It’s Time For The St. Louis Cardinals To Call Up No.1 Prospect Markevian “Tink” Hence

It’s Time For The St. Louis Cardinals To Call Up No.1 Prospect Markevian “Tink” Hence

2024 MLB All-Star Weekend set to begin on Saturday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas the spotlight will be on the Futures Game and Inaugural Skills Showcase first.

That game features 54 of the rising prospects in minor league baseball. One of the players who was supposed to participate in the game is St. Louis Cardinals hurler Markevian Tink Hence, the club’s No.1 prospect and the No. 42 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Hence won’t make the trip but will instead throw batting practice in Springfield as he returns from an injury.

With an expected call up this season, Hence is biding his time with Double-A Springfield where he’s been dominant in some of his outings.

In 12 starts this season Hence boasts a solid 4-2 record with an ERA of 3.29. He’s struck out 73 batters which is an average of six per start. His 1.13 WHIP is one of the best in all of the minors, which makes you wonder why the Cardinals haven’t called him up.

Hence Is Ready, But Are The Cardinals?

Back in April, Hence was asked by reporters what he thought it would take for him to get the call to the majors this season, and he knows it’s all about mindset and belief in himself.

 

“I told myself, This is the year! So, it’s just keeping my word to myself, proving that I’ve put in the work and developed to the point that I’m ready for this. I have that mindset now that I’m going to be a big-league starter and I’m going to compete at the highest level. So, just telling myself that. I’m putting that on my shoulders for this season.”

 

With the Cardinals sitting at a surprising (48-42) in the National League and in the second wildcard spot, Hence has the type of talent that can help them secure that playoff spot. In fact, there’s belief throughout the organization that he could one day be ace of the pitching staff. Which is why they’ve taken their time with him and let him develop at his pace.

 

“You Certainly See The Velo, Here’s A Guy… Who Touches 100 Occasionally” | Palm Beach Manager Gary Kendall Raves About Markevian “Tink” Hence

 

Cardinals Purposely Held Him Back

 

When the Cardinals drafted Hence with the No.63 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, he weighed 160 pounds. Since then, he’s added 35 pounds to his slender 6-foot-1 frame. The Cardinals reasoning for taking their time with Hence was so he could add the necessary strength and stamina needed to become a major league pitcher.

If last year’s Futures Game where he pitched a scoreless inning — or this year’s Spring Breakout showcase in March where he struck out different hitters on three different pitches — were any indication, he’s ready.

“I’m really getting my confidence up there and I feel like all my pitches are on the rise. I’m trying to just build, build, build each time that I go out so that I have that confidence in all my stuff.”

 

Hence Should Be In Triple-A Memphis Soon

Barring any setback Hence should be promoted to Triple-A Memphis soon, and if he does his thing there, the Cardinals will have no choice but to bring him up. A move that could really help catapult them into the playoffs.

2024 MLB Futures Game And Skills Showcase Features Nine MLBbros Led By James Wood, Cam Collier And Chandler Simpson

2024 MLB Futures Game And Skills Showcase Features Nine MLBbros Led By James Wood, Cam Collier And Chandler Simpson

The 2024 MLB All-Star Game will take place on July 16th at Globe Life Field which is home to the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers.

 

While the game is sure to provide fans with plenty of fireworks, it’s all highly plausible that the Futures Game which will take place on Saturday July 13th will do the same. The beauty of this year’s game and skills showcase is there will be nine MLBbros either playing in the game or participating in the skills showcase.

 

That group is led by Washington Nationals outfielder James Wood who’s batting .276 with one homer, six RBI and six walks drawn in his first eight games and 29 major league at-bats. Wood is the Nationals No.1 ranked prospect and MLB Pipeline’s No.2 ranked prospect.

 

 

He’ll be joined on the National League squad by Cincinnati Reds No.3 ranked prospect Cam Collier who’s hit 13 homers to go with 48 RBI. He’s also drawn 31 walks this season with High-A Dayton.

 

Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall spoke about Collier, one of his prized prospects.

 

“When you sign as a young player, you first have to learn what it’s like to be a professional, what it’s like to live on your own and how to do a lot of things. I think he’s working himself through it and has done a pretty solid job. He’s shown the ability to play third base. He’s got some power in a tough hitters’ park.”

 

“Nah I’m No Prodigy” | Cincinnati Reds Prospect Cam Collier Is All About Hardwork

 

Crawford Brings The Speed, Johnson Supplies Steadiness And Hence Has Ace Potential

 

Rounding out the National League MLBbros is speedster Justin Crawford. Across three minor league season, the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder is hitting above .300 and has 120 stolen bases. The son of MLBbro Carl Crawford has many of the tools his father possessed and will eventually hit for more power.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Termarr Johnson is the club’s No.2 prospect and it’s all about his bat and steadiness at the plate, in three minor league seasons he’s hit 28 homers and drove in 101 runs.

 

His plate discipline is second-to-none as he’s also drawn 178 walks over that time as well.

