The next crop of St. Louis Cardinals prospects

The farm system is quite top-heavy after a reboot at last year's trade deadline. Which players are behind the top-tier of prospects?

Panama v USA - WBSC U-15 World Cup Super Round Final
Panama v USA - WBSC U-15 World Cup Super Round Final / Hector Vivas/GettyImages
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RHP Max Rajcic

Max Rajcic was named the 2023 Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2023. He was a late-round draft pick--6th round, 187th overall--in the 2022 draft, so his rise in the minors is a pleasant surprise. Rajcic has a versatile pitch mix that includes a fastball, curveball, change-up, and a newly-developed slider. Rajcic was one of the non-roster invitees to Spring Training Camp this offseason. The organization sees value in the 22-year-old pitcher.

Rajcic split 2023 between Low-A Palm Beach and High-A Peoria. He pitched much better in Palm Beach (1.89 ERA, 9.87 K/9), but his 3.08 ERA in Peoria is still strong. Rajcic started 23 games last year, and his presence at big league camp in Spring Training bodes well for his development. Rajcic will be able to learn from veterans like Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and retired players who are at camp.

SS Jonathan Mejia

The St. Louis Cardinals gave shortstop Jonathan Mejia a vote of confidence when they gave him nearly one-third of their international bonus pool money in 2022. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic, and he had a 145 wRC+ in the Dominican Summer League in 2022. Mejia's arm strength profiles him moreso as a third baseman with a 55 ranking out of 80, and his hit tool should carry his offensive game.

Last year, the Cardinals were aggressive with the 18-year-old infielder; they sent him to both the Florida Complex League and Low-A Palm Beach in 2023. Mejia's wRC+ plummeted to just 75 in the Complex League and an abysmal 22 in Low-A, albeit in only 33 late appearances. Mejia's speed is average, and his young age makes him a raw player still. Given time, the young shortstop could pan out to be a strong player. He isn't expected to arrive in the majors until at least 2027, but he is a prospect to keep an eye on.

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