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Weekly Farm Recap 6/24-30: Wisdom’s Well-Rounded Week

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The week in review for the Cardinals’ minor league affiliates

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Toronto Blue Jays Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Some good, some bad, and some average — you can find it all in the Cards’ minor league system. Let’s take a look. As always, you can find all of the daily recaps here. Make sure to check out Jason Rollison’s continued coverage of the State College Spikes.

Memphis Redbirds - Week: (4-2), Year: (49-32)

Memphis continues to be the golden child of the St. Louis Cardinals organization. At 49-32, they once again hold the best record in the Pacific Coast League. The Redbirds were on track to 50 wins on Saturday before the 3-1 game against Iowa was rained out; they’ll finish the contest today. They’re pulling even further away in the division, now owning a 10.5-game lead over the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

Pitcher of the Week

Kevin Herget (RHP): 2 GS, 12 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 12 K

Herget put up two great outings over the past week, showing excellent command with only one walk across his twelve innings. He surrendered one run in both starts, each registering as a quality start. Herget’s ERA has dropped from 4.62 in last year’s exposure to AAA to 4.02 in 78.1 innings with Memphis in 2018, but his FIP has actually increased over that time (4.41 to 4.93). He’s been hit harder by the long ball, increasing both his flyball rate and his HR/FB%.

Player of the Week

Patrick Wisdom (3B): .421/.500/.842, 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K, 2 SB

Wisdom has quietly been putting up an excellent year — his best season-long performance at AAA, in fact. His 129 wRC+ is the highest he’s posted across a season since his rookie ball debut in 2012 (146). He’s still striking out just over a quarter of the time (26%), but he’s decreased that rate from 2017’s mark by over 3% and increased his walk rate to double digits (10.2%). Wisdom is also on pace to break his season record of stolen bases (11), currently at nine before the halfway point of 2018. He added to those totals with two this week, the same number of home runs he hit in that time. It’s looking more and more like teams missed out skipping over Wisdom in the Rule 5 draft.

Springfield Cardinals - Week: (0-4), 2nd Half: (1-8), Year: (34-45)

The struggles continue for Springfield. The team has notched just one win since the start of the second half and sits seven games under .500 in that span, 11 under .500 on the year. This week’s losses were particularly hard to swallow, as the Cardinals scored four or more runs in three of the games and were walked off in extras twice. They’re six games behind the Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League North.

Pitcher of the Week

Connor Jones (RHP): 1 GS, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Jones put up the best performance by a starting pitcher for Springfield this week, actually leaving the Cardinals with a lead after he exited the game after the seventh. He’s struggled with command the past two years, putting up just over six K/9 and nearly four BB/9 in those seasons. His groundball rate has fallen nearly 10% since 2017.

Player of the Week

Chris Chinea (C/1B/DH): .375/.412/.750, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Chinea knocked a couple of homers this week, keeping a trend of increased power across his season. He hit six home runs in each of his three professional seasons before 2018 and is now at 10 through 56 games. The power is something he hadn’t shown since his first season in 2015, with his current ISO (.197) very similar to that first year (.194). Even posting similar K%/BB% throughout his career, he’s struggled getting on base this year — he’s batting .232 with an OBP of .278. Part of that stems from a BABIP that hadn’t dropped below .311 before this year, now at .242.

Palm Beach Cardinals - Week: (4-1), 2nd Half: (5-3), Year: (44-28)

Palm Beach righted the ship in the second half with a strong week, backed by an offense that averaged just over six runs per game and a pitching staff holding opponents to just over two runs per game. The 4-1 performance brought the PB Cardinals to a half-game back from the Fort Myers Miracle in the Florida State League South.

Pitcher of the Week

Sam Tewes (RHP): 1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Tewes had a solid 2017 at High-A that earned him a spot at Springfield to begin this season. He went only 10 innings across three starts, giving up nine earned runs, and landing a ticket back to Palm Beach. Though his current ERA may not reflect it, Tewes’ peripherals are very similar to his performance from last year, and his start this week was the best Palm Beach received from a starter — even if the game was their only loss.

Player of the Week

Jose Godoy (C): .385/.500/.692, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K

The 23-year-old Godoy put together a positive year at Palm Beach in 2017 and started the season strong on the same assignment, earning a mid-May call-up to Springfield. He struggled in his 29 plate appearances, getting sent back to Palm Beach, where he’s posted a 142 wRC+ in 2018. Godoy is hitting .312/.400/.431 on the year.