 

“I Want To Play Baseball As Long As They Let Me” | Pittsburgh Pirates No.2 Prospect Termarr Johnson Named Club’s Minor League Player Of The Year

 

St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Tink Hence is the lone pitching prospect and he’s a good one. The flamethrower who sports a 3.29 ERA and is likely to be called up at some point this season will take the mound in his second Futures Game after pitching a solid scoreless inning the 2023 event.

 

Pitcher Tink Hence Is Patiently Waiting To Explode Into St. Louis Cardinals MLBbro Youth Movement

 

Rays Everywhere

 

The American League squad features two Tampa Bay Rays prospects in minor league steals leader Chandler Simpson who has 58 thefts this season after leading the minors with 94 last season. That number tied with good friend and fellow MLBbro Victor Scott II of the Cardinals who also had 94 last season.

‘Why Are We Picking a First Baseman In The First Round?’ | Tampa Bay Rays No.3 Prospect Xavier Isaac Takes Pride In Proving Naysayers Wrong

 

Slugger Xavier Isaac is batting .293 with 13 homers and 57 RBI.

 

First baseman Tre Morgan another of the Rays young and promising prospects is participating in the inaugural skills showcase.

 

“He’s Been Outstanding” | Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Tre Morgan Shining With High-A Bowling Green

 

Harry Ford Last But Not Least

 

The supremely talented Ford is the talk of the town in the Pacific Northwest after he was moved from his catcher position into the outfield. Many believe the move is an effort to showcase his versatility as he’s a huge trade piece for Seattle Mariners in a possible deal before the July 30th deadline.

 

“He’s Super Unique” | Seattle Mariners Catcher Harry Ford Is On A Fast Track To Majors

 

In all, 48 of the 54 players who participated in MLB’s Inaugural Spring Breakout event in March will play in Saturday’s game. It also features 39 of the top 100 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

“I Think That Was The Biggest Thing For Me” | Houston Astros No.4 Prospect Brice Matthews Promoted To Double-A

“I Think That Was The Biggest Thing For Me” | Houston Astros No.4 Prospect Brice Matthews Promoted To Double-A

After beginning the season 31-38 the Houston Astros have won 12 of their last 16 games including a four-game series sweep over the high-flying Baltimore Orioles who currently have the second-best record in the American League. With their championship nucleus still intact but getting older, the Astros are hoping that some of their famed system prospects pan out and are ready to contribute when called upon.

 

Brice Matthews A Future Houston Astros MLBbro

 

One of the club’s top prospects is 2023 first round pick (28th overall), Brice Matthews who despite being banged up a bit has been promoted to Double-A. The Houston native has all the tools to be a key piece of the Astros next wave going forward, and if he continues to develop as quick as he already has he could join this group before their done.

 

The Astros had Matthews on their radar following a blistering junior season at Nebraska which saw him hit .359 with 20 homers, 67 RBI and 20 stolen bases in just 54 games. Matthews sudden change in power was a welcomed site after the shortstop hit just 12 long balls in his previous 84 college games. Matthews told reporters this about his predraft interaction with the club.

 

“A little bit at the draft combine. I had a conversation and interview with them Astros and then a little after talking to my agent I knew they had interest.”

Matthews Has Been Raking In The Minors and Swiping Bags

 

After beginning the season at the Rookie level and High-A Asheville, Matthews was recently promoted to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. In 2024 as a whole Matthews is batting a solid .306 with seven homers and 22 RBI, with a .938 OPS in 134 at-bats.

 

Where he’s really shined is base thefts, nabbing 22 in 25 attempts (88 percent) clip.

 

If Matthews can stay healthy these are the type of numbers he’s capable of producing on a consistent basis. When asked about his play, and how he rehabbed from his previous injury, the former Huskers star was open about what he did.

 

“Getting healthy and just trying to stay on my back leg. Holding my ground as long as I could. I think that was the biggest thing for me.”

 

If his first game back from injury was any indication, Matthews is fully healthy after going yard twice, helping him win South Atlantic player of the week in his first week back from his nagging back injury.

 

 

Matthews Knows Double-A Will Present New Challenges

 

While Matthews is happy to get the promotion, he also knows things will be tougher at the Double-A level, especially the pitching he’ll face daily. When discussing the difference between High-A hurlers and Double-A mound marauder, Matthews was pretty blunt.

 

“They don’t make mistakes. But other than that, it’s still baseball. Everything’s been the same having all the guys, good to be around them and play baseball and have fun close to my family.”

 

Drafted as a shortstop, Matthews has also spent time at third base and in the outfield. As of now he’s slated to stay there, but because of his unique athleticism he could be used in other spots for the Astros.

James Wood MLB Debut Brings Much Needed Juice To Normally Serene Nationals Park

James Wood MLB Debut Brings Much Needed Juice To Normally Serene Nationals Park

Washington, DC —On Monday night Washington Nationals top ranked prospect and MLB Pipeline’s No.3 ranked prospect James Wood took the field in the majors for the first time.

The 6-foot-7 and 240-pound slugger has worked his way up from Single-A when he arrived via the Juan Soto blockbuster trade in 2022 to the majors.

