Another strong indicator of farm system success is how well the players perform once in the majors. The best way to evaluate this is by looking at Rookie of the Year voting. The last time the Cardinals had a Rookie of the Year recipient was 2001 (Albert Pujols, unsurprisingly), not very promising. However, the team has had ample finalists in recent years. Brendan Donovan was a finalist in 2022, Dylan Carlson was a finalist in 2021, Dakota Hudson placed fifth in 2019, Jack Flaherty and Harrison Bader placed fifth and sixth respectively in 2018, and Paul DeJong placed second in 2017. Those names are just from the last five years.
Going back through the last decade will reveal ample Cardinals' players who are in the top five of the Rookie of the Year voting each year. Keep in mind, the team has seen relative success in recent years, leading to late draft picks each year. It is a testament to a strong farm system that the team is able to bring up capable, talented players who contend for Rookie of the Year each year despite not being in the top-15 in the draft classes each year.