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Weekly Farm Recap 7/8-14: Urías Shows Power for Springfield

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A look at this week’s minor league action for the Cardinals

Good morning, and well wishes on the first day of the post-Mike Matheny for all those basking in the afterglow of yesterday’s news. This week’s minor league action was solid at the very top and the very bottom, but pretty rough in the levels between. You can find the daily recaps here, as well as stlcardsfan4’s midseason look at VEB’s top prospects.

Memphis Redbirds - Week: (3-1), Year: (58-35)

With the AAA All-Star Game taking place this week, the Redbirds had a smaller workload than usual. Dakota Hudson started the game for the PCL, allowing one run, and Daniel Poncedelon struck out three over 15 pitches. Patrick Wisdom came to the plate twice but failed to reach base. Hudson and Arozarena will take part in today’s Futures Game at 3:00 CDT. Strangely, the last eight games of Memphis’ schedule have been against the Omaha Stormchasers. They’ll finish their long bout with Omaha today, looking to potentially take six of the nine contests. The Redbirds have an extremely comfortable 13-game lead over the Nashville Sounds in the PCL American Southern division.

Pitcher of the Week

Chris Ellis (RHP): 1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Ellis was one of the pieces acquired in the Jaime Garcia deal with Atlanta and he’s had a solid year for Memphis to this point, holding a 3.52 ERA across 92 innings. Ellis started the year at Springfield, where he wasn’t performing too well, getting the call back to Memphis on June 10. He’s been pretty effective in limiting the longball in that time, surrendering just two home runs over 38.1 innings to this point.

Player of the Week

José Adolis García (OF): .500/.500/1.000 (in 12 PA), 4 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K

García had a really dreadful start to the season and has still yet to perform to expectations on a macro level. That said, he had a great string of games over the past week. He made a ton of contact and knocked two homers in four games. It could very well just be a hot streak, but it would be great to see García turn the corner and raise his uncharacteristically low offensive numbers (77 wRC+) to their previous above-average form.

Springfield Cardinals - Week: (1-5), 2nd Half: (5-17), Year: (38-54)

The struggles continue for Springfield. They finished taking two of three from the Midland Rockhounds to begin the week but were then swept in a four-game set by the Arkansas Travelers to close it out. Not only are they now 11.5 games behind the Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League North’s second half, they hold the division’s last place in overall record with their 38-54 mark.

Pitcher of the Week

Connor Jones (RHP): 2 GS, 12 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 7 BB, 5 K

Though he was a bit erratic, Jones delivered solid outings twice for Springfield. His first start resulted in Springfield’s only win of the week and his second would’ve been enough to net another, had Will Latcham not surrendered five runs in relief. The 2016 2nd-rounder now has a 3.86 ERA on the season through 77 innings for Springfield.

Player of the Week

Ramon Urías (2B): .500/.556/1.000, 5 R, 6 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, HBP

Urías takes the honors again for Springfield; he’s been on an absolute tear. Over the past two weeks, the second baseman has a whopping ten doubles and four home runs, more than doubling his previous totals in those categories. He’s now slashing .338/.388/.609 for Springfield in 2018, owning a 162 wRC+.

Palm Beach Cardinals - Week: (3-4), 2nd Half: (10-13), Year: (46-34)

Palm Beach took a four-game set from the Fort Myers Miracle in the early portion of the week and followed it up with two straight losses to the St. Lucie Mets. They look to avoid the sweep today, which would be the second time they were swept in their last three series. Their second-half play hasn’t been too great, but Palm Beach sits in a three-way tie for second in the Florida State League South, just two games behind the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Pitcher of the Week

Jake Walsh (RHP): 2 GS, 12 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Walsh gets the honors this week as well. 2017 16th-rounder has adjusted well to Palm Beach since his mid-May call-up, owning a 2.38 ERA through 53 innings with the club. His strikeout rate is still much lower than it was with Peoria, dropping nearly 4 K/9, but his BB/9 is also roughly 1.5 lower than the previous mark.

Player of the Week

Dylan Carlson (OF): .280/.367/.640, 4 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, HBP, SF

Carlson had an excellent week, picking up five extra-base hits in his 30 PA and walking three times. Though his power has fallen off a bit since last year, the 19 year old now has a 111 wRC+ on the season for Palm Beach.

Peoria Chiefs - Week: (3-3), 2nd Half: (12-9), Year: (51-40)

Peoria finished the week at the .500 mark, holding three games above that line for the second half. They’ve lost their last three series and look to reverse that trend today with a second win against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Peoria is three games back from the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League Western division.

