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 #24: Jordan Hicks – 3rd Round, 2015
2016 Stats: Johnson City/State College – 6-2, 2.97 ERA, 60.2 IP, 42 K, 29BB
Kyle Reis (Ranked #24 on Personal List)
Jordan Hicks is a monster. He’s the kind of prospect that you try your hardest not to fall in love with but you do it anyway. When you watch and research him, you keep watching and researching him. I’m embarrassed that I ranked him 24th. He’s better than that. I want a do-over!
There are so many different people and scouting sources saying so many different things about Hicks that it can be dizzying. There is a consensus, though. They all seem to think that he will impact the major leagues when it’s all said and done. It’s undeniable that Hicks can bring the heat. Some have reported that Hicks has hit triple digits, but it’s more realistic that he’s hitting the upper 90’s, which is no small task. During game action he usually sits mid 90’s. That’ll get the job done.
I’ve read criticism of his throwing motion, which is laughable when you watch it. I’ve seen people grade out his change-up as a 20, which basically means it’s a waste. In Derrick Goold‘s top 10 prospect chat via Baseball America he said that a scout called Hicks’ curveball a 70, which would make it a dynamic pitch.
It’s easy to be a bit confused about Hicks. He didn’t pitch after being selected in 2015, then struggled a bit in his 2016 debut at Johnson City over six starts. But midway through the rookie league season he was promoted to State College and proceeded to dominate the NY/Penn League. While there, he held hitters to a .217 batting average and K’ed 22 over 30.2 IP while sporting an ERA of 1.76. He pitched so well there that Baseball America named him the 10th best prospect in the NY/Penn league.
Like with many flame throwing teenagers (Hicks is 20 now, but started 2016 as a teenager), Hicks will need to refine his command if he wants to progress rapidly through the system. Still, with his physical maturity and a plus breaking pitch to go along with upper 90’s heat, Hicks is poised to set the prospect scene on fire in 2017 with just a little bit of refinement.
John Nagel (Ranked #22 on personal list)
Kyle and I are pretty much on the same page regarding Jordan Hicks. If there is one prospect in this whole series who could make the biggest move, it is Hicks. I respect Baseball America more than any other site that ranks prospects and, as Kyle mentioned above, they (really Derrick Goold) love Jordan Hicks.
Hicks will be 20-years old for most of the 2017 season and he should start the year with the Peoria Chiefs, barring any injury setbacks. At 20 and in a full season league, Hicks would be right on track to become one of the best, young pitching prospects in the Cardinals system, probably falling in line behind Sandy Alcantara, Junior Gonzalez, and Jake Woodford.
As Kyle mentioned, you have to look past the stats and read more of the scouting reports on Hicks to see his potential. If that 70 grade curve ball develops, Hicks will have two monster pitches. We know how well the Cardinals organization can develop change ups, so if he can develop just an average change to go along with the monster heater and hook, Hicks will have a high ceiling.
If we look back at 2016, we can look to Hicks’ start on August 27th for the State College Spikes. Facing the Nationals affiliate the Auburn Doubledays, Hicks went 7 innings and allowed 3 hits while giving up 1 run and striking out 6 with no walks. In fact, if you look at Hicks’ last three appearances, he went a combined 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA over 15 innings pitched and he allowed 9 hits.
I would not be surprised to see Jordan Hicks within our post-season top 10 rankings. The potential is there for him to be a #2 starter, in my opinion, however there is some significant risk as he only has one professional season and 60 innings under his belt. If Cards fans don’t know the name Jordan Hicks, they will after 2017.
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: 2/17
#22 Prospect: 2/19
#21 Prospect: 2/21
#20 Propsect: 2/23
#19 Prospect: 2/25
#18 Prospect: 2/27
#17 Prospect: 3/1
#16 Prospect: 3/3
#15 Prospect: 3/5
#14 Prospect: 3/7
#13 Prospect: 3/9
#12 Prospect: 3/11
#11 Prospect: 3/13
#10 Prospect: 3/15
#9 Prospect: 3/17
#8 Prospect: 3/19
#7 Prospect: 3/21
#6 Prospect: 3/23
#5 Prospect: 3/25
#4 Prospect: 3/27
#3 Prospect: 3/29
#2 Prospect: 3/31
#1 Prospect: 4/2