4. Ivan Herrera
I'm torn on Ivan Herrera. He is a legitimate starting catcher in the majors, and he has nothing left to prove in the minors. The issue with Herrera is the fact that he is blocked by two players currently on the major league roster. Willson Contreras seems to have another shot at being the team's starting catcher in 2024, and Andrew Knizner proved himself to be a serviceable backup catcher last year.
Herrera has done nothing but hit in the minors; he has a career .280/.391/.432 slash line across 6 seasons in the minor leagues. He has a strikeout rate of 22.5% to go along with a walk rate of 13.5%, both fine percentages. Herrera really took off in AAA Memphis in 2023, slashing .297/.451/.500 and hitting 10 home runs in 375 plate appearances.
Herrera is primarily known as a bat-first catcher, but he has made great strides recently behind the plate, particularly in his blocking abilities. He has a 50-grade arm and a 50-grade field according to MLB.com. Should Yadier Molina join the Cardinals' coaching staff in 2024, Herrera could show even more growth under his tutelage.
He has not exceeded his rookie status, so he has six years of team control remaining. Catcher is a hard position to fill, so Herrera's value is very high in 2024. I would love to see what Ivan Herrera can do at the major league level, but the two catchers ahead of him seem entrenched.