7 players the Cardinals could select with the 7th pick in the 2024 MLB Draft

The Cardinals should have a premium prospect available to them at the 7th overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft.
LSU v Arkansas
LSU v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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RHP Chase Burns, Wake Forest

Cardinals fans who are tuned into the draft process already seem to want Chase Burns more than any other prospect, and I don't blame them at all. Ever since it looked like the Cardinals would be picking in the top 10, Burns has been near the top of my short list of players they should target, and all he's done this season is prove why he belongs there.

Remember how I said it's 1A and 1B with Hagen Smith and another pitcher in this draft? Well, Burns is that other guy. I'm still not sure who I'd give the edge to, but even though Smith has edged out Burns in the counting stats this year, boy does Burns look like a stud on the mound.

That fastball is one of the best you'll see. The strikeout above was a 100 MPH missile and the Burns consistently lives between 97 MPH and 102 MPH when throwing his fastball. When you watch his fastball, it's just different than other guys who throw that hard, and a major reason why is the incredible induced vertical break he has, which is somewhere between 23" and 24" inches. It allows that fastball to "ride" on hitters, and it's why it feels almost unhittable up in the zone.

As you can see in the graphic above, his whiff rate and chase rate are both better than that of Paul Skenes last year at that time. He's not the same level of prospect that Skenes was, but that's really good company to be in. His fastball whiff rate and slider whiff rates compare favorably to top pitchers in today's game (although against collegiate competition).

Speaking of that slider, for all the praise I just gave to his fastball, his slider is usually seen as his best pitch. That is what makes Burns so incredible as a prospect. Not only can he attack hitters with a special fastball, but his slider sits in the upper 80s and makes hitters look lost at the plate. His curveball is also a plus pitch, giving Burns two potential plus-plus offerings in his fastball and slider, a plus pitch in his low-80s curveball, and his average changeup that sits in the upper-80s.

The two biggest concerns with Burns have to be his control and durability. His stuff just seems like the kind that can lend itself to injuries and wild style of pitching, although so far, Burns has kept both concerns in check.

I think if he made me choose a dream guy at number seven for the Cardinals, I would choose Burns. Smith is a very close second to me, but Burns just seems like a special prospect. The next guy on this list is my favorite position player that may be available at number seven.