Updated: Dec 5, 2021
WELCOME TO THE DIRTY FLIRTY.
These are my top 40 prospects in The Cardinals organization, aside from the players that I’ve already covered in The Dirty Annexes. This little ditty here is the preface to all of the post in our Dirty series. So, if you’ve read this once then you don’t need to read it again!
A warning to those looking for Lars Nootbaar, Scott Hurst, Junior Fernandez, Johan Oviedo, Jake Woodford, Edmundo Sosa, and anyone aside from Angel Rondon that has already made a major league debut: That’s not really my bailiwick, as I’m sure you’ve heard enough about those guys from more qualified outlets already. Most of those guys have exhausted their prospect status, anyway.
A reminder that this is an exercise in futility, ranking prospects. It’s a landscape that is ever-changing and developing. We are almost always talking about kids that are just starting to understand both themselves and their bodies, while learning the most difficult and nuanced sport in the land. You never know when someone is going to start doing 200 pushups per day on their way to postseason glory.
I ask for your thoughts and feedback. I ask that you have fun. I ask that you remember that I’m a moron. Most importantly, I ask that you take all of the prospect rankings from every outlet in the spirit of what they are: a snapshot of that moment, with a bent towards understanding what might come.
#24: 1B/2B/3B/OF Chandler Redmond
25 Years Old on Opening Day
Drafted in the 32nd round of the 2019 draft
Springfield and Peoria
We have reached another write-up on the list of a prospect that I am probably going to be higher on than most of the other prospect blowhards.
I want to start off by saying that Chandler Redmond has two big things that he is going to need to work on (I always start off with the areas of concern with the guys that I'm higher on than others. I just realized this right now. Holy defense mechanism, Batman). First, he needs to get better at first base. It’s clear that he isn’t comfortable there, specifically when he was first promoted to Springfield. There were some really rough times for him at first base. I am not all that worried about that though, because Redmond is better at 2nd than he is at 1st. He's better at 3rd than he is at 1st, as well.
That’s right, this country-bodied monster is actually a really solid defensive second baseman. It hurts him that he doesn’t physically profile there, so his best bet is to continue to get better and better at first base. Personally, I like him more as a third baseman that gets reps in left field, but it seems more likely that he is going to be a first baseman long term. Redmond is more athletic than his size and body type would lead you to believe, and he has the baseball smarts and instincts to play 1st. He just needs the comfort that comes with reps to get him there.
Redmond also got to pitch for Peoria in a blowout. Here's a gif of that just because. He's not a pitcher in any way, shape, or form, just to be clear. This is just a fun moment from the season.
The next area that Redmond will need to show immediate growth in is how frequently he strikes out. A 34.8% strikeout rate isn’t going to play at many levels, even if it does come with an 11.6% walk rate. Specifically, Redmond struck out more than 50% of the time against lefties. He needs to continue to aggressively advance his approach against lefties if he is to maintain his spot on the list. However, Redmond didn’t have this HUGE vulnerability in college or during the 2019 season, even if it was an area that needed work. He’ll more than earn his spot if he can just go back to being the hitter against lefties that he has shown to be in the past, and at times during the 2021 season.
Now that the unpleasantries are out of the way, let me tell you how much I love his line drive stroke. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I also really love that his power alley is to the opposite field gap. It’s a pleasure to watch him scream ball after ball to the opposite field. While turning on a ball and dissolving it in the sun isn’t the biggest part of his game, Redmond is more than capable of it. I’ve seen him do it more than once.
While Redmond’s swing might be described as long, I’d prefer to describe it as “purposefully diligent” in that it is purposefully in the zone with the sole purpose to diligently hammer the ball. The other thing that I really like about Redmond is that there isn’t much waste in his swing. He has really solid body control for a person of his size. Not much in the way of head movement, either. If it was long and wasted then he wouldn't be able to do the damage that he does to the opposite field. For real, it's Redmond's ability to use the whole field with damage in mind that helps to carry him further up my poorly constructed list.
While I obviously love power with an emphasis on lofting the ball, what I really love is a guy who smokes line drives all over the place. I have emphasized how he can do damage to the opposite field and how he can really unload on a pitch, what I haven't mentioned is that he keeps things so easy and so simple that he can hit the ball consistently to all quadrants. Not just pulled-gap. Not just pushed-gap. No, he can smoke the ball down both lines and up the middle. Redmond does have some cleanup to do in the consistency of his front foot landing, sometimes opening up way too much. This is, in my opinion, part of the reason why he struggles against lefties so much. He also had some work to do with advanced, loopy breaking pitches from righties. Because he kind of "uncorks" his swing, it's important that his timing is righteous for his hips to do the work that they are capable of doing.
In a lot of ways, Chandler Redmond reminds me of the prospect version of Luke Voit when the Cardinals drafted Luke Voit. While Redmond hits left-handed and comes with the Cinderella story of being a 32nd round selection out of Gardner-Webb (which is awfully Matt Adams-esque), the two are both big-bodied infielders working on a new position. They both take/took walks because they understand the strike zone, but also rely/relied on all parts of the field to be productive. While Voit didn’t walk at first like Redmond walks, Redmond strikes out substantially more than Voit did at first.
To continue to echo a running theme in these write-ups, Redmond is a really great kid. You'll notice that he has a fun personality in just the few gifs that I put in this post. He's also an incredibly hard worker, and one of my personal favorites on The Dirty.
If Redmond can find the contact against lefties like I believe he can, then there’s reason to believe that Redmond could be the next iteration of the Cardinals’ version of the prospect Luke Voit. Good luck trying to make sense of that cryptic shit.
As I just take a screenshot straight from their website, I can’t begin to stress loudly enough the important role that FanGraphs plays in the statistical side of what I do with these write-ups. Please subscribe to their service BY CLICKING THIS LINK.
In addition, you all know how important and valuable @cardinalsgifs is to the pictures that fire up these articles. I wouldn’t do the write-ups if it weren’t for him.
Thank For Reading!!