Wood didn’t waste any time making his presence felt in front of the 26,719 normally subdued fans, who with the anticipation of Wood’s debut turned pretty raucous crowd at Nationals Park.

 

James Wood Gets Hit In First MLB At-Bat 

The Olney, Maryland native who grew up just about 45 minutes from where he now plays his home games hit an opposite field single in his first at-bat.

He finished the night 1-4, with some nifty base running that actually positioned the Nationals to win it in the bottom of the ninth inning. Not at all a bad way to begin his major league career.

Prior to Monday’s game an excited Wood told reporters this ….

“It’s unreal. Just being able to play for the team I grew up around and watching, it’s a blessing.”

 

Wood’s Arrival Revives Fanbase

The arrival of Wood is on par with that of former Nationals superstars Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. It revived a fanbase that’s been waiting for something good to happen since the team won its lone World Series title in 2019, roughly 4 months before COVID-19 ravaged the world.

You could feel the energy in and around Nats Park prior to the opening pitch as loads of spectators were seated in anticipation of team batting practice just to get a glimpse of Wood at the plate.

As many as 50 of the slugger’s family members were seated and ready to see Wood work, and as usual the always even-keeled 21-year-old took it all in stride, seemingly unbothered by the moment.

“It’s cool just being back home and having my family here and trying to soak it all in. At the end of the day it’s still baseball, so just trying to look at it that way.”

Welcome To The James Wood Show

For a team in dire need of a jolt, Wood’s arrival definitely provides that. Throughout Monday night’s theme around Nats Park was “Welcome To The James Wood Show.”

In an effort to not put too much pressure on his talented newcomer, an excited Nationals manager Davey Martinez did his best to taper the expectations for Wood.

“It’s exciting. I don’t want him to feel like he’s the fact of anything. I just want him to go play baseball.”

No matter how much Martinez tries to downplay the expectations that are attached to Wood, they won’t stop. The Nationals fanbase is hungry for a face of the franchise with the aforementioned Harper, Soto and Scherzer no longer around, and Wood fits the bill.

Baseball is a rocky road, especially when the expectations are high, but Woods seems up to the task.

“He’s Been Outstanding” | Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Tre Morgan Shining With High-A Bowling Green

“He’s Been Outstanding” | Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Tre Morgan Shining With High-A Bowling Green

This time last year, Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tre Morgan was helping lead the LSU Tigers to their seventh College World Series (second most all-time).

 

With teammates like pitcher Paul Skenes (first overall pick, Pirates) and outfielder Dylan Crews (second overall pick, Nationals) getting most of the pre-draft hype, first baseman Tre Morgan despite his consistent play went under the radar a bit.

 

The Rays took the talented first baseman in the third round of the draft, and 11 months later they have no regrets.

 

“This Is All Me And My Family Has Ever Worked For” | Former LSU Tigers Standout Tre Morgan Officially Signs With Tampa Bay Rays

 

At the time of the 2023 MLB Draft amateur scouting director Chuck Rocco raved about Morgan’s skill set ….

 

“He is a really fun player to watch. Elite defender, good contact, skills, plays the game with a ton of energy and very relaxed. I guess you could say he was one of the room’s favorite player to talk about this week, so we’re really excited.”

 

Now just about three months into his first professional season, Morgan’s development has been so accelerated that Rays team brass is still swelling with excitement. In fact, it’s actually even higher now seeing Morgan perform at an elite level against major league prospects.

 

Morgan Gets Quick Call Up

 

After spending just 26 games at Single-A Charleston, Morgan got the call up to High-A Bowling Green. Morgan got off to a blistering start going (19-42) in 52 plate appearances.

 

Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Tre Morgan Hoping To Help Lead Charleston Riverdogs To Fourth Consecutive SAL Championship

 

That included a .452 batting average along with nine doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs, eight walks, just one different strikeout. His 1.359 OPS ranked highest on the team. On defense, Morgan even ventured out to left field showing his versatility.

 

Morgan was recognized as the Rays Minor League Player of the Month. Following the announcement of Morgan winning the award, Blake Butera the Rays senior director of player development told reporters this.

 

“He’s been outstanding. Doesn’t strike out. All over the barrel. Gives you tremendous at-bats. Comes to play every day. He’s done a nice job at first base and also outfield.”

 

Morgan Is A Difference Maker

If Morgan’s hot month of May was any indication of what’s to come, the Rays have very likely landed a future difference maker for them. This season Morgan is batting .339 with four homers and 29 RBI, his .934 OPS is tops on the Hot Rods’ roster. He’s also stolen 12 bases in 15 tries.

 

In his short minor league career including last season’s 14 games and this season’s 45-game slate, Morgan is raking with a .351 batting average with five total homers and 35 RBI.

 

In 222 career at-bats Morgan has 78 hits while drawing 30 walks, meaning he’s been on base 108 of those 222 at-bats. With an expected 2026 call-up, Morgan is setting the table and developing just the way the Rays envisioned when they took him in last year’s draft.