Will Cardinals top prospect Alex Reyes see time in majors in 2016?
With the baseball season coming soon, Baseball Prospectus has released the annual list of its top 101 prospects. The St. Louis Cardinals have just one player on this year's list, according to SB Nation -- right-handed pitcher Alex Reyes, ranked at the 10th best prospect in all of baseball.
While Reyes is the only Cardinals prospect to make the list in 2016, three were ranked in 2015 -- Stephen Piscotty at No. 32 and Marco Gonzales, along with Reyes.
Reyes, who will turn 22 in August, had a spectacular season in 2015 between the Cardinals' High-A and Double-A minor league teams. In just 98.1 innings pitched, he struck out 148 batters giving up just one home run. Despite his high ranking on the top prospects list, Reyes will be serving a 50-game suspension in 2015 for testing positive for marijuana.
If Reyes wasn't facing a long suspension to start the season, it is likely he could have made the team out of spring training, or at least early in the season at some point. Instead, its in question if he will even make his debut in 2016.
Even with Reyes' future as a big-leaguer being delayed, with a fastball that often touches 100 mph along with a great curve, it would be tough for the Cardinals to keep him in the minors for long after his suspension is up. He could easily help St. Louis upgrade the back of its bullpen with his talent.
That debut, should it even occur in 2016, would be contingent on Reyes improving his command. The raw talent is there, as apparent with his speedy fastball and devastating curveball, but with some refinement, Reyes could potential be one of the best pitchers for the Cardinals, or even in baseball.