Check out the highlights from Daniel Guerrero’s Cardinals chat with readers. The full transcript of the chat can be found here.
Please tell us what you think we can except from some of the younger Card's players that Mo is counting on to make a big impact in the MLB this year?
A: I think some are shaping up to be regular contributors in 2023. Two of those are seemingly on a track to be more than role players as well.
Someone like Lars Nootbaar will be given opportunities to build off what he did in 2022. The clips of him in the hitting lab this offseason and the accompanying metrics with improvements to his exit velocity are very promising. Brendan Donovan is someone you could expect to be consistent again no matter where he plays the field or hits, similar to last year.
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I know many people are excited about Jordan Walker, as they should be, but the club seems to be cautious with handling where he starts the year. How he does in spring will be a part of the decision. Some expectations should be tempered until we get a better idea of what jersey he is wearing to start the 2023 season.
Q: Are our young prospects as good as the hype?
A: This might not be the answer you're looking for, but we don't know how good someone really is until we see them actually perform in the majors.
It is true that sometimes hype can overshadow a few things like the level of competition they're playing against. I will say that some guys like Jordan Walker get that hype not only because of talent and the numbers that he puts up but also because of what he's done consistently against players older and more experienced than him. For guys like Walker, that adds to the hype.
Q: Daniel, you mentioned earlier that Jose Fermin hasn't appeared in the majors after spending six years in Cleveland's system. I'm sure you've met your share of career minor leaguers. Do most of these guys still believe they have a chance to make it to the majors or are they resigned to spending their career in the minors?
A: They still do have those dreams of playing in the big leagues. We saw that last year with some guys like James Naile and Ben DeLuzio. Guys who spent more than five years in the minors still working towards reaching the majors.
From some of those types of guys that I've talked to, that dream is what keeps them going.
Q: Can you give us anything about Tommy Parsons? He seems like he has always found ways to win games. As a former catcher I like a pitcher that throws strikes when we have a lead. He may give up some runs but that type of pitcher generally does not give up big innings.
A: The one thing with Tommy Parsons and his 12-4 season is that we have to consider he was 6-0 as a reliever. I got the chance to speak with him in Memphis in September and he joked that he "snaked" some wins coming out of the bullpen.
As far as what he offers, he isn't a high-velocity guy or a strikeout guy, but he also doesn't walk too many batters. He had one of the lowest batting averages allowed in MiLB. His .202 average allowed was tied for the third-lowest in MiLB among pitches with 130 or more innings.
The player he tied with: Gordon Graceffo.
Q: During Spring Training, who do you see benefitting most from having several players away at the WBC?
A: As far as across baseball, I’m not sure which team could benefit the most. Some final WBC rosters still haven’t been announced, but when it comes to the Cardinals, there are some players that will remain in Jupiter that would gain something from the WBC.
Jordan Walker is an obvious one that should benefit from additional playing time against big-league arms that aren’t pitching in the WBC. Moises Gomez could benefit as well. Alec Burleson makes that list of outfielders, too.
We could see guys like Paul DeJong and Masyn Winn also get some additional looks on the infield with Tommy Edman playing for Team Korea.
The latest on Willson Contreras is that he is on Team Venezuela's provisional roster and may not play in the WBC. If he were to play, that would open up some playing time for Ivan Herrera.
Q: Ian Bedell could be another very quick mover in 2023 coming off Tommy John. I am interested to see how things go for him in the spring and where he is placed to start the minor league season.
A: Health might just be the biggest factor with Bedell in how far he moves. He's been limited to less than 40 innings since the start of 2020.