RHP Gordon Graceffo
Graceffo is one of the most exciting prospects in the system. He's just 23 years old and has held his own in AAA. After breaking out in 2022, many thought he may join the big league club at some point this season. A six-week stay on the IL threatened to derail his season, but Graceffo is healthy again. He has multiple plus pitches, including his fastball and his slider, and has a much higher ceiling than most prospects in the system. Graceffo could someday pitch near the front of the rotation.
Unfortunately, that is unlikely to start now. The Cardinals know Graceffo is immensely talented, and they're likely to continue to treat him with caution. They absolutely view him as a starter, so they probably won't want to move him to the bullpen, even if it helps the big-league club in the near term. He isn't on the 40-man roster and it doesn't seem likely that they add him this season.
Perhaps if Graceffo had remained healthy all season, the Cardinals would be more inclined to give him a shot. Instead, it's likely that Graceffo remains in AAA for the rest of the season and enters 2024 with a legitimate chance to lock down a rotation spot. He will, barring unforeseen circumstances, definitely debut at some point in 2024.