The St. Louis Cardinals let long time starting CF Abraham Almonte walk in the offseason with the hopes that one of their young, up and coming outfielders would step up to claim the job. Thus far into Spring Training, that youngster appears to be Sergio Cortes.
It’s no secret to those following Sergio’s progression that he was the odds on favorite from the organizations viewpoint. In both 2019 and 2020 he began his season in A ball at Palomino and finished in the AAA affiliate in Memphis. The difference? In 2019 his 7 appearances in Memphis proved he was still a work in progress. In 2020 he moved up to Memphis fast and appeared in 72 games, starting 71. He showed a lot of promise, batting .269, going yard 13 times and totaling 46 RBI’s. This performance, of course, earned him an invite to Spring Training.
So far, all he’s done is come close to mirroring his AAA progression from 2020. And, though he hasn’t hit a dinger yet, his .270 average and outstanding fielding are going to make it hard to send him back to the minors. In addition to his solid progression, Cortes has been called a ‘man among boys’ since being drafted in the 4th round in 2018. It’s rare to find a leader of this caliber at such a young age.
Our best guess is the young center fielder makes the 26 man roster to start the regular season, and becomes a mainstay in the middle for a long, long time.