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St. Louis Cardinals Top Prospect #1

Alex Reyes will have high expectations for 2017.

Every other day over the next two months, John Nagel and Kyle Reis will announce a new prospect on The Redbird Daily’s Top 30 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect List. For each prospect, John and Kyle will reveal where that prospect landed on their personal lists and also few thoughts on the prospect. We hope you enjoy!

Prospect #1 Alex Reyes – International Signee, 2012

2016 Stats: St. Louis/Memphis – 6-4, 3.56 ERA, 111.1 IP, 145 K, 55 BB

Kyle Reis (Prospect #1 On Personal Rankings)

First, thank you to everyone who has stuck with us through this 2 month-long process. This has been a lot of fun to be able to bring to everyone, and taking part in this with John Nagel has been a tremendous honor. I hope that everyone had a chance to walk away with, at least, a little bit of knowledge that they might not otherwise have been able to attain. THANKS!

With that said, welcome to the least interesting unveiling of a #1 Prospect that you’ll ever see! Even with the season ending Tommy John Surgery, Alex Reyes is still the best prospect in the system. A lot can change in a year, but I’d bet that Alex doesn’t move much on this list in a years’ time, either. He’s a transformative talent that is rare for any organization.

Now, you just hold your breath and hope that he comes back healthy. It’s going to take some time. At least we already have a story to talk about as we enter spring training in 2018. Hooray, the bright side!

You know the stats and the nastiness of his three pitch mix. That curveball that fallls like a waterfall off of a cliff. That change up, when used low in the zone, that keeps hitters off balance. The fastball that is just, well…..

Filthy.

It’s crazy to think about the season that Reyes had in 2016. It’s hard to remember that Reyes started the season suspended for 50 games because of Marijuana usage. I watched nearly all of his starts in Memphis last year, and he worked up in the zone way too much and shook his catcher off way too often. His changeup can be a difference maker and we all know how good that curve is, but Reyes loves the fastball and he wanted to blow everyone away with it. Don’t kid yourself, you would do the same thing if you threw 100 MPH and were 21.

But, alas, this is the magic of Alex Reyes; he is SMART. He understands pitching. He’s electric and he’s smart, and the combo is deadly. Follow THIS LINK and watch the video to hear Reyes talk about his arsenal and how he was using it before the All-Star break and what he needed to do to improve. He was aware of it and he changed his approach and that is why he was so deadly during his brief stint with the major league club in August and September.

When projecting prospects, you often hear the top pitching prospects refereed to as “top of the rotation” talents. On a rare occasion, some of the best pitching prospects will get the label of “a potential #1 starter”. But, in the scouting world, it doesn’t end there. There is another level. The near fabled “Ace Potential”. It doesn’t happen very often, but that is most certainly the potential that Reyes possess.

Here’s to hoping for health!

John Nagel (Prospect #1 on Personal Rankings)

With these rankings being determined prior to Reyes’ injury, we had no idea the club was going to lose their top prospect for the entire season, but I don’t think it would have mattered anyway.

Alex Reyes has rare talent. He has ace potential, something you don’t find much in the minor leagues. Currently, there is not another pitcher in the Cardinals minor league system with that potential. I’m not saying that one won’t develop, but at the time of this publication there isn’t.

You may be wondering if Alex Reyes could lose his top spot during or after the 2017 season? I think there is a chance, but I think really only two players could take it from him. Delvin Perez or Sandy Alcantara. Perez would have to dominate Low-A Peoria and Alcantara would have to dominate Double-A. If I were to put money on one of them, it would be Alcantara.

Tommy John is not a simple procedure, rather it’s very advanced. There is a lot of risk involved and some pitchers never return to their previous form. I think worst case scenario is Reyes becomes a reliever from this, which I do think is unlikely.

Cardinals fans need to exercise patience with Alex Reyes. We won’t see him at the end of this season probably and next season he may start slow. I would hope he would be fully recovered for 2019. By then, who knows where he will be ranked in the prospect rankings.

 

How we rank prospects: Click Here
Best of The Rest: Click Here
#30 Prospect: Daniel Poncedeleon
#29 Prospect: Jonathan Machado
#28 Prospect: Jeremy Martinez
#27 Prospect: John Gant
#26 Prospect: Alvaro Seijas
#25 Prospect: Nick Plummer
#24 Prospect: Jordan Hicks
#23 Prospect: Zac Gallen
#22 Prospect: Bryce Denton
#21 Prospect: Johan Oviedo
#20 Propsect: Randy Arozarena
#19 Prospect: Connor Jones
#18 Prospect: Dylan Carlson
#17 Prospect: Ronnie Williams
#16 Prospect: Paul DeJong
#15 Prospect: Ryan Helsley
#14 Prospect: Eli Alvarez
#13 Prospect: Jake Woodford
#12 Prospect: Dakota Hudson
#11 Prospect: Junior Fernandez
#10 Prospect: Magneuris Sierra
#9 Prospect: Edmundo Sosa
#8 Prospect: Jack Flaherty
#7 Prospect: Harrison Bader
#6 Prospect: Austin Gomber
#5 Prospect: Sandy Alcantara
#4 Prospect: Delvin Perez
#3 Prospect: Carson Kelly
#2 Prospect: Luke Weaver
#1 Prospect: Alex Reyes

John
Father, husband, teacher who currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Grew up in St. Louis and has been a huge Cards fan as long as I can remember.
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