The Cardinals are expected to finalize their agreement with 21st overall pick Chase Davis today, according to MLB.com’s John Denton (Twitter link). The 21st selection has a slot value of $3,618,200, but Davis’ bonus isn’t known since Denton has since corrected his intial report about how much the outfielder would receive. Fangraphs ranked Davis as the 16th-best prospect in the 2023 class, with MLB Pipeline (22nd), Baseball America (28th), The Athletic’s Keith Law (30th), and ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel (31st) all only slightly less enthused about the 21-year-old outfielder’s potential.
As BA’s scouting report notes, “Davis remains a divisive prospect, perhaps given his history of contact questions,” but he significantly cut back his strikeouts during his most recent college season. This only added to a strong offensive profile that includes hard contact and the ability to hit to all fields, plus power grades in the 55-60 range. Davis has an excellent throwing arm and looks to have a pretty safe floor as an above-average corner outfielder, with enough speed that he might be able to handle center field.
The 21-year-old Davis will look to be the latest in a long line of homegrown Cardinals position players to reach the majors, though with so many of those players now in St. Louis, the Cards’ current top prospect list is mostly pitcher-heavy at the top (with the notable exception of shortstop Masyn Winn). While teams don’t draft to address needs at the moment, it is interesting to note that the Cardinals are adding another outfielder at a time when the club might be readying itself to move some of its position-player surplus for longer-term pitching assets at the trade deadline.