2020 Preseason Dirty Thirty-Five: Prospect #25

PROSPECT PREFACE

I present to you my list of the top 35 prospects within the Cardinals organization!! The list is both exhausting and ever-evolving.

I am aggressive with who I deem to be a "Graduate." You can read the post that I wrote on The Graduates by following this link. As a heads up, you won't find Lane Thomas, Ryan Helsley, Genesis Cabrera, Andrew Knizner, Rangel Ravelo, or Edmundo Sosa on The Dirty Thirty-Five (R.I.Cardinals Prospect.P to Tampa Bay Ray Randy Arozarena and Texas Ranger Adolis "JAG" Garcia).

There is also another group of about 15 prospects that I could have written about. They are on the outside looking in, currently. I did write in-depth about five of them, and I presented those fellas in this article. I also briefly touch on a bunch of other prospects in that article.

Finally, I totally cheated and basically just copied and pasted the individual write-ups from the "Position Rankings" articles that I wrote after Black Friday. I hadn't realized how thorough those write-ups were until I started to redoing the D35. I have added additional gifs and thoughts to each post, and I've done some light to medium editing within each write-up, as well.


Please enjoy! Please have fun! Please tell me what you think!



Catcher Pedro Pages

Age 21

State College Spikes

6th Round, 2019



Pedro Pages looks a little like an actor that would play an enforcer in a mob movie. His character would have the nickname "Babyface", no doubt about it.


Drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 draft, the first thing that sticks out with Pages (pronounced "Pa-Heys," I believe) is his big-bodied frame. Physically, he looks like a mid/early-career version of Bengie Molina. He stout, yo, but in an acceptable way.

The first thing that you'll notice about him at the plate is that he takes one helluva hardy, yet controlled, cut. I like his swing plane and his intent at the plate. I'm anxious to see how that evolves. It does a ton of damage to the opposite field, but without compromising his ability to pull the ball early in a count. He pulled the ball 52% of the time in 2019, but it seemed like a lot of the damage that he did was to right field with two strikes. Pages has a clear approach at the plate that he can get away with because of his natural feel for hitting. I completely undersold his bat when he was drafted, but there were few games that I watched that I wasn't impressed with his mature approach.


Pages only hit two home runs at State College, but he hit an impressive 17 doubles in 214 plate appearances. I'm sure that Pages will start 2020 with Peoria, and I expect to see some of those doubles to turn into home runs. Because of his approach and his willingness to go oppo with two strikes, he hasn't begun to tap into his true power potential. I have no doubt that it's coming. I'm not saying that he is the type of hitter that's going to hit 20 home runs, but there is easily 15 home run power in that frame and swing. I can emphasize loudly enough how much fun it's going to be to watch this young man develop as a hitter. He definitely has the feel of a diamond in the 6th-round rough.


It's the other stats at State College that really stick out, as well. That 13.1% walk rate is pretty great. The 18.2% strikeout rate will do just fine, as well. The 149 wRC+ is the real beauty of the stat line. Especially when you consider that Pages was only 20-years-old (roughly a year younger than league average) for his entire time with State College. He comes from Florida Atlantic, and that is a good program, but that shouldn't distract from how tough the New York/Penn League can be, and how well he did against some good pitching in that league. The truth is, I don't have much in the way of negative things to say about Pages as a hitter. I'm anxious to see him against more advanced talent in 2020 with the hope that I can better pinpoint where he might struggle.

It's Pages' work behind the plate that has me most curious. The little of him that I saw while watching State College wasn't exactly encouraging. He has a strong (Flashing "plus") arm, but he seemed kind of slow behind the plate. Pages spent half of his starts behind the plate and the other as DH for State College, and I think that's the best indication of where he is defensively, currently. Of course, it should also be mentioned that State College had other talented catchers on the roster, and DH'ing Pages allowed him to get rest after a long college season. It seems like Pages has a ton of work to do behind the plate, as of right now. Of course, I seem to be in the minority in regard to this, as most view him as a potential above average defensive catcher. I caution everyone once again that I am at my worst when I'm evaluating catchers, so please take this with a grain of salt.


Pages has a good baseball IQ and he kinda motors around the bases for a bigger kid. I'd classify it as surprising speed. He's a very smart baserunner, no doubt about that. Pages was also a field general and leader at Florida Atlantic. One thing (of many things) that Randy Flores deserves credit for is drafting players that have high baseball IQ's as well as the ability to stick out as a leader.



THE DEAL

If there is one hitter from the 2019 draft outside of the first two rounds that could fly up this list, it's the 21-year-old Pages. He seems to be completely in control of himself at the plate, with a good understanding of what he is both capable of and good at. The power isn't there yet, but the gap -to-gap power is, and there is reason to believe that power will come in due time. He was too good for State College, and I'm anxious to see his bat go up against more advanced pitching.


We are still learning about Pages behind the plate, but you can't deny that he has a very good arm. With conflicting reports about his catching abilities, we are very much waiting to see how he develops. If Pages continues to develop defensively, and he continues on his current evolutionary track as a hitter, then he has a chance to be a major leaguer.



The biggest of shout outs should be given to @Cardinalsgifs, FanGraphs, Twitter, and MiLB. TV for all of the work that they do that eventually gets put into these articles.

Look at that beautiful pic by @Cardinalsgifs. These pics just keep getting better and better.


Thanks For Reading!!

Kyle Reis