Peoria, Illinois is a fine American city. A blue-collar Midwestern mentality makes up the foundation of the largest city to sit on the Illinois River. However, what gets lost in the list of Peoria’s attractive features, is the bevy St. Louis Cardinals top prospects that make the future look brighter than ever.
With the recent promotion of two top Cardinals prospects, the the Single-A Peoria Chiefs have a roster stacked with top talent. According to MLB Pipeline, five of the current top-30 prospects in the organization are on the Chief’s roster. Three of the five prospects are ranked in the top ten in the organization, all younger than 20 years of age.
There are also several strong prospects who are not in the Top 30 but still warrant discussion. This group of top prospects are currently building their skills and repertoire in Peoria. They will all likely move on to higher levels sooner rather than later. For now, Peoria, Illinois is the place to watch young talent grow, making it a must-see on any tourist’s to-do list.
Nolan Gorman-Third Base
Nolan Gorman is the number-one prospect in the organization and the 35th prospect in all of baseball. He just turned 19. He leads the Midwest League in home runs and is second in RBI. As the Cardinal’s first round draft choice last June, Gorman tore up rookie league pitching before being promoted to Peoria at 18-years old in 2018. Now back with the Chiefs, he is hitting for big-time power. Prior to the season, he received a few big league at bats in Spring Training with a home run to show for it:
Jhon Torres-Right Field
According to MLB Pipeline, Jhon Torres is currently the fourth-rated prospect in the organization. Acquired in a trade last July with the Indians, he tore up the Gulf Coast League to a tune of .397/.493/.683. Torres has a lean six-foot-four-inch frame that scouts feel will only add power. The right fielder’s top-two graded tools by scouts are his arm and power tools.
Malcom Nunez-Third Base
Malcolm Nunez was an international signing in 2018 out of Cuba. He promptly won the Dominican Summer League Triple Crown at 18 years old slashing .415/.497/.774 with 13 home runs and 59 RBI in 44 games. This helped make him the organization’s fifth-rated prospect. His skills project well for being able to hit for both average and power.
This 18-year-old catcher out of Panama has already shown tremendous prowess with his hit tool, hitting .348 in a 2018 stint in the Gulf Coast League. That performance earned him a call up to Double-A Springfield late in the season when a catcher was needed there. Herrera’s bat is considered ahead of his glove, and some scouts have speculated whether he can remain a catcher. His gap power, pitch recognition, and potential to add more to his power would make him an elite prospect if, indeed, he can remain behind the plate.
Wadye Ynfante-Center Field
The 23rd-ranked prospect in the organization flashed a ton of potential early in his minor league career. He has leveled off a bit since his impressive debut, but the transformed infielder still possesses a very interesting skill set. His speed and the ability to play a major league level of center field are very promising skills. His hit tool is what remains to be seen in terms of its development.
In addition to these names, pitcher Alvaro Seijas, a prospect who has spent time on the Top 30 list in years past, is having an excellent season. Seijas is still only 21 years old. Last year’s 43rd overall pick in the draft, Griffin Roberts, comes off his 50 game suspension soon and he may find himself assigned to Peoria as well. Roberts is a strong right handed pitching prospect who was graded as having the best breaking pitch in the 2018 draft, his slider.
So if Peoria, Illinois the next vacation destination, watching a Chiefs game is a necessity to see the plethora of Cardinals top prospects that are stars in the making.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images