Cardinals: These two prospects have the tools to break out in 2023
By Josh Jacobs
Evan Mendoza is a 26-year old infielder who spent the 2022 season in Triple-A Memphis, playing 54 games at shortstop, 47 at second base, 7 at third base, and 1 game at both first base and center field. His defensive versality and approach at the plate but seem very similar to that of Donovan as well.
Mendoza did not have his great BB/K rate translate to as much success at the plate this year, posting a .247/.348/.325 slash line in 109 games. He struck out and walked at even rate of 56 last season, and used his on base skills to steal 15 bags. If he can continue to increase his on-base ability this next season, he could be a dangerous threat with his ability to swipe bags as well.
Like Dunn, Mendoza does not crack the top 30 prospects for the Cardinals, but have the underlying peripherals of a guy who could sneak his way into St. Louis in the near future. Also like Dunn, he is Rule 5 eligible in 2022, meaning he could be the success story of another club in 2023 if the Cardinals are unlucky enough to have him selected by another team.
Does an excellent BB/K rate guarantee success is coming for Dunn or Mendoza? No, but it is a great indicator of success, and makes both of these middle infielders names to watch in the near future.