St. Louis Cardinals Spring Breakout Game #1 Recap

St. Louis Cardinals Photo Day
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3. OF Chase Davis

I was eager to see the Cardinals' 2023 1st-round pick Chase Davis play on Friday, as we had yet to see him this spring. Davis recorded a bloop single in the Spring Breakout game and displayed a brand-new batting stance. His stance had a lot of moving parts in the past, but he has refined that for the 2024 season. Davis used to waggle his bat before his load-up, but now he simply rests it on his shoulder. Additionally, his legs are much closer to each other, whereas he's always had a wide stance in the past. Davis has also cut down on his exaggerated leg kick from last year. All these changes help to simplify his swing process at the dish.

Davis had an underwhelming pro-debut last year and struggled to translate the thunderous power he displayed for the University of Arizona. In 131 plate appearances for Palm Beach, Davis had a .058 ISO and failed to barrel a single batted ball in statcast-tracked games. His swing decisions and contact rates were solid, but the quality of contact took a major hit. Entering the 2023 draft, there were questions about how Davis' bat would translate in a wood-bat environment. In 66 plate appearances at the Cape Cod League in 2022, Davis had an ISO of just .038. I hope the swing change can lead to more consistent hard contact and improved barrel accuracy.

4. OF Zach Levenson

Zach Levenson had a tremendous start to his pro career last year, hitting six home runs in 34 games for Palm Beach while producing a 114 wRC+. I mentioned him as a potential 2024 breakout candidate on the Noot News Podcast. Levenson possesses some of the best game power in the system and displayed that in the Spring Breakout, slugging the Cardinals' lone home run. His home run only left the bat at 97 mph, but he got it out to his pull side something he has outstanding feel of. Levenson's ability to pull fly balls and consistently hit the barrel of the bat helps to maximize his power.