3. Pitcher Connor Thomas
When the Cardinals selected Connor Thomas in the 5th round of the 2019 draft, he was part of a theme we saw in how the Cardinals were drafting at that time, looking for sinker ball pitchers that rely on ground balls to get outs. Thomas fits that build, a fastball that hardly touches 90 MPH but had a reputation as someone that gets weak contact and doesn't give up free passes at Georgia Tech. That is why Thomas was ranked 20th on the Cardinals' top 30 prospect list at the end of last season.
Thomas also found himself on the top 30 list at the start of this season but he has since been removed because his minor league success has stalled out since he got to Triple-A last season. After a quick jump up the ranks in the Cardinals farm system, Thomas spent all of last season in the rotation for Memphis, recording a 5.47 ERA in 25 starts. This season has not fared out much better this year with Memphis, as he currently has a 5.77 ERA in 14 games ( 11 starts).
As you would expect knowing that Thomas is a ground ball pitcher that doesn't throw for velocity, he has had issues with hits in Triple-A, and he is not getting that many swings and misses, those two traits make it harder to pitch in the higher levels. Since 2022, Thomas has allowed 267 hits in 199 innings pitched, which calculates to approximately 1.34 hits per inning, and a 7.1 K/9 rate. On top of that, he has not had the control he has had in the past as his walk rate is the highest it's been in his minor league career, which has led to a concerning 1.83 WHIP this season.
The Cardinals targeted pitching prospects at the deadline, preferably guys that have swing-and-miss stuff as they have been one of the worst teams when it comes to getting strikeouts from their pitching staff in the past few seasons. That seems to be something the Cardinals will want to address and fix as soon as possible and I don't think Thomas has the stuff to help with that. Along with the high hit totals, the steady rise in walks, and with him being 25 years of age, the future for Thomas seems to look bleak in the Cardinals organization.