Fans want Victor Scott II, but what if the Cardinals don't?

If the St. Louis Cardinals aren't completely sold on Victor Scott, the team might make a drastic pivot and search outside the organization for outfield help.

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals' latest phenom, Victor Scott II, appears to be just a stone's throw away from the major league roster. The 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .370 in Spring Training, with four stolen bases and eight runs scored. To many fans, it's clear that he deserves to make the team and start in center field with Tommy Edman out indefinitely. But if the often-conservative Cardinals want to give Scott more seasoning in the minor leagues before promoting him, they might need to go outside the organization for more outfield depth.

With Edman on the shelf and Lars Nootbaar also potentially missing the first few games of the season, the starting center fielder would seem to be Dylan Carlson, with Alec Burleson in left field and Jordan Walker in right. However, Carlson is having his issues in Spring Training so far, hitting only .208, and while Spring Training stats don't signify future results, the Cardinals might be close to giving up the ghost on their former top prospect. If the Cardinals want to prioritize defense this season but don't want to bring up Scott, Michael A. Taylor could be a strong free-agent acquisition.

Taylor doesn't have much of an offensive ceiling, hitting only .220 in 2023, albeit with a career-high 21 home runs, but he has a Gold Glove Award to his name and would present a large upgrade over Carlson in center field. This could push Carlson to left field and move Burleson to the bench. Alternatively, Burleson could start in left field with Carlson being relegated to fourth outfielder status. Burleson is having an excellent spring and is a prime breakout candidate in this writer's mind.

The Cardinals would need to hurry if they opt to go this route; there have been reports that the San Diego Padres are interested in Taylor's services. Another option is Adam Duvall, who offers more offensive thump but doesn't have the same defensive aptitude as Taylor. Although the 35-year-old Duvall would fit the Cardinals' push for experienced players, he doesn't seem to gel with the team's defensive focus.

Scott would be the best option to start in center field for the Cardinals given his game-changing speed, which we've already seen on display in Spring Training. But if the Cardinals don't think he's ready, a free agent such as Taylor could be the next best option.