Peoria Chiefs - Week: (4-3), 2nd Half: (7-3), Year: (46-34)

Aside from a two-game thrashing against Kane County, being outscored 24-2, Peoria had a positive week that kept them competitive in the division. They completed a four-game sweep of Burlington last Sunday, salvaged the third game of the series against Kane County, and have a chance to take the four-game set against Beloit with a win today. Peoria is two games back from the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League Western.

Pitcher of the Week

Paul Balestrieri (RHP): 2 GS, 15 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 7 K

It wasn’t quite his no-hitter performance from earlier this month, but Balestrieri put up two great starts over the week to drop his ERA under 4.00 for the first time this season. He’s been pitching deeper in games, going eight and seven innings in his two outings. He showed some issues with command on Friday (five walks, three strikeouts) but was able to limit the damage to just one run.

Player of the Week

Elehuris Montero (3B): .455/.520/.773, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K,

Montero makes the list again. He’s now slashing .316/.371/.504 on the year. He has nine home runs, beating his previous career-high by four. Montero has had an excellent year for Peoria and has shown no signs of slowing down.

State College Spikes - Week: (2-4), Year: (5-10)

The Spikes again posted a sub-.500 week, moving their season record to 5-10. Two of the losses were one-run affairs, with failed comeback attempts launched by State College in the bottom of the ninth. They’re last in the NY-Penn’s Pinckney division, 6.5 games behind the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Pitcher of the Week

Edgar Gonzalez (RHP): 2 G, 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Gonzalez was the Cardinals’ sixth-round pick in this year’s draft and the 21 year old has kicked off the season well in State College’s bullpen. He made two appearances this week, both more than an inning in length. Gonzalez has recorded three outings on the season, totaling five innings, and hasn’t surrendered a run yet.

Player of the Week

Wood Myers (SS): .391/.462/.478, 5 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 SB

A 29th-round pick in 2017, Myers had an excellent first showing in rookie ball, posting a 166 wRC+ in a small sample of 19 games. It earned a promotion to State College, where he put up a rough 65 wRC+ in 154 PA. This year he seems to be handling the competition much better, hitting .349/.378/.442 in his first 45 PA.

Johnson City Cardinals - Week: (4-1), Year: (5-5)

The JC Cardinals inverted their record from the previous week to pull to .500 on the year. It was all offense, averaging nine runs per game across the five contests. They’re in fourth place in the Appalachian League West, two games behind the Kingsport Mets.

Pitcher of the Week

Noel De Jesus (RHP): 1 GS, 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

De Jesus takes the honors again. Not quite as strong an outing as his previous start, but he was the lone pitcher in a rain-shortened win on Tuesday, going five innings and holding Elizabethton to two runs while walking none. De Jesus now has seven Ks to one BB and has surrendered two runs across his 12 innings.

Player of the Week

Nolan Gorman (3B): .333/.478/.722, 10 R, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K

Gorman makes the first of what will hopefully be many appearances on lists like this one. He mashed the ball this week, hitting two homers in Saturday’s game. Most importantly, he’s walking. A lot. He drew three walks in last Sunday’s contest alone and has a 16.7% BB% on the year. That’s quite obviously unsustainable, but it’s a good sign that he’s maintaining a pretty even walk/strikeout ratio this early as an 18 year old.

GCL Cardinals - Week: (3-3), Year: (7-3)

The GCL Cardinals have come down to earth. After a 6-0 start, they picked up their first three losses and have settled in at 7-3. All of the decisions thus far have been resounding — only one game has been decided by less than three runs: A loss to the GCL Nationals in which they gave up five runs in the ninth inning to lose by one. The GCL Cards are a half-game ahead of the GCL Mets in the East division and will play the team on Monday.

Pitcher of the Week

Perry DellaValle (RHP): 2 G, 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14 K

DellaValle was a 27th-round pick in this year’s draft and has been stellar out of the pen for the GCL Cardinals to start the year. This week featured two of his three appearances and seven of his eight innings, with the outings being three and four innings in length. DellaValle struck out a whopping 14 batters in those seven innings while walking none — he’s given just one free pass this year.

Player of the Week

Andrew Warner (OF): .348/.444/.391, 6 R, 2B, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, SB, 3 HBP

Warner was the Cardinals’ 40th-round selection in the 2018 draft. Born in Lee’s Summit, MO, Warner had a pretty impressive week in terms of contact ability — both bat to ball, and ball to body. He hit .348 and struck out just twice in 27 PA while also drawing three HBP. The 22-year-old outfielder has a .776 OPS on the year.