Cardinals land four prospects in Baseball America’s Top 100, three within Top 50

Slugging 20-year-old Jordan Walker pushes into Top 5 among all MLB prospects.
Jordan Walker speaks at the 2023 Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up event at Busch Stadium, January...
Jordan Walker speaks at the 2023 Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up event at Busch Stadium, January 15, 2023.(Brenden Schaeffer)
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 1:05 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The future is bright for the Cardinals according to the folks at Baseball America.

The publication’s annual pre-season Top 100 prospects list was released Wednesday and features four Cardinals farmhands among the league’s upper-echelon of tomorrow’s stars. Jordan Walker headlines the list of Cardinals prospects, landing at No. 4 overall on the Top 100 list. He’s followed by pitcher Tink Hence (No. 47), shortstop Masyn Winn (No. 48) and left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore (No. 79).

Last year’s mid-season update to Baseball America’s Top 100 list featured seven Cardinals. Outfielder Alec Burleson, right-handed pitcher Gordon Graceffo and catcher Ivan Herrera have since dropped off of the list.

With Nolan Arenado entrenched at Walker’s natural defensive position of third base, the 20-year-old slugger transitioned to life as an outfielder following the team’s trade of Harrison Bader to New York last summer. The switch provides Walker a more evident pathway to the big leagues, something that could happen early in the 2023 season depending upon his performance in spring training.

“It definitely gives me something to play for,” Walker said of the fan support he’s received during his rise to top-prospect status. “Them cheering for me, man, it just makes me, even more, want to get to St. Louis and play for them, put on a show for them. It absolutely does push me toward being a better player.”

Masyn Winn and Tink Hence were also members of the same 2020 MLB Draft class as Walker, and all three are set to embark upon their first big-league camp this spring.

With an ERA north of 5.00 at both Triple-A Memphis and in his limited time in St. Louis last season, Matthew Liberatore didn’t necessarily progress in his statistical performance. He did get a sense for life in the Majors, however, and plans to use that experience to grow in 2023.

“Looking back on it, I think it was really good for me and I think that it could be an invaluable piece of time in my career,” Liberatore said at this past weekend’s Winter Warm-Up of his first taste of big-league baseball. “It really showed me the importance of going out there and having that bulldog mentality and being that ultimate competitor, first and foremost.”

Earlier this week, MLB Pipeline ranked Liberatore as the No. 7 left-handed pitching prospect in baseball and graded his curveball at the top of the list among lefty prospects.