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St. Louis Cardinals Daily Farm Report: Oscar Mercado, Casey Turgeon, and Blake Drake lead Johnson City's eight-run attack

Cooney did all he could for Memphis last night, but the offense never showed up.
Cooney did all he could for Memphis last night, but the offense never showed up.
Rob Carr

Memphis loses to Omaha 1 - 4

  • Shane Robinson (CF), 1 for 4, K
  • Randal Grichuk (RF), 2 for 4, 3B, K, R
  • Stephen Piscotty (DH), 0 for 3, 2 Ks, RBI
  • Xavier Scruggs (1B), 3 for 4, K
  • Thomas Pham (LF), 1 for 3, BB, K
  • Pete Kozma (SS), 0 for 4, K
  • Tim Cooney, 6.0 IP, 4 Ks, 2 BBs, 6 Hits, 1 R, 0 ER, Pickoff

Xavier Scruggs had a miserable April, hitting .207 with a solitary HR while whiffing 28 times. After an impressive May and June he is now up to .260/.344/.423. His July has been fairly mediocre at .250/.308/.417 so far, but his last ten games have seen him hit .371/.405/.657. There's no real reason to think those last ten games are more indicative than his totals for the month, but I've been pleased to see him hitting so well. As a low-contact guy that's a bit old (26) to be a prospect, even at AAA, and playing a position on the less-exciting end of the defensive spectrum, I didn't expect much out of him this season. I'm still not sure he's much more than a right-handed Mark Hamilton, but mashing at Memphis will give him a much better chance at being more than that.

Still very eager to see Tommy Pham play some CF for the Cardinals. I know it's not likely to happen with the current roster, but the guy has done nothing but hit since getting appreciable playing time. It's nice to see him healthy and hitting after all his struggles; I'm really rooting for him to have some major league success somewhere.

Cooney records a successful pickoff -- maybe he's learning something from John Gast? #developing

Springfield loses to Tulsa 1 - 7

  • Mike O'Neill (LF), 0 for 4
  • Breyvic Valera (2B), 1 for 4, K, R
  • James Ramsey (CF), 0 for 3, 2 Ks
  • Alex Mejia (SS), 1 for 4
  • Kurt Heyer, 5 1/3 IP, 5 Ks, BB, 6 Hits, 5 ER, 2 HR
  • Kevin Siegrist, 1 1/3 IP, H, BB
  • Mitch Harris, 1 1/3 IP, H, K
  • Lee Stoppelman, IP, 3 BBs, H, 2 ER

It's interesting to see Mejia up to AA now. He hasn't really impressed offensively in any stop -- his highest OPS is .713 at Peoria last year -- but he has slowly advanced through the system and his holding his own in Springfield with a .265/.302/.347 line so far. Do we have any reports on how his defense is at SS? I don't see him taking over anytime soon, but maybe he can become a utility player.

Palm Beach lost to Daytona 6 - 9

  • Luke Voit (1B), 1 for 5, RBI
  • Anthony Garcia (LF), 2 for 4, HR, 2 Ks, 2 Runs, 3 RBI
  • Silfredo Garcia, 5.0 IP, 2 Ks, BB, 9 Hits, 8 ER, 2 HR
  • Dixon Llorens, 2.0 IP, 3 BBs, 2 Ks, 0 ER

Dixon Llorens looks like a right-handed Stoppelman: lots of Ks, lots of BBs, significantly more BBs against opposite-handed hitters, sidearm motion.

I'm not as optimistic on Anthony Garcia as fourstick, but I will say that there are some interesting elements to his line. His BABIP is just .244 this year, which seems low, but it was similarly .257 last season. On the other hand, it was .338 in Low-A in 2012, and .352 for Johnson City in 2011. Minor league BABIPs can be a bit funky, especially at the low end of the minors, but I'm not sure how to read Garcia's numbers here. The BABIP may rise a bit, but I don't think it will go up too much. The good news is that his K-rate has dropped about eight percentage points from where it was the last two seasons, while largely maintaining his ISO and raising his BB-rate. I'm not sure he's the prospect many of us thought him to be after his 2011 campaign, but he hasn't been the disaster I expected this year and is definitely still worth keeping an eye on.

Peoria lost to South Bend 4 - 5

  • C.J. McElroy (LF), 0 for 4, BB, 2 Ks
  • Vaughn Bryan (CF), 1 for 5, 2B, 2 Ks
  • Carson Kelly (C), 1 for 3, BB
  • Ronald Castillo (DH), 2 for 3, 2B, 3B, BB, 2 Runs
  • Arturo Reyes, 6.0 IP, 9 Ks, 0 BBs, 8 Hits, 5 ER

I know there was some talk the other day about Bryan struggling lately -- and his July has been pretty bad at .191/.236/.324 -- but his last ten have looked pretty good. He has hit .273/.319/.477. That's not mashing by any means, and he still hasn't hit a HR, but he still is hitting decently for his first taste of full season ball. That said, he is already 21, and he does need to progress a bit more quickly than most first-time full seasoners.

State College lost to Tri City 1 - 4

  • Darren Seferina (2B), 0 for 4, 2 Ks
  • Nick Thompson (LF), 1 for 4, K
  • Rowan Wick (RF), 2 for 4, 2B, 3B, K, R
  • Jake Stone (1B), 1 for 3, K, BB, RBI
  • Daniel Poncedeleon, 4.0 IP, 5 Ks, 2 BBs, 4 Hits, ER


An unusually bad game for Seferina, the Cards' 5th round pick this year -- his OPS this season is still .821.

No addition to the Rowan Wick HR watch today, but a double and triple on the day is still pretty darn good. Seems like they could afford to bat him higher in the order than 5th, but whatever.

Johnson City beat Bristol 8 - 4

  • Oscar Mercado (SS), 3 for 5, 2B, R, RBI, 2 SBs (15 total), Throwing Error (Also his 15th)
  • Casey Turgeon (2B), 3 for 3, HR, 2 BBs, 2 Runs, 2 RBI
  • Blake Drake (RF), 3 for 5, HR, 2B, 2 Runs, 2 RBI, Fielding Error (5th)
  • Chris Rivera (3B), 1 for 5, 3 Ks, RBI
  • Kevin Carlow, IP, K, 2 Hits, ER

That top of the order did a lot of thumping today. Drake and Turgeon have done nothing but his since being drafted this year, but it's Mercado who is particularly exciting to see hit. His defensive abilities and speed could make him an exciting player to watch in a few years.

I'm curious about Kevin Carlow -- Baseball-Reference does not seem to know how he was acquired. I'm guessing he was an amateur FA sign, but does anyone know? Maybe he's starting on his own Petrick-style journey to prospect relevance.

GCL Cardinals beat the GCL Marlins 3 - 1

  • Edmundo Sosa (SS), 1 for 3, K
  • Malik Collymore (DH), 1 for 3, R
  • Luke Weaver, IP, 2 Ks, 2 Hits
  • Jack Flaherty, 2 IP, 3 Ks
  • Ronnie Williams, 2 1/3 IP, BB, 3 Hits, ER

Fun game to watch in terms of getting to see this year's draftees pitch, and pitch well mostly. The game was actually a makeup of the day before's game, and was also cut short by rain in the bottom of the 5th, with yesterday's scheduled game being postponed.

DSL Cardinals lose to the DSL Giants 2 - 3

Tonight's Starters:

Memphis: Marco Gonzales

Springfield: Kyle Hald

Palm Beach: Jimmy Reed

State College: Trey Nielsen

Johnson City: Ian McKinney