Victor Scott II may steal an Opening Day roster spot as Cardinals' injuries pile up

As the injuries pile up for St. Louis, Victor Scott II may be able to steal an Opening Day roster spot.

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

While the St. Louis Cardinals continue to get hit with injury news, one has to now wonder if one of their top prospects, center fielder Victor Scott II, can swipe a spot on the Opening Day roster.

On Friday, the Cardinals announced that they may be without outfielders Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman on Opening Day, just a few days after Sonny Gray's status for the beginning of the season was put in jeopardy as well. Edman is still recovering from offseason wrist surgery and has experienced multiple setbacks, while Nootbaar was diagnosed with two non-displaced fractures in his ribs.

While neither Edman nor Nootbaar have been ruled out for Opening Day, the Cardinals now have to figure out what their contingency plans are, should two of their three starting outfielders begin the year on the injured list. While outfielders Dylan Carlson, Alec Burleson, and Michael Siani are all on the Cardinals' 40-man roster and utility man Brendan Donovan is capable of playing the corner outfield, many are going to look to Scott II to take the reigns.

Scott has been exciting in camp so far, consistently making a difference both on the basepaths and in the outfield. Before Friday's contest against the Nationals, Scott was 3-16 at the plate with two walks and two steals to his credit and has been placed at the top of the Cardinals' lineup on a number of occasions.

Scott stole 94 bases in just 132 games between High-A and Double-A in 2023 and has gone from an interesting prospect with speed to a guy on most publications' top-100 prospects lists. His 80-grade speed, plus-plus defense, and continued improvement at the plate make him one of the most exciting prospects we've seen in a while in St. Louis. I talked with Scott toward the end of last season on the Noot News Podcast, and it was easy to tell why people are so high on him.

When asked about Scott's timeline, John Mozeliak did not rule out a spot on the Opening Day roster but reiterated that there are still three weeks left in camp and they are not going to rush him.

Even if Edman and Nootbaar miss Opening Day, as long as both of their timetables to return are just a week or so after Opening Day, I would guess that Scott begins the year in Triple-A and the Cardinals role with an outfield of Alec Burleson, Dylan Carlson, and Jordan Walker on Opening Day with Michael Siani off the bench. The Cardinals tend to not promote prospects of Scott's stature just to fill in for a small stretch, so unless they feel like he's in it for the long haul, my guess is they don't pull the trigger yet.

As Mozeliak said though, there are still three weeks left in camp. Should Scott play at a level that the Cardinals just can't ignore, then we may see him starting on Opening Day in Los Angeles. It will also be important to watch the performances of Carlson, Burleson, and Siani as well, as if any of them look overmatched, that could turn the tides as well.