jordan-walker-st-louis-cardinals-072721
jordan-walker-st-louis-cardinals-072721

Baseball America released its updated top 100 prospects list on Wednesday, and it features a trio of St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers.

Third baseman Jordan Walker is the top-ranked Cards prospect, coming in at 24th on the list. Walker, a first-round pick in 2020, turned heads with a standout performance last summer as he posted a .317/.388/.548 slash line with 14 homers and 14 steals in 82 games split between Low-A Palm Beach and High-A Peoria. BA writes that Walker "has as much offensive potential as any prospect in the lower levels of the minors."

Infielder Nolan Gorman, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2018, ranks 34th on the list after raking at Double-A Springfield, Triple-A Memphis and in the Arizona Fall League last year. The 21-year-old left-handed hitter, who shifted primarily to second base in 2021 after playing exclusively third base over his first two pro seasons, posted a .279/.333/.481 slash line with 25 homers and 75 RBIs in 119 regular-season games. He followed that strong performance by slashing .375/.565/.625 with a homer in six AFL games before sustaining an injury. Gorman is widely expected to contribute at the major league level in 2022, whether it's as a second baseman or as a designated hitter if MLB institutes the universal DH in the new collective bargaining agreement.

Left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore, who was acquired in a January 2020 deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, experienced a significant drop on Baseball America's rankings after coming in at No. 31 on its last published list in June 2021. Liberatore, who posted a 4.04 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 33 walks over 124.2 Triple-A innings last year, ranks 50th on the new list. He's expected to return to Memphis to begin the 2022 campaign but could be called upon as a depth option if injuries affect the Cardinals' rotation.

Top photo of Jordan Walker courtesy of Peoria Chiefs.