3 St. Louis Cardinals prospects turning heads in Spring Training
By Eric Treuden
These three prospects impressed the Cardinals organization in big ways this spring
In the early goings of the 2023 Spring Training, there's very little that this St. Louis Cardinals team has not been doing right.
Entering Wednesday the club is 14-6 (including a rare tie with the Nationals on Tuesday), good for the best record in the entire league. The run differential has been huge for the Cards and it hasn't seemed to matter whether the team is at home or on the road. Point blank, this is an organization built for success.
Behind most of the regulars like Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Adam Wainwright, and Jack Flaherty, the Cardinals have been sending out some of their top prospects often in Spring Training and the results have been highly encouraging.
Let's take a look at 3 Cardinals prospects that are turning heads in Spring Training.
Entering the 2023 season Hence is ranked as the organization's No. 3 prospect and is the No. 77 prospect in the entire league.
The 20-year-old was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft and while his first season in professional ball didn't go according to plan (9.00 ERA in eight innings), he rebounded in a big way last year and has firmly cemented himself into the future plans for the club.
In 16 appearances last year for the A-ball Palm Beach Cardinals, Hence posted a 1.38 ERA in 52.1 innings of work, striking out 81 and walking only 15, and surrendering just a single home run. This performance alone shot his name up the organizational depth chart as a starting pitcher.
While he is still extremely young and will not factor into the Opening Day roster decision, Hence is doing everything right as he aims to rapidly rise through the farm system.
So far in 2023 Spring Training, he has made four appearances with a 2.70 ERA and five strikeouts in 3.1 innings. He's also walked five batters, but control issues like this are hardly a surprise for someone with such little experience facing big-league hitters.