Why being patient with Victor Scott II may be the best thing the Cardinals can do

While I join most fans in wanting to see Victor Scott II in St. Louis, the Cardinals need to prioritize whatever is best for his long-term outlook.

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

I won't lie to you, I really want to see Victor Scott II start Opening Day for the St. Louis Cardinals in center field. But I've also felt that way about other prospects before, and I know you have too.

Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, Masyn Winn, Dylan Carlson, and the list goes on and on. Almost every season, there is a young prospect who catches our eyes, and we cannot fathom why the Cardinals won't call them up.

Well, they started Walker on the Opening Day roster, like we wanted, and he quickly was sent back down to fix a major issue with hitting too many ground balls, and we've all seen how bad his defense has been.

They finally called up Gorman after his historic home run pace to open the 2022 Triple-A season and quickly began to struggle in St. Louis as Major League pitching found holes in his swing and he made his way back to Memphis.

Liberatore finally got his shot in 2022 as well, and ever since then, he's struggled to prove he belongs at the Major League level (and remember, people desperately wanted to see him in 2022).

Winn was excellent in camp last year, and many thought he should make the Opening Day roster then. He proceeded to struggle at Triple-A to begin the year, and after catching fire in the summer, struggled big time at the Major League level.

And then there's Dylan Carlson, one of the top 20 prospects in baseball at the time of his debut in 2020. He mostly struggled that first year, and although he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2021, things have not gone well for him since then.

I remember all of these situations well, not just because I just witnessed them, but because I too was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see the next generation of Cardinals make their impact.

You're not going to find many who are higher on the potential of Victor Scott II than me. I've had the opportunity to interview Scott on the Noot News Podcast three different times now, and he's a joy to talk to and someone who has all the makings of the next great Cardinal outfielder who fans are going to want to see in St. Louis for a very, very long time.

I'm sure Scott wants his opportunity in St. Louis as soon as possible. I'm not going to complain if he gets that here soon. I want that for him, and if the club thinks he's ready, let's go. But I'm also not going to freak out if they decide to give him some time in Memphis before making the call. When you have a talent like Scott in your system, your mind can't just be on what he can do for you in the immediate future, but how can you maximize him as a player for his entire career?

As the conversations hit a fever pitch in regards to Scott's potential spot on the Opening Day roster, there are some who continue to caution Cardinals fans, with perhaps the most qualified voice to state that case being Kyle Reis, who you can find over on X (formerly known as Twitter) @kyler416 and his analysis on the Cardinals farm system over at Birds on the Black.

Here's the vicious cycle that happens with most Cardinals fans:

1. Prospect begins to excel and inches closer to the Majors.

2. Fans call for that prospect's debut and get frustrated at the front office for "not seeing" that they are clearly ready.

3. The front office finally calls up the top prospect and they unsurprisingly struggle with the very issues the Cardinals were worried they would if they received a promotion.

4. Fans give up on the player and move on to the next prospect, or they complain about the issues they have even if they turn into good ball players.

Scott is not going to become a perfect player, but the Cardinals can do their best to make sure he becomes the best version of himself, something fans have lamented about not happening with other former outfielders.

Scott had 859 career plate appearances at the professional level before camp. He could already be ready to get his shot on the biggest stage, but there's also a good chance there are some things he can continue to get better at in Triple-A before playing in games that count every single day. At the end of the day, figuring things out in Memphis at the cost of wins is okay. In St. Louis, wins are all that matter.

We all want to see Scott succeed when he finally gets his shot in St. Louis. I hope it's as soon as possible, but if the best thing for his long-term future is some more seasoning, then prioritize that. Don't let the immediate satisfaction of seeing Scott in St. Louis cloud your judgment about what's best for the speedster.

If he's on the Opening Day roster, I'll be so excited to watch him play and cheer him on every game. But if he starts the year in Triple-A, maybe wait to pick up your pitchforks and come for the front office, because they may actually be doing the best possible thing for Scott and ultimately what is in the best interest of fans as well.