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Meet the 2023 Post-Dispatch Dozen: The Post-Dispatch’s ranking of the top Cardinals prospects

Ahead of the 2022 season, the Post-Dispatch released its first-ever Dispatch Dozen — it’s ranking of the top 12 Cardinals prospects, which was curated by the Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold.

So, with the MiLB season nearing, 2022 Dispatch Dozen inclusions now in the majors, and new prospects in the Cardinals’ farm system, the Post-Dispatch has decided to run it back.

New season, new prospects, new rankings.

The 2023 Dispatch Dozen ranking, as it did last year, factored in the four Ps of prospects: Position, Proximity, Performance, and Potential. Players at a premium position like shortstop or ones with closer proximity to the majors factored into some tiebreakers with the rankings.

While the Cardinals debuted 13 players last season — seven of which made last year’s list — some like Matthew Liberatore, Ivan Herrera, and Alec Burleson enter 2023 with their rookie eligibility still intact through the end of the season. This ranking only includes players who have not yet appeared in the major leagues.

Without further introduction, meet this year’s Dispatch Dozen:

1. Jordan Walker: The Cardinals’ top pick in the 2020 MLB draft has developed into one of baseball top prospects and become a topic of conversation this spring.

Cardinals prospect Jordan Walker talks on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, to other players behind the batting cage on a practice field at the club's spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla.  

Cardinals prospect Jordan Walker talks on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, to other players behind the batting cage on a practice field at the club’s spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla.  

2. Masyn Winn: The strong-armed, sure-handed shortstop with plus speed and eye-popping Statcast metrics shifted his approach at the plate, yielding consistency and flashes of power.

3. Gordon Graceffo: The former fifth-round pick raised his stock as his blazing fastball and strong command helped him become the organization’s 2022 minor league pitcher of the year.

4. Tink Hence: With the potential of becoming a top pitching prospect across baseball, he is set for an innings increase ahead of his third minor-league season.

5. Michael McGreevy: A righty with groundball tendencies and command of the strike zone. His next target is maintaining consistent velocity over the length of an entire season.

6. Jonathan Mejia: The teenage switch-hitting shortstop got his first taste of pro ball in the Dominican Summer League. He has yet to play in an official game stateside.

7. Cooper Hjerpe: A lefty with a funky delivery who posted a 2.53 ERA and 161 strikeouts with Oregon State University before becoming the Cards’ top 2022 pick.

8. Leonardo Bernal: An 18-year-old, switch-hitting catcher with power who had success stopping the run game and challenging called balls in the Florida State League’s automated ball-strike system.

9. Brycen Mautz: Given a full-time starter opportunity in his final year at the University of San Diego, the second-round pick fanned 129 batters in 90? innings.

10. Joshua Baez: The strong-armed outfielder was limited by a hamate bone injury in his first full season, but produced solid numbers upon his return to the field.

11. Won-Bin Cho: As the first amateur player from Asia signed by the Cardinals, the teenager debuted in the Florida Complex League and showed solid plate discipline.

12. Connor Thomas: A lefty who made a 40-man roster push when he introduced a cutter to his arsenal and found swing-and-miss success in the Arizona Fall League.

Honorable mention: Moises Gomez, Inohan Paniagua, Mike Antico, Jimmy Crooks, Pedro Pages and Pete Hansen.

The 2023 Cardinals season preview section will be in print Sunday; check all week for more coverage.

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— Daniel Guerrero

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanGuerrero on Twitter

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