NL Central Farm System Report 2.0

NL Central Farm System Breakdown

The divisional reports are a new series put out by the PitcherList dynasty team. These reports provide a list of the top ten prospects on each team in the division and highlight two players from each organization. Each division will be updated once per month by our divisional experts. Make sure to head over to the Pitcher List Dynasty page to check out the other divisions already released.


NL Central


Chicago Cubs


Top 10 Prospects


Prospects I Am Most Excited About:

  • Yohendrick Pinango: Once a highly regarded prospect in the Cubs organization Yohendrick Pinango is surging back up the rankings with his strong start in High-A. The 22-year-old Pinango has played in 29 games slashing .340/.451/.610 with five home runs, 20 runs scored, 19 RBIs, and three stolen bases. This season Pinango has posted his highest walk percentage at 16.4% while striking out just 12.3% of his 122 plate appearances so far. With 15 of his 34 hits going for extra bases Pinango is starting to tap in the above-average to plus power that made his a highly regarded prospect in the first place.


  • Brett BatemanSelected in the eighth round of the 2023 MLB Draft out of the University of Minnesota, Brett Bateman has stood out early with his performance in High-A. The outfield prospect has shown off his advanced bat-to-ball skill along with his speed on the basepaths. In 27 games played Bateman is slashing .337/.467/.429 with 21 runs scored, 10 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts. Similar to last season’s short sample size at Complex Ball and Low-A Myrtle Beach Bateman is walking 18.7% while striking out 17.9% in 123 plate appearances. As an advanced College bat, Bateman could be moved up to Double-A in short order.


A Few Other Names To Know:

  • Drew Gray: The Cubs have a strikeout artist right now in High-A by the name of Drew Gray. Drafted straight out of high school in 2021 Gray features a four-seam fastball, curveball, and change-up. What has been one of the only blemishes in Gray’s game has been the high walk rates in Complex Ball and in Low-A. This season Gray has started six games for High-A South Bend striking out 28 batters over 19.1 innings pitched, Good for a 13.03 K/9 with a .182 average against, and is currently sporting a solid 1.86 ERA. Once again the walks have been the only concern early on at 7.91 BB/9. In order to remain a starter long term Gray will need to be more efficient and refine the command and control but regardless there is at least a high upside reliever profile here.


  • Cristian HernandezOne of the top international prospects signed in the 2021 class Cristian Hernandez has mixed results early on in his career. The Cubs had Herandez repeat Low-A Myrtle Beach and to this point the numbers have been excellent early on. In 27 games played Hernandez is slashing .292/.385/.368 with one home run, 19 runs scored, 11 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts. At the plate, Hernandez is showing discipline walking 11.5% while lowering the strikeout rate from 27.4% in 2023 to 23% in 122 plate appearances. The potential plus power skill set that made Hernandez stand out before he signed has yet to show up but with six of his first 31 hits going for extra bases it’s at least a start.


St. Louis Cardinals


Top 10 Prospects


Prospects I Am Excited About:

  • Sem RobberseOne of the most underrated pitchers currently in Triple-A right now has been Sem Robberse. The 22-year-old Robberse has a four-pitch mix in his four-seam fastball, curveball, change-up, and cutter with the curveball and change-up being his standout offerings. Across seven starts in Memphis Robberse has struck out 42 batters over 41.2 innings pitched, good for a 9.07 K/9 with a solid .205 average against, and currently has a 2.81 ERA. Along with solid strikeouts and a low batting average Robberse has had excellent command and control of his offerings walking 2.38 batters per nine innings. Overall this might be the pitching prospect to watch in the Cardinals organization going into the summer months if an injury where to arise.


  • Quinn MathewsCarving up Low-A batters right now is Cardinals left-hander Quinn Mathews. Selected in the fourth round of the 2023 MLB Draft out of Stanford Mathews is old for the level at 23 years old but could get bumped to High-A in short order. In six starts Mathews has struck out 52 batters over 30.2 innings pitched, good for a 15.26 K/9 with a solid .133 average against with a 1.47 ERA. Mathews could move fast if the Cardinals want to push him this season making him an interesting prospect to watch early on.


A Few Other Names To Know:

  • Nathan ChurchSt. Louis has a long track record of developing “role players” who get the job done in the majors. Nathan Church was an 11th-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft out of the University of California. In 30 games played at Double-A Springfield Church is slashing .331/.379/.488 with four home runs, 21 runs scored, 23 RBIs, and seven stolen bases. When it comes to plate discipline Church has been solid walking 7.9% while striking out just 10% in 140 plate appearances. This might not be a dynasty winner but a solid prospect to stash who could fill a role with the Cards.


