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Weekly Farm Recap 7/15-21: Woodall’s Four-Homer Week

The week-in-review for the Cardinals’ minor league affiliates

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 all of the daily recaps here. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out today’s edition of A.E. Schafer’s System Sundays, as well as Lance Brozdowski’s piece on two top prospects from Peoria’s roster.

Memphis Redbirds - Week: (5-2), Year: (63-37)

The Redbirds have what would seem to be an insurmountable 14.5-game lead over the Nashville Sounds in the PCL American Southern division. They are good at baseball. Much better than the other AAA teams, in fact.

Pitcher of the Week

Daniel Poncedeleon (RHP): 1 GS, 9 IP (CGSO), 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K

In his start a week ago today, Poncedeleon gave up a double to Omaha’s Ramon Torres in the second inning. That was the only hit he would surrender en route to a complete game shutout where he looked dominant for Memphis. With the injury woes the Cardinals’ rotation has been experiencing, it’s hard to envision Ponce not getting a shot at a spot start at some point in 2018.

Player of the Week

Patrick Wisdom (3B): .273/.407/.455, 6 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, SB

Wisdom continues to put together a solid year for Memphis. His home run total has dropped off from last year, barely on pace to fall in the 20s after collecting 31 in 2017, but his strikeout rate is down and his on-base ability has greatly improved. He showed that this week with his mix of extra-base power and five walks over 27 PA.

Springfield Cardinals - Week: (5-2), 2nd Half: (10-19), Year: (43-56)

Even with the uncharacteristically-strong week, Springfield could only gain a game on the division-leading Tulsa Drillers, now 10.5 games back in the Texas League North’s second half.

Pitcher of the Week

Austin Warner (LHP): 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K

Warner has been featured pretty consistently in the Palm Beach portion of this list, but things have been pretty volatile since his call-up to Springfield. Warner has made five starts for the Cardinals since his promotion in late June, but his outing last Wednesday was both his longest since that time and the first in which he’s surrendered no runs. Hopefully this past start is a sign that the 24-year-old lefty is settling in at AA.

Player of the Week

Johan Mieses (OF): .400/.423/.760, 5 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K

Another midseason Palm Beach call-up takes the honors for Springfield. Mieses earned a promotion from the Class A-Advanced affiliate at the end of June and has struggled to find his footing in Springfield, but posted a monster week over 26 PA. Mieses didn’t show much of an ability to draw walks but did demonstrate excellent contact, picking up ten hits, three of which were home runs.

Palm Beach Cardinals - Week: (3-3), 2nd Half: (13-16), Year: (49-37)

Palm Beach fell out of the tie for second in the Florida State League South with their .500 week, now three games behind the Charlotte Stone Crabs with sole ownership of third in the division.

Pitcher of the Week

Casey Meisner (RHP): 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Traded to the Cardinals from Oakland in March, Meisner is piecing together a decent season for Palm Beach. His strikeout and walk rates are a bit worse than they were during his time with the Athletics’ Class A-Advanced affiliate in 2017, but he’s stranding runners better than before and limiting hits at a better rate than he’s done previously. Now with his third team since 2015, Meisner received a look at AA with Oakland last season and could feasibly get some sort of shot with Springfield at the end of the year, if he improves upon his current performance.

Player of the Week

Andy Young (2B): .250/.429/.750, 5 R, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, HBP, SB

This is likely the last time Young will be seen in this spot, as he earned a promotion to Springfield yesterday. Young had a 137 wRC+ through 351 PA with Palm Beach this season, a marked improvement over his already-solid 2017 performance in the FSL which netted him just five PA with the Springfield Cardinals at the end of last season. With 12 home runs for a team whose home turf is the power-sapping Roger Dean Stadium, it will be interesting to see how the slugging translates as he moves up the ladder.

Peoria Chiefs - Week: (5-1), 2nd Half: (17-10), Year: (56-41)

Peoria put on a solid performance this week, raising their second-half record to seven games above .500. Regardless, they remain three games back from the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League Western division.

