In their smaller of two trades during the annual Winter Meetings, the Cardinals traded outfielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics. Not only did the move help address an unnecessary outfield surplus - one that became larger with the addition of Marcell Ozuna, but it allows Piscotty to be much closer to his California-based family.
In exchange for Piscotty, St. Louis received a pair of infield prospects in return: shortstop Yairo Munoz and second baseman Max Schrock.
Munoz, a member of the Athletics organization since 2012, had his best year in 2017. In 47 games with the Double-A Midland RockHounds, Munoz had a 140 wRC+ with six home runs and 12 stolen bases before being promoted to Triple-A.
As a member of the Nashville Sounds, the 22-year-old Munoz appeared in 65 games with 19 of them coming in the outfield - new territory for the primary shortstop with a little experience at second base. In 272 plate appearances, Munoz slashed .289/.316/.414 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs.
Drafted in 2015 by the Washington Nationals, Schrock joined the Athletics’ farm system in 2016. A fun note on Schrock linking him (kind of) to the Cardinals prior to this trade: Washington traded him to acquire former Cardinals reliever Marc Rzepczynski.
Schrock, who turned 23 at season’s end, spent the entire 2017 season at Double-A Midland. As a member of the RockHounds, Schrock hit to a 128 wRC+ in 106 games. Schrock struck out only 42 times in 457 plate appearances, drawing 34 walks to go with seven long balls.
Munoz and Schrock both find themselves in the team’s updated prospect rankings, according to MLB Pipeline. Munoz ranks 10th, and Schrock sits 12th. The only infielder ranked higher than both is sixth-rated shortstop Delvin Perez; shortstop Edmundo Sosa is 11th.
Both videos are credited to the official Minor League Baseball YouTube channel.