  • Miguel VillarroelIn his first full season in the Cardinals organization Miguel Villarroel has been solid in the early going. Villarroel plays first and third base but takes more of the contact approach as opposed to the power profile we are accustomed to seeing at the position. Across 31 games played at Low-A Villarroel is slashing .341/.386/.439 with 18 runs scored, 11 RBIs, and seven stolen bases. With Palm Beach, Villarroel currently has an 18.9% strikeout rate in 132 plate appearances. At 22 years old he could use the bump to High-A Peoria and it should come soon.


Cincinnati Reds


Top 10 Prospects


Prospects I Am Excited About:

  • Sammy StafuraCinncinatti might have got a steal in the second round by selecting Sammy Stafura in the 2023 MLB Draft. The 19-year-old is back in the complex league to start the 2024 season and the small sample size has been encouraging. In five games played Stafura is slashing .524/.600/.762 with nine runs scored, five RBIs, one stolen base and has four of his 11 hits so far going for extra bases. Going into the draft Stafura was praised for the bat-to-ball skills and his understanding of the strike zone and so far the 16% walk and strikeout percentage confirms it. It shouldn’t be too long before Stafura gets the bump to Low-A Daytona.


  • Ricardo Cabrera: Performing well early is Ricardo Cabrera, the 19-year-old shortstop and third base prospect is quickly making a strong case to get bumped up to High-A early. Currently in Low-A Daytona Cabrera is slashing .280/.357/.460 with three home runs, 17 runs scored, 12 RBIs, and two stolen bases in 26 games played. Cabrera is hitting the ball with authority early on crushing 12 of his 28 total hits for extra bases. Across his 112 plate appearances, Cabrera has an 8.9% walk percentage paired with a 24.1% strikeout rate. Like Sal Stewart, the Reds could be looking to push Ricardo Cabrera this season as long as he continues to hit.


A Few Other Names To Know:

  • Adam SerwinowskiFlame-throwing left-handed pitchers are hard to come by with most comps leading to Chris Sale. This is going to be a similar comp with 19-year-old Adam Serwinowski who has been fantastic in Low-A Dayton so far this season. Across six starts Serwinowski has struck out 21 batters over 21.1 innings pitched, good for an 8.86 K/9 with a stellar .176 average against, and currently is sporting a 1.69 ERA. The walks have crept back up for Sewinowski to a 4.22 BB/9 but with two offerings in the 97 mph fastball and the sweeping slider, it should be alarming. If the Reds are able to develop a change or sinker for Serwinowski to go along with his two offerings look out he could skyrocket up this system’s rankings fast.


  • Rhett LowderWhat can you say about the Reds first-round draft pick in 2023 out of Wake Forest that hasn’t already been said? The man is very good. Lowder features a fastball, slider, and change-up that are so effective thanks to his pinpoint control. In five starts at High-A Lowder struck out 29 batters over 25.1 innings pitched, good for a 10.30 K/9 with a solid 2.13 BB/9, and finished with a 2.49 ERA. In addition to getting strikeouts Lowder does an excellent job inducing weak contact and keeping the ball on the ground as he had a 49.2% ground ball percentage. The Reds saw all they needed to see and promoted Lowder to Double-A Chattanooga where he has only made one start striking out five batters over five innings walking one and has a 5.40 ERA.


Milwaukee Brewers


Top 10 Prospects


Prospects I Am Excited About:

  • Yujanyer Herrera: When it comes to developing pitching prospects Milwaukee is one of the best so it comes as little surprise to see a Brewers pitching prospect lighting up Low-A early on. Yujanyer Herrera has been fantastic early on striking out 27 batters in 17 innings pitched, good for a staggering 14.29 K/9 with a solid 3.18 BB/9 and finishing Low-A with a 2.12 ERA in four appearances. This was enough for the Brewers to promote the 20-year-old to High-A Wisconsin where he has continued his dominance. In two appearances (one start) Herrera has 11 strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched, good for a 13.50 K/9 with a 3.68 BB/9 all while having a .185 average against and sporting a 2.45 ERA. Believe it or not, at both levels the FIP indicates Herrera should have a lower ERA than he has posted. This just adds to the excitement of a pitching prospect to stash in deep dynasty formats.


