Ivan Herrera, C
The Cardinals' top-catching prospect, Ivan Herrera has had a breakout season in Triple-A Memphis in 2023, hitting .295 and walking at the highest clip in his career. He also owns a career-high slugging percentage of .527. Defensively, his receiving and blocking have improved, although his arm has not been a weapon to this point when it comes to controlling the running game. In 2023, he has caught only 6 of 38 base stealers.
Although Herrera is not as highly regarded of a prospect as he once was, he remains a good bet to at least make it as a Major League backup or low-end regular. I also believe he is one of the best trade pieces the Cardinals possess, and he could be more valuable to another team than he is to the Cardinals. But if the team decides to hold on to Herrera, he could become the Cardinals' primary backup in 2024.
Max Rajcic, RHP
The control artist known as Max Rajcic was a sixth-round pick in 2022 out of UCLA. In Single-A Palm Beach this season, Rajcic has pitched to a minuscule 2.04 ERA while walking a microscopic 1.4 batters per nine innings. Against him, batters are hitting only .171.
Rajcic's FIP is only marginally higher than his ERA, at 2.79, and he has 45 whiffs in 39.2 innings. While he likely isn't going to overpower hitters with strikeout stuff at higher levels, the Cardinals are used to that sort of approach with their pitchers. At 21 years old, Rajcic still has time to further develop his arsenal, and he could be a cog in the Cardinals' rotation a few years down the line.
Victor Scott II, OF
Victor Scott is a blazing-fast runner whom the Cardinals took in round five of the 2022 draft. While he wasn't impressive last season, hitting only .222, he has turned a corner at the plate this year in High-A Peoria with an average of .271 and six triples, which is tied for second in the minor leagues. But the attention-grabber is his stolen bases: Scott has swiped 35 bags this year and has only been thrown out five times.
Scott is also a strong defensive center fielder and could give the Cardinals an option there in upcoming years if Dylan Carlson and/or Tyler O'Neill are dealt. With his top-of-the-scale wheels, Scott should provide excitement on the basepaths with the Cardinals soon, especially if he continues to hit.