
AMARILLO, TEXAS – AUGUST 12: Infielder Nick Dunn #7 of the Springfield Cardinals runs to first base during the game. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Nick Dunn

Nick Dunn is a 25-year old infielder for the Cardinals’ Double-A Springfield affiliate, where he has primarily played second base but seen a few innings at shortstop and third base. Dunn’s ability to get on base seems to be his primary skill at the plate, posting a .379 OBP last season while bringing his OPS all the way up to .770 for in 472 PA.

Dunn received some high praise from FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, saying Dunn “is like a free-swinging Brendan Donovan – same hair and everything”. While Logenhagen nocked Dunn’s approach at the plate, he clearly figured it out this season, bringing his walk rate up to 13.3% and lowering his strikeout rate to 8.9%. If this trend continues, Dunn could be a valuable piece off of the bench for St. Louis.

For a guy not ranked within the Cardinals top 34 prospects, making a jump to the Major Leagues would be a breakout in itself, but his ability to get on base and put the ball in play could spell even better results once he gets there. The main issue the Cardinals are facing right now is that Dunn is eligible for the Rule 5 draft, so if a club sees that potential, they could take him from the Cardinals here soon.

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