The Cardinals announced that they have selected left-hander Connor Thomas to their 40-man roster. That protects him from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
A fifth-round selection out of Georgia Tech in 2019, Thomas spent the entire season with Triple-A Memphis. He started 25 of his 28 outings, tossing 135 innings of 5.47 ERA ball. He only punched out 17.9% of opponents, but he induced grounders on over half the batted balls he allowed and has excellent control. The Cardinals have valued that kind of strike-throwing and grounder ability on their pitching staff, thanks in large part to the strong infield defense behind them.
The 24-year-old can serve as rotation or long relief depth for the Cards. He’s the only prospect St. Louis protected from the Rule 5 draft, bringing their 40-man roster count to 39.