A few days before the trade deadline, the St. Louis Cardinals traded starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery and relief pitcher Chris Stratton to the Texas Rangers. In return, the Cardinals received left-handed relief pitcher John King, plus minor leaguers Thomas Saggese and Tekoah Roby. The other day my colleague Josh Jacobs called Roby the biggest name in this deal. Let’s take a look at the new #4-ranked prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals system.
Tekoah Roby was a third-round draft pick in 2020 by the Texas Rangers. Roby, who passed on a commitment to Troy University to sign professionally, uses a mid-90s fastball, along with his curveball and changeup. Recently, Roby has picked up on using the slider, and that pitch is still being tinkered with. On a 20-80 prospect scale, Roby has a 50 overall scouting grade from both FanGraphs and MLB.com.
While MLB.com lists all four of Roby’s pitches equally at 55, the curveball is considered his best pitch. FanGraphs, who ranked Roby as the 64th-best prospect in baseball, lists his curveball at 70. Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs placed Roby at #5 on the list of best-traded prospects at the 2023 Trade Deadline and described his curveball as “monstrous”.
Through his three seasons in the minor leagues, Roby maintained a 10.98 K/9 rate. While he encountered some hard-hit contact as he encountered tougher competition, Roby showed improvement by getting more hitters to whiff and taking command of the strike zone. Unfortunately, one of the concerns for Roby is his health.
Roby left his last start two months ago with a shoulder injury and has not pitched since. During his time in Low-A Ball, he started feeling elbow pain and was placed on the Injured List. While surgery was on the table, Roby was eventually diagnosed with a sprain.
While Roby has the potential to be a number-one starter, he currently projects to be a mid-rotation starting pitcher right now. Roby has the pitching repertoire and strikeout stuff that the St. Louis Cardinals desperately need in their organization. If he can cut down his ERA when he returns from injury, the Cardinals may have a steal from this trade deadline.