All of the minor league affiliate were in action on Wednesday. Memphis and Springfield dropped their contests at the top of the card, but the squads in the lower minors were able to pick up the slack.
Omaha Stormchasers 2 at Memphis Redbirds 1
Kevin Herget (SP): 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K’s
Adolis Garcia (RF): 2-5, R
Edmundo Sosa (3B): 1-5, RBI
Carson Kelly (C): 2-5
The Redbirds let this one slip away from them in extra innings. Starter Kevin Herget put forward a strong effort, with the only run he allowed being a solo homer to left in the third inning. Tyler Webb relieved Hergret and threw two scoreless innings while striking out three. Edward Mujica added another scoreless inning of work before Omaha broke through against Conner Greene in the twelfth inning.
The Memphis offense struggled to get moving until the bottom of the ninth inning. Adolis Garcia opened the inning by reaching first on a throwing error. Then, with one out and runners on the corners, Edmundo Sosa singled home the tying run. The loss puts Memphis at 53-33 on the season.
Frisco RoughRiders 5 at Springfield Cardinals 2
Mike O’Reilly (SP): 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 0 K’s
Ramon Urias (SS): 1-4, 2B
Blake Drake (CF): 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
Evan Mendoza (3B): 1-3, 2B, R
Springfield squad off against the Ariel Jurado on Wednesday, the Ranger’s #18 prospect per MLB Pipeline. Jurado has lost some of his prospect luster after seeing his stuff back up at AA last year, but he’s put together a quality bounce back campaign so far. The Cardinals couldn’t figure out Jurado, as he tossed eight frames of two run ball while allowing only four hits.
The scoring opened in the third with an RBI single from Frisco infielder Luis Mendez. Then, with one out, former Cardinal prospect Eliezer Alvarez launched a two run homer to extend the RoughRider lead. Springfield outfielder Blake Drake tagged a solo homer in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead to 3-1. Frisco would add a run a piece in the fifth and sixth innings to pad their lead. Springfield plated one more in the eight inning with a Drake RBI single, but the rally never really got off the ground. Jurado induced a double play to end the threat. The loss puts Springfield at 35-48 on the year.
Palm Beach Cardinals 11, Daytona Tortugas 1
Jake Walsh (SP): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K’s
Chase Pinder (CF): 2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Stefan Trosclair (1B): 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Dylan Carlson (DH): 1-1, RBI, BB, 2 R
The Palm Beach-Daytona contest was shortened by rain to only five innings. Five innings, however, was all the Cardinals needed to whomp the Tortugas. Palm Beach scored two in the bottom of the first thanks to a Chase Pinder double and Andy Young homer.
Things really got interesting in the second inning, when the Cardinals put up a seven-spot on Daytona. Stefan Trosclair opened the inning with a triple to right. Jose Godoy walked in the next at bat to put runners on the corners. Trosclair then scored of a sac fly from Danny Hudzina. After Kramer Robertson walked, Pinder launched another double to score both baserunners. Shane Billings then singled in Pinder. Daytona starter Tejay Antone struggled with command, eventually loading the bases and walking in a run. Stefan Trosclair stepped into the box for the second time in the inning and swatted a two-run single. With rain coming in, the lead was more than enough to bury the Tortugas.
The win improves Palm Beach to 46-31.
Peoria Chiefs 13, Burlington Bees 4
Jesus Cruz (SP): 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 9 K’s
Nick Plummer (LF): 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 BB, 3 R
Elehuris Montero (3B): 2-3, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R
Julio Rodriguez (C): 1-4, 3B, 3 RBI, R
Peoria jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Every Cheif batter picked up a hit in the contest, with all but three tallying multi hit games. One such game belonged to former first round pick Nick Plummer. Plummer has looked much improved as of late. Since the beginning of June, he’s slashing .258/.410/.485 while walking nearly 20% of the time. Maybe, just maybe, he's figuring things out after getting the start of his career slowed by injury.
Obligatory Elehuris Montero update: the kid can still hit. Wednesday’s effort improved his season line to .324/.382/.507. That’s good for a 149 wRC+ in the Midwest league. The plate discipline numbers are still tolerable (7.5% BB, 21.6% K) and the results aren’t overly BABIP driven. Sure, the .397 BABIP is due for some regression, especially for someone with Montero’s footspeed, but at 19 years old the number is probably indicative of his talent level.
