2022: Too Soon To Tell
Notable Names: 1) Cooper Hjerpe; 2) Victor Scott II
Last year’s draft is too recent to rank but there’s reason for optimism. Cooper Hjerpe hasn’t pitched since May 23 due to injury but he’s MLB.com’s 4th-ranked Cardinals prospect and his scouting report gives reason to believe he could be helping this rotation sooner rather than later:
“Standing at 6-foot-3, Hjerpe fires from a deceptive crossfire angle from a delivery that gets him impressive extension off the bump. That level of deceit makes his low-90s fastball play well above its velocity and makes the heater look downright explosive out of the hand. He tunnels his breaking stuff well off it with an upper-70s sweeping slider or a mid-70s curveball that can give a slower, more downward look. His fading changeup, sitting right around 80 mph, flashes above-average too and gives him a full starter’s arsenal.
Hjerpe appears almost fearless with the way he goes right after hitters, and despite his unorthodox mechanics, he throws plenty of strikes that should keep him in a starting role. He may already be a first-rounder, but his combination of stuff, presence and command could make him a breakout candidate and quick riser toward the St. Louis rotation.”
Victor Scott II, the team’s 5th-round pick, has been a pleasant surprise and offers game-changing speed. His invitation to this year’s Futures Game leaves reason to believe this class could slot high in future rankings.
2021: Too Soon To Tell
Notable Names: 1) Michael McGreevy; 2) Joshua Baez; 3) Gordon Graceffo; 4) Mike Antico
Like 2022, it’s still too early to judge the 2021 draft. But with the big league club in need of pitching help ASAP, it’s nice to know that Gordon Graceffo and Michael McGreevy, MLB.com’s third and fifth-rated prospects on the team, aren’t far from potentially joining the rotation.
Joshua Baez has already cracked the top 10 team prospect list and scouts remain bullish on his potential power, while Mike Antico could provide a September spark in future years with his defensive ability and speed on the basepaths.