Rising: Drew VerHagen, RHP
A signing out of Japan before the 2022 season, Drew VerHagen was ineffective and later injured for the duration of last year. After a stellar spring, VerHagen provided fans hope that he had found something indicating that he could bring his stats in Japan to his second stint in the major leagues. So far, it appears the production has stuck.
VerHagen currently possesses a 2.35 ERA in 7.2 innings, and the Cardinals have gradually put him into higher-leverage situations. On April 16, VerHagen entered a tie game in the top of the 10th inning with a runner on second and no outs. The runner scored, but VerHagen did not allow a hit or a walk. Outside of one poor showing in Colorado, where he allowed two earned runs on two hits and only produced one out, VerHagen has not given up an earned run.
Regarding his percentile rankings, VerHagen has a fastball spin rate in the 75th percentile and is able to induce a lot of chases. The Cardinals weren't sure during Spring Training whether anyone would run with a seventh-inning or occasional eighth-inning role, but VerHagen has slotted into that spot nicely so far.