Pitcher of the Week

Paul Balestrieri (RHP): 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 12 K

Balestrieri has had an up-and-down season for Peoria, the high point of which was his no-hitter earlier this season. Over the past week, Balestrieri contributed two solid outings to the Chiefs’ 5-1 run, demonstrating a bit more command and a higher strikeout ability than he had previously this season.

Player of the Week

Elehuris Montero (3B): .409/.500/.727, 5 R, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 1 IBB, 3 K, SF

Your weekly Montero report is that he drew five walks (one being intentional) and hit two home runs while raising his wRC+ to 150. He is too pure (of a hitter) for this world and we do not deserve him.

State College Spikes - Week: (2-4), Year: (13-21)

State College continues to sputter along. They dropped back further this week, now 8.5 games behind the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the NY-Penn’s Pinckney division.

Pitcher of the Week

Jake Dahlberg (LHP): 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K

Dahlberg takes the honors again this week for State College, one of the few starters in the rotation who consistently contributes solid outings for the Spikes. You can check last week’s post for a bit more background information on Dahlberg, but his 2018 ERA is now 2.72 (as is his FIP) and his BB/9 is down to 1.73, an entire walk less than his 2017 mark.

Player of the Week

Edwin Figuera (2B/3B/SS): .526/.591/.579, 4 R, 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP, 3 SB

Figuera was hitting over .300 and owned a 106 wRC+ in 20 games for Peoria before being demoted to State College on June 15. Regardless of the reason, the 20-year-old middle infielder has shown that the NY-Penn league is no match for him. Going 10-for-19 this week, Figuera is now hitting .343 for State College, with a 151 wRC+ through 120 PA. Looking at his performance, one can’t see Figuera staying with the Spikes much longer.

Johnson City Cardinals - Week: (4-2), Year: (13-16)

Johnson City gained a game with their solid performance this week, now now five games behind the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League West. Five of their games were one-run contests this week; the other was decided by two runs.

Pitcher of the Week

Mike Brettell (RHP): 2 G, 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Brettell was the Cardinals’ 15th-round pick this year and has been excellent out of the pen for Johnson City aside from two rough outings. His most impressive performance this week was 3.1 innings of relief in which he struck out five of the ten retired batters, giving up just two hits. It was the second time Brettell has struck out five in an appearance this season, the first coming over 2.1 innings.

Player of the Week

Kevin Woodall (1B): .375/.500/1.188, 7 R, 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, HBP, SF

Woodall was the Cardinals’ 10th-round selection this season and has been dominant in the Appalachian League. Through 22 PA this week, Woodall hit four home runs, three of which were in one game (doing his best Matt Carpenter impression). Woodall now owns a 144 wRC+ through 99 PA for Johnson City, slugging .621 with an ISO of .333.

GCL Cardinals - Week: (6-0), Year: (21-7)

The GCL Cardinals are steamrolling the competition. The team’s two losses both came at the hands of the GCL Astros. After the strong week, the GCL Cards are 5 games ahead of the GCL Mets in the East division.

Pitcher of the Week

Perry DellaValle (RHP): 1 GS, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K

DellaValle and Brian Pirela seem to bounce back and forth in terms of GCL’s pitcher of the week, and DellaValle takes it for the past seven days. The 2018 seventh-rounder struck out seven while walking none and surrendering just three hits over five innings of shutout ball. DellaValle’s command has been stellar so far, with 11.74 K/9 and 1.96 BB/9 through his first 23 innings. His 2.02 FIP shows he’s even outperforming his 2.35 ERA.

Player of the Week

Luken Baker (1B): .471/.500/.588, 5 R, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, SF

The Cardinals’ third overall pick in the 2018 draft, Baker started the season late due to injury but has absolutely raked in his small 28 PA sample size. This week, Baker went eight-for-17 with a pair of doubles, drawing a pair of walks. Through his first eight games he’s slashing .500/.536/.708.