  • Carlos D. Rodriguez: Long-time Brewers prospect Carlos D. Rodriguez has been getting it done in his second stint in Double-A Biloxi. The 23-year-old outfield prospect is currently slashing .315/.385/.380 with 10 runs, 13 RBIs, and four stolen bases in 25 games played. Rodriguez has never been known as a power-hitting prospect in his time in the Brewers organization but with the hit tool and plate, discipline has remained solid. This season as he is walking 10.6% and striking out just 12.5% of his 104 plate appearances. With above-average speed on the base paths and hit tool this season it shouldn’t be long before he is up in Triple-A.

A Few Other Names To Know:

  • Ernesto Martinez Jr: Currently in Double-A Biloxi Ernesto Martinez Jr is off to an impressive start and should be watched. The 24-year-old first-base prospect has been fantastic in his second stint in Double-A. In 30 games played Martinez Jr is slashing .286/.354/.455 with three home runs, 10 runs scored, 20 RBIs, and eight stolen bases. The power has been on display at 13 of Martinez Jr’s 32 hits have been for extra bases. Across 127 plate appearances, Martinez Jr is walking 7.1% and striking out just 18.1% of the time. This isn’t a prospect who I expect to lock down the first base job long term but a left-handed first base prospect who is 6’6″ and 250 pounds without strikeout concerns is someone to monitor.


  • Daniel Corniel: For deep league managers Daniel Corniel is a fun pitching prospect to stash early on. The 19-year-old right hander has been solid in his first stint at Low-A Carolina. In five starts Corniel has 25 strikeouts over 23.2 innings pitched, good for a 9.51 K/9 with a .225 average against, and currently has a 2.28 ERA. Already the walk rate has come down to a 3.04 BB/9 (down from 5.45 BB/9 in Complex Ball in 2023. Overall solid performance thus far in Low-A as he has done a good job at limiting hard contact and keeping the ball on the ground to this point.


Pittsburgh Pirates


Top 10 Prospects


Prospects I Am Excited About:

  • Michael Kennedy: Currently one of the pitching prospects standing out in Pittsburgh’s system is Michael Kennedy. Selected in the fourth round of the 2022 MLB Draft out of High-School Kennedy features a low 90s fastball paired with an above-average slider coming in at 83 mph and a change-up that tunnels well off the fastball with solid fade. Now in his second stint in Low-A Kennedy has started six games with 34 strikeouts over 29 innings pitched, good for a 10.55 K/9 while walking just 0.93 BB/9 and sporting a solid 3.72 ERA. The 2.63 FIP tells us Kennedy is better then his numbers suggest so far. At just 19 years old Kennedy might spend a large chunk of the season in Low-A Bradenton but a trip to High-A Greensboro is not out of the question.


  • Luis Peralta: With Jared Jones getting done in Pittsburgh with the high strikeouts you can’t help but look at other potential high strikeout artists. For Luis Peralta, he might not be a starter but the upside so far this season has been evident. In nine appearances in High-A Greensboro Peralta has 30 strikeouts over 14 innings pitched, good for a 19.20 K/9 with a .149 average against and a fantastic 0.64 ERA. Prior to this season Peralta was a starter but the Pirates started to run him out of the bullpen towards the end of the 2023 season. Now exclusively out of the bullpen he has been lethal even notching a single save so far.


Notable Performances

  • Charles McAdooIf you are looking for an excellent dynasty stash make sure to snag Charles McAdoo. The 22-year-old McAdoo has been on fire early on in High-A Greensboro. In 28 games played McAdoo is slashing .301/.378/.524 with five home runs, 17 runs scored, 26 RBIs, and five stolen bases. Across his 119 plate appearances, McAdoo has shown a solid eye at the plate walking 9.2% while striking out just 20.2%. There is still a lot more power to come from his 6’1″ frame as we have seen in his 12 extra-base hits early on. In person, McAdoo is a fun prospect to watch and it will not surprise me if he is promoted to Double-A Altoona before the All-Star break.


  • Sammy SianiBrother of the Cardinals Michael Siani, Sammy has taken massive strides forward this season in his third stint in High-A Greensboro. Cutting down the strikeout rate was key for Sammy to find success early on and the numbers showed it. In 20 games played with the Grasshoppers Siani slashed .324/.402/.563 with four home runs, 17 runs scored, 12 RBI, and two stolen bases. Across his 82 plate appearances, Siani was walking 12.2% while striking out just 11%. Just recently promoted to Double-A Altoona Siani has only played in five games so far so we will watch how he fairs against advanced pitching.


Feature Image Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on X)

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