Pitcher of the Week

Johan Oviedo (RHP): 2 GS, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 8 BB, 12 K

Oviedo has struggled with the adjustment to the Midwest League but has righted the ship a bit over his past few starts. Even though he’s striking batters out (9.16 K/9), most of Oviedo’s struggles have come from a sky-high walk rate, posting 6.90 BB/9 in 75.2 innings this year. He’s still just 20 years old, so there’s plenty of time for Oviedo to adjust.

Player of the Week

Yariel Gonzalez (1B): .333/.333/.583, 4 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K

Not Montero this week! Gonzalez demonstrated some great contact ability and flashed some power in his 24 PA this week. Though his strikeout rate sat at 25%, he collected eight hits and raised his slash line to .312/.355/.424 on the year. The 24-year-old Gonzalez now has a 116 wRC+ for Peoria this season.

State College Spikes - Week: (2-4), Year: (11-17)

State College started the week by picking up a series win over Batavia, then dropped a three-game set to Vermont. The Vermont win was in sight until a ninth-inning rally cost the Spikes a victory in Friday’s finale. State College looks to avoid another series loss with a win against Tri-City today, as they dropped the set’s first game yesterday, 0-2. They’re 5.5 games behind the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the NY-Penn’s Pinckney division.

Pitcher of the Week

Jake Dahlberg (LHP): 1 GS, 7 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

A 21st-round pick in 2017, Dahlberg has had a nice start to the season for State College, with a 3.38 ERA and 2.80 FIP through 29.1 innings. The great command he showed in his previous start has been a theme this year, with 7.06 K/9 and 1.23 BB/9. At 24 years old, Dahlberg is a bit old for State College, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see a call-up if he continues to pitch this effectively.

Player of the Week

Andres Luna (OF): .308/.308/.538, 1 R, HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K

Luna had just 13 PA on the week but made the most of them, hitting over .300 and knocking a home run. Just 20 years old, Luna was signed at the age of 16 out of Venezuela and began working in the DSL as a 17 year old. His performance earned him a call-up to Peoria yesterday.

Johnson City Cardinals - Week: (1-6), Year: (9-14)

The JC Cardinals had a really rough week including some ugly losses, including a 1-15 trouncing at the Hands of the Elizabethton Twins. The Twins pulled off a demoralizing four-game sweep of Johnson City and racked up 45 runs in those contests. The tough stretch dropped the team five games below the .500 mark on the year. Johnson City is now now six games behind Elizabethton, fourth place in the Appalachian League West.

Pitcher of the Week

Juan Alvarez (RHP): 2 G, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Alvarez is another former 16-year-old international signing. The Dominican Republic product pitched most of his innings for Johnson City last year but had a rough adjustment, putting up a 5.63 ERA and 6.86 FIP. He’s off to a much better start this season, with a 4.15 ERA and 3.65 FIP across 13 innings. Alvarez has yet to walk a batter in 2018.

Player of the Week

Dariel Gomez (1B): .385/.429/.846, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

Gomez is a former international signee out of the Dominican Republic who is seeing his first action at Johnson City this season. Through 52 PA he owns an astounding 200 wRC+ in 2018. Though the sample is small, he’s already clocked three doubles, a triple and five home runs in that span, good for an astronomical .465 ISO. Though the 22 year old (whose birthday is today) had posted positive offensive numbers every season before this, 2018 has been pretty impressive in his first 15 games.

GCL Cardinals - Week: (3-2), Year: (15-7)

The GCL Cardinals kept pace and maintained their success with their play this week, averaging just under seven runs per game in their five contests. The team’s two losses both came at the hands of the GCL Astros. The GCL Cards are now 1.5 games ahead of the GCL Mets in the East division.

Pitcher of the Week

Brian Pirela (RHP): 1 GS, 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K

The 20-year-old international signee out of Venezuela takes the honors again this week. Pirela has been one of the few GCL pitchers to consistently go at least five innings and his 3.58 ERA is playable, but the 4.35 FIP is a bit worrisome. Pirela’s K/9 numbers aren’t the best to this point either, posting just above 5 K/9 and 3 BB/9.

Player of the Week

Victor Garcia (OF): .435/.462/.826, 5 R, 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, HBP

Garcia is an 18-year-old international signee out of Venezuela who is seeing his first GCL action after one professional season in the DSL last year. He posted positive value at the plate in 107 PA in 2017, but has done exceptionally well in 2018. He’s slashing .304/.375/.443, good for a 130 wRC+, over 88 PA.