The St. Louis Cardinals prospects went 1-3 on Monday.
(C): 0-3, 2 K
(SP): 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K
This was initially supposed to be the first half of a double-header to make up for the snow out this weekend, but the second seven inning game was cancelled due to the conditions...The unofficial attendance was around 100, it was not great baseball weather...Charlie Tilson's double represented the only XBH for the Redbirds...Damien Magnifico picked up the save for the Sky Sox, and has a pretty incredible name.
Memphis @ Colorado Springs PPD (Cold)
The S-Cards bats were colder than their Triple-A counterparts, who at least had the excuse of playing in horrible conditions, Springfield couldn't manage an XBH...It is very early in the season, but Bader, DeJong and Kelly have all struggled with the jump to AA...David Washington on other hand has done the TTO outcome thing that has gotten him this far...Mike Mayers was able to pitch around the 6 hits and 4 walks he issued, only allowing an unearned run, but the bullpen allowed 8 runners and 3 runs in 3 IP.
- Darren Seferina (2B): 1-5, R, 2 K
Ian McKinney had a rough outing and the bullpen didn't do him any favors, allowing 6 runs of their own...Rowan Wick has 8 Ks in 5 IP on the season...Roger Dean (and the FSL in general) is a tough place to hit and it has showed so far, Palm Beach has yet to homer in 12 games this season.
- Casey Turgeon (2B): 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB
- Edmundo Sosa (SS): 1-5, 2 RBI, 2 K
- Magneuris Sierra (CF) 2-5, R, RBI, K, E
- Brian O'Keefe (C): 2-5, R, 2B, RBI, K
- Brennan Leitao (SP): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K
Brennan Leitao had what was easily the best pitching performance of the day in the system, he needed only 80 pitches (53 strikes) to cruise through 7 innings...Mags Sierra now has more errors (2) than walks (1) this year.
MEM - J.C. Sulbaran
SPR - Trey Nielsen
PB - Jack Flaherty
PEO - Derian Gonzalez
With all of the Cardinals prospects assigned and the minor league season underway, we'll try to figure out which names to watch at each level. In this edition, we look at the Palm Beach Cardinals.
The two infielders to watch are the double play combination of Darren Seferina and Oscar Mercado. Seferina hit well in short-season ball after being drafted in 2014, but then had a breakout of sorts in Peoria last year when he racked up 42 XBH and stole 23 bases. Mercado's speed and potential defense at short are his best attributes right now, although throwing issues cast the latter in doubt. He has shown decent contact ability so far as a pro, but not much in the way of extra base power or patience. He is still only 21 and the potential defense and the wheels that helped him steal 50 bases in 2015 means he should have ample opportunity to get things figured out.
Third baseman Danny Diekroeger hit hit well at State College and Peoria, and got his first crack at the Florida State League last season. It did not go well, and his lack of power limits his ceiling. First baseman Casey Grayson has hit well in two pro seasons, but he is 24 and will need a breakout this year to have much of a chance to be more than an org guy. Speaking of which Allen Staton, Mikey Reynolds and Andrew Broadbeck provide the infield depth.
SS Juan Herrera starts the season on the DL, he is a good defender at short, but has not hit outside of short-seson leagues. Unless the he can start to hit, he's probably stuck in the minors despite the plus glove. Herrera is joined on the DL by Mason Katz. Katz made a solid FSL debut in 2014, but then spun his wheels at the same level. If he can hit well enough to escape Roger Dean Stadium he might have a future as a big league utility infielder.
2014 8th rounder Nick Thompson has the most potential in the Palm Beach outfield. He hit well in 2014 and 2015 and given the lack of prospects ahead of him he may have a chance to play his way out of Palm Beach this year. So far Blake Drake's carrying tool has been his name. Both Michael Pritchard and MoBap product Orlando Olivera got late starts to their pro careers. They have beat up on much younger competition and will have to continue to do so get on the radar.
Due to a combination of injury, suspension, and graduation the Springfield and Memphis rotations are both short on genuine prospects, but A-Advanced is where familiar names are starting to stack up. Palm Beach will open the season with a six man rotation, the biggest name is Jack Flaherty, VEB's number two prospect. Flaherty was drafted in the comp round in 2014 and turned in a solid full-season debut in Peoria last year. Austin Gomber is a fellow 2014 draftee, but as a college lefty with three usable pitches (ala Tim Cooney) he may be on the Memphis -St. Louis shuttle by next year. Ian McKinney pitched well at three different stops last year, he has a shot to end up in the middle of a big league rotation. 2015 draftee Jacob Evans held his own in 49 innings in the NY-Penn League last season and made the jump all the way up to the FSL to open the year. Righties Blake McKnight and Matt Pearce round out the current rotation.
2014 first round pick Luke Weaver pitched well in Palm Beach last season, but fractured his left (non-throwing) wrist late in spring training. He is still listed on the official Palm Beach but will likely find himself in the high minors once he gets back on track.
It is tough to find true prospects in low minors bullpens, you're like just as likely to find a future big league reliever in the rotation. However, former slugger Rowan Wick has been converted to reliever, so you'll probably be seeing his name popping up in the DFRs regularly.
Next up, the Peoria Chiefs.