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.
To prepare you for the first part of this countdown, the back seventh of these rankings are comprised of what I'm going to call "Misfits." Think of this group of players as being on the fringes of prospect status for one reason or the other, yet still needing a little shout out or love.
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 let me know what you think!
Chandler Redmond - Age 23 - Johnson City - 1B/2B/3B - 32th Round 2019
Chandler Redmond is the 2019 draft's winner of the "Matt Adams Award." That's to say, a late-round pick with a big body that kinda came out of nowhere to earn a spot on the D35. The left-handed swinging comparison (although with completely different mechanics) is also there!
While Gardner-Webb University isn't exactly Slippery Rock, it still constitutes coming out of nowhere in regards to other baseball programs. Only two players from Gardner-Webb has ever made a major league debut. As a 32nd round draft pick, it's easy to see how the chips might be stacked against this young man.
As I mentioned, Redmond is a big boy. He's every bit of 230 on top of a 6'1" frame. There isn't much in the way of wasted weight, either. He isn't sloppy, and you can tell that he works to keep himself in what I'm going to refer to as "lumberjack shape." He just looks STRONG.
What's most surprising about his size is that he manages to play a really solid second base for a low-level minor leaguer! I've heard a lot of positive things about the way that he plays third and first, as well, so it's going to be interesting to see where his development will take him. I've been told that he is "clunky" mechanically, but that he gets the job done well. Take that for whatever in the hell that means. I do worry that his arm isn't quite as strong as you'd like from a third baseman, but that's coming from a fan of a team that just trotted Matt Carpenter out at third for parts of the last couple of season. A lazy evaluator will tell you that Redmond is going to be a first baseman or a DH long-term, but there is certainly third or second upside here. If there is one thing that Mike Moustakas and proper defensive alignment at second base has taught us, it's that you can get away without being a prototype 2B if your team is handling you properly.
Redmond was old for the Appy League, but that shouldn't take away from just how great he was in that league. The wRC+ of 151 that he put up should help to demonstrate that he was Johnson City's most consistent and productive hitter on a daily basis. In 212 plate appearances, Redmond hit 12 home runs and 12 doubles to go along with a walk rate of 11.8% and a strikeout rate of 25.9%. The strikeout rate is high, especially for a player in a league that he's over a year older than, but the walk rate and production are enough to see how it could all come together for him in no time.
As a hitter, Redmond is fascinating. He gets off-balance sometimes because of his leg-kick, but this mechanic also allows him to punch the ball to the opposite field. It might sound crazy, but I think that this power bat just might be compromising a little power. His swing is a little long, but I really like it's path. It flattens out for line drives and it gets loopy on pitches low in the zone or when he is in a count in which he knows that he can do damage.
Redmond has an aggressive approach at the plate, but he isn't stupid about what he is swinging at. Like we mentioned earlier, his K Rate is too high currently, but the walk rate is a positive sign of development. From the research that I've done on him, I know that he has worked hard to be selective about what he is swinging at. That's a strong sign of maturity, and he's come a very long way over his four-year collegiate career. So, yes, he's always going to swing and miss. But he knows what to do with the pitches that he does make contact with.
The other interesting thing about Redmond is that he isn't a slow baserunner. He's not a burner and he isn't going to steal a bunch of bases, but he's got a little giddy in his step. He runs kinda weird if I'm being honesty, but not enough that I feel comfortable talking further about it in fear that this monster will read this and track me down and murder me (he wouldn't. From what I understand, this is a very nice/kind young man). Kidding aside, he isn't going to do anything, speed-wise, that will make him a liability. If Luken Baker had this kind of speed or athleticism he'd be further up my list by a great deal, I suspect.
Redmond is going to be a fun prospect to follow. I'd love to see him start the season in Peoria, and I think that he's more than earned that. It won't do the Cardinals any good to have this kind of left-handed, 23-year-old bat sitting in extended spring training and waiting for the short season affiliates to fire up in 2020. I have it on good authority that Redmond also has some deep Cardinals' rooting roots within him, so what do you say we just go ahead and fast-track this kid!!?!!
I can't imagine asking for anything more from a late-rounds draft pick. Over the last decade or so, the Cardinals have done so well with these picks as compared to the rest of the league, and I think that it's something that the Cardinals' fans have taken for granite (I know it's "granted", but it's a Rick & Morty thing and I can't help myself). There is big power and fielding intrigue on the horizon for this young man, and I can't wait to see how aggressively the Cardinals push him. I think that there is reason to compare him to former Cardinals' prospect Dariel Gomez. He's more athletic than Gomez, and he has such a good baseball IQ. He'll need to continue to adjust his approach against lefties (even though he's been very successful against them so far), while cleaning up that front leg-kick a little to maximize his offensive abilities. I'm hopeful that all of this is happening at Peoria soon rather than later. It's time to see what Redmond can do against players as physically mature and similarily-aged/experienced.
What I know for sure is, this kid is going to be a lot of fun to keep an eye on moving forward. If I wasn't trying to be as objective as possible, I would have put him in the top 30.
Look at that beautiful pic by @Cardinalsgifs. What a mensch.
Thanks For Reading!!