3 Cardinals prospects John Mozeliak has on his ‘main league radar’

Three names got here to thoughts for Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak when speaking concerning the prospects that might come into the fold because the 2023 season unfolds.

“When you take a look at that prospect group,” Mozeliak stated through the Cardinals Winter Warm-up this previous weekend. “There are some youthful gamers which can be beginning to put themselves on that main league radar when you consider someone like your Jordan Walker and what his influence could be or (Gordon) Graceffo, (Michael) McGreevy to call a number of.”

Walker, Graceffo, and McGreevy, together with 19 different Cardinals minor leaguers, acquired non-roster invitations to spring coaching and will see further alternatives with some Cardinals leaving camp to play within the World Baseball Classic.

As spring coaching nears, here is a take a look at the trio Mozeliak talked about throughout final weekend’s Winter Warm-up.

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Outfielder/third baseman Jordan Walker

St. Louis Cardinals participant Jordan Walker indicators autographs beside pitcher Miles Mikolas on the ultimate day of Cardinals Winter Warm-up at Ballpark Village on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

Robert Cohen

Acquired: Drafted 2020 (first spherical) from Decatur (Georgia) HS

In 2022: .306 avg., .898 OPS, 19 homers, 31 doubles, 68 RBIs, 22 stolen bases (Class AA)

At 19 years previous to begin the season, Walker was the youngest participant within the Texas League and one in all two youngsters on a Double-A roster. Walker ended the yr with the second-most hits within the Texas league whereas he tied for third in doubles and was fifth in OPS. The Georgia native was the one Cardinals minor leaguer to succeed in 100 runs on the season, which was a file for essentially the most runs by a Springfield Cardinals participant since 1998.

Walker switched from third base to the outfield in August as a manner for the Cardinals to discover a future spot within the subject for him. He continued studying the outfield, and his offensive success within the Arizona Fall League. There, Walker posted a .286 common, a .925 OPS, and 5 dwelling runs in 21 video games.

Walker will come into camp with an opportunity to crack the opening day roster.

“In Jordan Walker’s case, clearly he is a dynamic participant,” Mozeliak stated on Saturday to followers inside Ballpark Village. “I believe the largest factor for him is simply taking part in the sport, simply gaining expertise. If we’re affected person with that, he’ll profit from it. I believe we’ll all profit from it. He has an opportunity to be a family identify very, very quickly and put his fingerprints on the St. Louis Cardinals rapidly.”

Right-handed pitcher Michael McGreevy

Cardinals minor-league spring training day two in Jupiter

Cardinal minor-league pitcher Michael McGreevy talks to media on Tuesday, March, 8, 2022, after drills on the second day of minor-league coaching on the facility in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Christian Gooden

Acquired: Drafted 2021 (first spherical), UC-Santa Barbara

In 2022: 9-5, 3.99 ERA, 28 begins, 144 1/3 innings, 117 strikeouts, 1.25 WHIP (Class High-A/Class AA)

A San Clemente, California native and former highschool teammate of Andre Pallante, McGreevy started the yr because the ace for Peoria’s rotation. The former first rounder went 3-1 and had a 2.58 ERA in 45 1/3 innings in eight begins in Class High-A. His ERA inflated to 4.64 in 99 innings (20 begins) in Class AA as he was compelled to regulate to a full season and extra superior hitters.

As somebody who pitches to contact, McGreevy tied with Graceffo for the bottom stroll charge (5.1%) amongst Cardinals minor league pitchers who threw 130 or extra innings and had the seventh-highest floor ball charge in MiLB with the identical qualifiers, per FanGraphs. That’s what has the Cardinals intrigued.

“The one factor you bought to like about McGreevy is that he’s a strike thrower,” Mozeliak stated. “And when you’ve got a crew that is constructed on protection that normally tends to be a fairly good marriage. Are there issues he nonetheless has to evolve and do? When you consider his breaking ball, when you consider whether or not he can discover a number of further miles an hour or velocity, that is all one thing we hope to see.

“But while you’re simply taking a look at simply pure efficiency on what he was capable of do, love the truth that he is across the zone. Love the truth that he works rapidly. I believe these are all attributes that are inclined to result in success at greater ranges.”

Right-handed pitcher Gordon Graceffo


Cardinals minor-league pitcher Gordon Graceffo, 22, takes a breather after ending a bullpen session earlier than a back-field simulated recreation on Saturday, April 2, 2022 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Daniel Guerrero, dguerrero@post-dispatch.com

Daniel Guerrero

Acquired: Drafted 2021 (fifth spherical), Villanova

In 2022: 10-6, 2.97 ERA, 26 begins, 139 1/3 innings, 139 strikeouts, 0.94 WHIP

A tough-throwing righty with a fastball that touches 100 mph, Graceffo started the 2022 minor league season a spot behind McGreevy in Peoria’s rotation and completed the season because the Cardinals minor league pitcher of the yr. He posted a 0.99 ERA over 45 2/3 innings with 56 strikeouts and 4 walks in his first eight begins with Peoria. The New Jersey native moved as much as Class AA in May together with McGreevy the place he noticed dips in his strikeout charge and velocity, the latter of which was as a result of full workload he was given.

Precautionary pitch limitations resulted in an uptick in Graceffo’s velocity through the remaining stretch of the season. He ended the yr with 16 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, 22 strikeouts, two walks and 5 hits allowed in his remaining three begins. Graceffo ended the Class AA season with a 3.94 ERA in 93 2/3 innings.

Graceffo’s 0.94 walks and hits per inning was second amongst Cardinals minor leaguers whereas his strikeouts have been fourth-most, and strikeout-to-walk the third greatest. Although Graceffo appears to take care of a beginning function, his qualities are what the Cardinals are searching for to amplify their bullpen.

“I believe one of many issues that we heard from our teaching workers was swinging miss and velocity,” Mozeliak stated. “When you suppose again to form of like late final yr, or possibly while you’re watching the postseason, the horsepower popping out of bullpens is actual. There’s no getting round that.”

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