Today, lets take a trip down the St. Louis Cardinals farm system, where their 15th best prospect is drawing tons of attention within the organization. That man is third baseman Paul DeJong, a former fourth-round pick (131st overall) back in the 2015 draft.
His minor league career has gone to plan, as he has improved in many areas and is looking like the Cardinals future starting third baseman. Also, he has a clear path on achieving that goal with Jhonny Peralta getting older and by the time DeJong is ready, the veteran will be gone. Peralta is entering his last year of his deal.
In addition, when DeJong entered the Cardinals system, he shot out of a cannon moving up to Low Single-A from Rookie ball after 10 games. He finished the 2015 campaign with a hot stick that allowed him to hit .316 and belt nine homers driving in a total of 41 RBIs.
He played so well that it resulted in him skipping High Single-A (Palm Beach) to jumping straight into Double-A.
In his 2016 season, he displayed a big power surge by slamming 22 long balls over the fences, but his power surge resulted in a lower batting average and more strikeouts. He batted .260 and struck out 144 times. He struck out only 52 times in 2015, but he pretty much doubled up the amount of games played in 2016 (132). He played in 66 games in 2015. He was one of the main hitters in the Springfield lineup and led the team in home runs, plus finishing second of the team in RBIs (73).
What helped DeJong succeed so far at the plate is the advanced approach he displays, plus he knows the strike zone that also helped his transition to pro ball. He has Major League average in-game power and it showed with the 22 homers due to his strength and bat speed from the right side.
Finally, DeJong is a fringy defender. The team believes he can be an everyday third baseman, but he needs to work on his accuracy. The 15th ranked prospect has the arm strength to stay at the hot corner.
Note: Expect DeJong to start the season at Triple-A.