Both Peoria (low Class A) and Springfield (Class AA) won their respective divisions recently, led by a corps of young Cardinals who project to make their way to a big league debut over the next three years.
Of the Cards’ top prospects, Nick Plummer (#6), Marco Gonzales (#7) and Tim Cooney #8) are all injured and Sam Tuivailala (#11) was recently recalled to the majors. Here’s a quick update on the remaining top 10 prospects in the organization.
#1.) Alex Reyes, 21, (Memphis) has leveled off after a tremendous start following his 50-game suspension for marijuana use. Reyes has seen his ERA balloon to 4.93 as he continues to work through control issues. He has fanned 52 in just 34 innings, but walked 18 and teams are hitting .243 against him as he averages surrendering about a hit an inning. Reports are that command of all of his pitches is still an issue, something he will have to improve before the Cards would risk exposing him to major league hitters.
#2). Jack Flaherty, 20, (Palm Beach) is just 2-5 with a 3.58 ERA. But the youngster also has strikeout stuff (69 in 70 innings) as he continues to develop his pitch arsenal. Flaherty was a first round pick in the 2014 draft and the Cards will let him develop slowly if need be.
#3). Luke Weaver, 22, (Springfield) is 4-0 with a miniscule 1.15 ERA. Teams hit just over .200 against him and don’t get a lot of help. He has fanned 37 in 31 innings but walked just three hitters.
#4). Magneuris Sierra, 20, (Peoria) was an international signing who was pushed a little too fast and was then demoted, but still remains on track and ahead of schedule. Sierra is hitting .293 in 68 games with 33 RBIs. The outfielder is looking at a 2019 estimate to be ready for a debut.
#5). Edmundo Sosa, 20, (Peoria), a slick fielder who is projected to be a better hitter. Sosa makes all the plays and is clearly the best shortstop in the Cardinal minor league organization. He is hitting .272 in 75 games.
#9) Charlie Tilson, 23, an outfielder currently at Memphis, is projected to be a September call up this year. Tilson is hitting .278 but has an on-base percentage of .347 and led the Texas League last year in hits and stolen bases. The Cards could use his speed down the stretch.
#10) Harrison Bader, 22, (Springfield) got a lot of press early when he was insanely hot but has cooled off recently, hitting .295 with a .357 OBP. He is quick in the
outfield and has 13 homers. But he also has power-hitter strikeouts, with 76 in 70 games.
#12) Jake Woodford, 19, (Peoria) is on the 7-day DL. Prior to that, he was 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA for the first half champs. Woodford was a competitive balance pick the Cardinals lured away from his commitment to Vanderbilt. He has good size and projects to have starting stuff in a couple of years.
#13) Carson Kelly, 21, (Springfield) has made the transformation from a third baseman to a catcher so seamlessly he no longer looks like a conversion, but a natural catcher. His bat has finally come around (.291, 6 homers) and he has thrown out 34 percent of runners attempting to steal, a good percentage for where he is in his career.
#14). Bryce Denton, 18, (Johnson City) has the tools, but it is a little early to get excited about someone in short season. Denton is hitting .348 in his first six games. The third baseman has a .444 OBP and will take some time to develop.