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If anyone ever doubted the Cardinals’ ability to draft, then they should check out MLB Pipeline’s updated 2023 ranking, where 20 of St. Louis’ Top 30 talents came through the amateur ranks. Perhaps the strength of the Cardinals’ Draft apparatus was never more present than it was during the shortened five-round 2020 Draft. Four of St. Louis’ five Top 100 representatives — Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, Tink Hence and Alec Burleson — were selected three years ago when the pandemic affected the process and are now surging their way toward the Gateway to the West. Walker’s potential has especially created a lot of buzz this spring as he looks to bring his near-plus-plus power to the Majors after moving from third base to the outfield.
The other Top 100 talent, Gordon Graceffo, was just a fifth-round pick in 2021 but showed much-improved stuff quickly upon entering the system and finished off his first full season with 18 starts at Double-A. The 2022 Draft class comes with plenty of its own potential. First-rounder Cooper Hjerpe shows a good three-pitch mix out of a funky, deceptive delivery that helped him dominate at Oregon State, while Brycen Mautz (second round) and Pete Hansen (third round) also deepen St. Louis’ stable of southpaws. Those looking for a potential sleeper can find one in fifth-rounder Victor Scott II, an elite runner who might squeeze out just enough bat to pop off in 2023 and beyond. This isn’t to say there isn’t international talent here either. Catchers Ivan Herrera and Leonardo Bernal and shortstop Jonathan Mejia all feature within St. Louis’ top 11 prospects on the new list. Bernal and Mejia, in particular, have the potential to climb even higher as they find their footing stateside while Herrera is trying to find his way to return to the Majors after the Cards signed Willson Contreras as their long-term backstop this offseason.
Here’s a look at the Cardinals’ top prospects:1. Jordan Walker, OF/3B (MLB No. 4)2. Masyn Winn, SS (MLB No. 50)3. Tink Hence, RHP (MLB No. 77)4. Gordon Graceffo, RHP (MLB No. 79)5. Alec Burleson, OF (MLB No. 91)Complete Top 30 list >>
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2022 preseason list to the 2023 preseason list:
Jump: Gordon Graceffo, RHP (2022: No. 24 SFALW: HOU