3 fast-rising Cardinals prospects who could be trade bait

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Catcher Leonardo Bernal

Bernal is a teenage, switch-hitting catcher who is in his third season in the Cardinals organization. He has made a significant jump on the Cardinals' prospect list, he was ranked 18th in 2022 and he is now into the top 10. He is slashing .270/.377/.365 at Palm Beach in A ball but is still developing on the defensive side. In 104 games behind the plate, he has committed 17 errors and has allowed 113 stolen bases, only throwing out 36.

Looking at the depth chart right now with catchers, you have Willson Contreras who is in year one of a five-year contract, but time will tell if he will be catching later on in that contract. You have Andrew Knizner as the backup, and then Ivan Herrera who also is on the Cardinals' top 10 prospects list.

Herrera got a cup of coffee in the MLB last year and is still seen by most as the catcher of the future. He is having a great season in Triple-A with Memphis, fresh off winning the Cardinals minor league player of the month in May. There wouldn't be a point to having Herrera back up Contreras for multiple seasons if Contreras stays as the catcher later on in his contract, so trading Herrera is an option as well. The Cardinals could also look at moving Jimmy Crooks, another catcher who has jumped up on the prospect rankings and is in the A level of the minors. With Contreras holding the catcher position and having 3 catching prospects, you could easily see the Cardinals trading one of them. Bernal is the youngest of the three prospects, and the Cardinals would likely intrigue trading him over Herrera at this time.