On June 25th the St. Louis Cardinals promoted first baseman Luke Voit to the major league roster. He’s received virtually no attention as a prospect but he has an excellent track record. Let’s take a look.
A native of Wildwood, Missouri near St. Louis, Voit played college baseball for four seasons at Missouri State University. A catcher in college, was a decent but not exceptional performer with the bat, hitting .291/.369/.434 with 19 homers over 776 college at-bats from 2010 to 2013. He also had an okay but not excellent track record with wooden bats in summer ball, hitting .250/.320/.413 in the 2011 Cape Cod League.
He was a local kid though so the Cardinals took a shot, drafting him in the 22nd round in ‘13. He hit just .242/.356/.329 in the 2013 New York-Penn League, as the regular catcher for State College.
In 2014 the Cardinals moved him to first base with Palm Beach in the Florida State League and his hitting picked up, .276/.342/.442. He continued to hit in 2015 (.273/.360/.405 for a wRC+ of 134), then was even better in Double-A in 2016, hitting .297/.374/.477 for a wRC+ of 145.
Voit was rated as a Grade C prospect pre-season, outside the Cardinals Top 20 prospects for 2017. The bat was interesting, but he was already 25, limited to first base, and garnered “meh” scouting reports from Texas League observers, which tended to focus on his age and what he couldn’t do rather than that he can do.
Luke Voit scoffs at your doubts, or at least he scoffed at Triple-A pitching for Memphis, hitting .322/.406/.561 for a wRC+ of 150 before his promotion. What he can do is hit.
Listed at 6-3, 225, Voit is a right-handed hitter and thrower born February 13th, 1991. Although he can crush a ball to left field he is not exclusively a pull hitter and can hit the ball out to all fields. In a detailed and positive scouting report from back in January, The Red Baron at Viva El Birdos noted Voit’s above-average power and some changes in his swing over the last two years that helped cut down on his strikeouts while boosting his overall production.
Voit has earned his chance, no question, and the Cardinals have a good track record helping guys like this develop. Don’t underestimate him.