Looking back at the Cardinals' 10 most disappointing prospects of the past decade

Many St. Louis Cardinals fans have a propensity to overhype prospects. These 10 players indicate that it's often best to keep expectations measured.
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
6 of 11

6. Delvin Perez

The Cardinals thought they had a steal on their hands when they took shortstop Delvin Perez 23rd overall in 2016 after the top-10 talent tumbled down draft boards because of reports that he used a performance-enhancing substance. Baseball America rated Perez third in the team's system in 2017 and 86th overall.

Perez displayed promise defensively, but the shortstop once compared to Carlos Correa lost his power and ability to impact the ball once he began playing professionally, failing to hit a home run in 2017 and hitting just one in 2018 and one in 2019. He was often stymied by breaking pitches out of the zone, and he walked just 27 times in 506 plate appearances with High-A Peoria in 2019.

Perez provided hope that he might have found something during the COVID-19 shutdown of the minor leagues, appearing in camp at 2022 with more muscle, which allowed him to drive the ball more and hit four home runs with a .339 slugging percentage.

The excitement didn't last, as Perez hit only .223 across Double-A and Triple-A in 2022. After the season, he was signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees. but Perez failed to impress in Double-A with his new club, hitting just .170 in 71 plate appearances.

The Cardinals were hoping that their seemingly endless search for a homegrown shortstop would finally come to a close with Perez, but he was never able to make the final leap and contribute to the major leagues.