#10 - Matthew Liberatore
Matthew Liberatore falling at number ten on this list, as well as the kinds of names that were left off of it should be an indicator of just how deep the Cardinals' young talent pool is.
After a disappointing 2022 season, many were pretty down on Libeatore coming into this season. After an impressive Spring Training, Liberatore has followed that up with a 3-1 record and 2.14 ERA with 45 SO in 33.2 innings of work. As Henry Fitzgerald noted yesterday, a ton of his underlying numbers suggest that this hot start is for real and that Liberatore has truly bounced back as a prospect.
There is a very real possibility that Liberatore joins the Cardinals' rotation in May, and represents a very important arm for the club this season and in future years. Part of the reason that the Cardinals have not been able to invest in an "ace" over the last few offseasons has been their lack of ability to fill rotatoin spots with cost-controlled starters. While I disagree with them deciding it's better to spend money on middle of the rotation arms if you do not trust your young guys, it's a real concern that they have had.
If Liberatore can be penciled in for a rotation spot next year, the Cardinals will already have two spots filled with him and Miles Mikolas, and possibly three if Steven Matz bounced back. This leaves room for the club to invest heavily in 1-2 other starters. While some may argue Liberatore is a "worse" prospect than guys who did not make this list, his ability to help stabilize the Cardinals' rotation is invaluable.