Missing the playoffs by just two games, the 2017 Springfield Cardinals had a solid season overall. Loaded with pitching prospects, Springfield was almost as exciting to following this year as the Memphis Redbirds.
Cardinals hurlers and eighth-, ninth, and fifteenth-ranked prospects, respectively — Dakota Hudson, Sandy Alcantara, and Austin Gomber — were three of the toughest pitchers in the league. Hudson boasted the lowest (by far) HR/9 rate of 0.39 in the Texas League, the second lowest in all of Double-A. Alcantara enjoyed a 19.1 strikeout percentage, and Gomber’s .218 batting average against was the third-lowest in the level, behind Michael Kopech (.183) and former Redbird Deck McGuire (.205).
Third-rated prospect Jack Flaherty began his 2017 campaign with Springfield before stopping at Memphis on his path to St. Louis by the first of September. While toeing the rubber for Springfield, the 21-year-old Flaherty worked to a 2.29 FIP over 10 starts with 62 strikeouts and 11 walks.
While the arms highlighted, the Cardinals had some notable offensive seasons as well. Infielder Jacob Wilson led the Springfield bats with 17 long balls. With a .341 on-base percentage, outfielder Oscar Mercado swiped 38 bases, his most since 50 in 2015. And although he whiffed 28.6 percent of the time, infielder Bruce Caldwell maintained a .182 ISO.
Outfielder Anthony Garcia broke out at the dish with 18 doubles and 15 home runs in 101 games for Springfield. Garcia’s 138 wRC+ was the fourth-best in the Texas League, trailing a trio of Dodgers prospects.
That does it for our Springfield Cardinals review. Next time, we’ll look back on the Palm Beach Cardinals.
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