(Photo Credit: Tom Wolle/27outsbaseball.com)
Out of all the prospects that are a part of the Cardinals’ extensive farm-system, one of them is ranked by Baseball Prospectus as not only number one in regards to the Cardinals, but number ten out of all of Major League Baseball’s prospects.
And his name is Alex Reyes.
The 21-year old Reyes, a pitcher who has worked his way up the ranks to the point where the St. Louis Cardinals have invited him to take part in spring training, was previously ranked 98th in 2014, and moved up 43 notches to 55th in 2015.
Writers Jeffrey Paternostro and Wilson Karaman evaluated Reyes’ talent, and had plenty of positives to say about the young pitcher.
Reyes has one of the most electric right arms in the minors. His fastball sits in the upper 90s and touches triple digits. He pairs that with a potential wipeout curve that he can throw for strikes or bury to put away hitters. He struggles at times to harness both pitches, and his command of the fastball is presently below average. The optimist might say that just means he has a chance to get even better, and minor-league hitters were no match for him in 2015 as it stood. The pessimist might point to the command troubles and the lack of an average changeup projection, and see “only” a good late-inning arm. Both would probably agree he has one of the highest ceilings of any current pitching prospect.
Starting in Johnson City (rookie) with the Cardinals in 2013, Reyes finished with a record of 6-4 with an ERA of 3.39. He struck out 68 batters in the season. Over the next two years, Reyes bounced around the circuits of the minor leagues, having his most success at Palm Beach (A-Advanced) and Peoria (A).
Currently, he has a career record of 18-18 in the minor leagues, with an ERA of 3.15.
However, the biggest risk with Reyes involves his off-field issues. Recently, he failed marijuana test that resulted in a second violation of the minor league drug and prevention program. As a result of the second violation, he will be suspended for the first 50 games of the 2016 season.
Whenever the time does come for him to make his big league debut, it should be a moment Cardinal fans will be looking forward to.