State College Spikes 3, Auburn Doubledays 1
Jim Voyles (SP): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K’s
Wadye Ynfante (CF): 1-4, HR, RBI, R
Brady Whalen (1B): 1-4, 2B, RBI
Cory Malcom (RP): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K’s
State College opened the game with a run in the top of the first. Infielder Nick Dunn began the frame with a single to centerfield. Edwin Figuera and Wadye Ynfante struck out in the next two at bats before Brady Whalen doubled to center field to score Dunn. Auburn would respond by scoring on a groundout in the bottom of the frame.
The Spikes broke the 1-1 tie with a Wadye Ynfante home run in the fourth inning. The long ball to right-center field was Ynfante’s first of the season. Another run would be added in the fifth inning. Matt Duce began things with a double and was later singled in by Walker Robbins. The State College bullpen took over for Voyles in the eight and stymied the Auburn bats over two frames to secure the win. The win puts State College at 7-12 on the year.
Johnson City Cardinals 11 at Bristol Pirates 2
Donivan Williams (2B): 4-5, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R
Nolan Gorman (3B): 2-5, HR, RBI, BB, R
Dariel Gomez (1B): 2-6, 2 2B, RBI
Leandro Cedeno (LF): 1-4, 2B, 2 BB
The Johnson City squad is quickly becoming my favorite affiliate to follow. The roster features plenty of names who while in the low minors now, could represent the next wave of exciting Cardinals prospects. Here’s where some of those players stand after the thumping of the Pirates:
Nolan Gorman (3B) - .286/.423/.667, 5 HR, 19.2% BB, 25.0% K, 173 wRC+
Leandro Cedeno (1B/OF) - .309/.377/.600, 5 HR, 6.6% BB, 29.5% K, 148 wRC+
Jonatan Machado (OF) - .435/.509/.565, 13.2% BB, 18.9% K, 188 wRC+
Gorman and Cedeno have been two of the most dangerous hitter in the Appy League so far. The samples are obviously small so far (52 and 61 PA’s, respectively), but they’re putting up numbers at 18 and 19 years old better than most of the collegiate hitters in the league.
Gorman’s start is especially interesting. He fell into the Cardinals lap at pick #19 in part because of swing and miss concerns. After tearing up the showcase circuit the summer before, he just didn’t seem to dominate prep pitching as much as he should have. Some reports hinted that he was being pitched around a lot, mostly being tossed junk every pitch of every at bat. The plate discipline splits in pro ball may indicate that he’s just as happy to work deep counts against pro pitching, and that his power is already being respected.
Cedeno has flashed the power necessary if he’s going to make it as a right-right first baseman. The pop is enough to make his strikeouts palatable so far this season, and the .300+ BA is in line with what he’s shown at his last two stops in the minors. Meanwhile, Machado has rebounded nicely after an absolutely dreadful start at Peoria. The speed and contact skills are in line with everything that’s been advertised about his game. The BABIP is absurdly high and unsustainable, but even after it regresses I still see him as a high-BABIP guy given his tools.
Catcher Carlos Soto and infielder Donivan Williams are also putting up strong batting lines, but they’ve accumulated about half the PA’s of the three highlighted above. Soto has flashed a combination of power, patience and bat-to-ball skills that could make him a serious prospect if he sticks behind the dish. He's big for a catcher, especially an 19 year old catcher, so his only other spot would be first base if he tumbles down the defensive spectrum. Williams’s hot start has been largely driven by his .474 BABIP thus far. He’s struck out a bit too much, but has also walked a fair amount while flashing some moderate power.
Maybe I wrote too much about results from small samples, but hey, I’d rather see hot starts than the alternative.
GCL Astros 3 at GCL Cardinals 1
Derian Gonzalez (SP): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K’s
Perry DellaValle (RP): 5 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K’s
Andrew Warner (DH): 1-4, 2B
DSL Cardinals Red 11 at DSL Brewers 7
Martin Cordova (SP): 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K’s
Joerlin De Los Santos (CF): 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Alexander Samuel (DH): 1-4, 3B, 3 RBI, BB
Erik Pena (2B): 3-5, 2 R
DSL Rockies 6 at DSL Cardinals Blue 3
Francis Ventura (SP): 6 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K’s
Leudy Pena (LF): 3-4, R
Freddy De Jesus (1B): 2-4, HR, RBI, R
Carlos Soler (CF): 1-4, RBI, SB
MEM: Jake Woodford
SPR: Anthony Shew
PMB: Ian Oxnevad
PEO: Alvaro Seijas
SC: Michael Baird