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Weekly Farm Recap 7/29-8/4: Gorman Clobbers Four Homers

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The week-in-review for the Cardinals’ affiliates.

Tracy Proffitt/MiLB.com

Thanks for checking in on the weekly farm recap! There have been several strong individual performances across the Cardinals’ minor league system this week and I hope you enjoy the brief look-in. As always, you can find all of the daily recaps here. Make sure to take a look at Lance Brozdowski’s review of the prospects received at the trade deadline. Also take a look at A.E. Schafer’s recent addition to the System Sundays series.

Memphis Redbirds - Week: (3-3), Year: (70-42)

Even after a six-game win streak by the Nashville Sounds—even Oakland’s AAA affiliate is surging—the Redbirds still have a huge 13.5-game lead in the PCL American Southern division. Memphis still looks strong, even with the majority of their Opening Day staff in St. Louis.

Pitcher of the Week

Jake Woodford (RHP): 1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Woodford was a competitive balance pick in 2015 and, after a July 20 call-up, has been yet another young arm to step in at Memphis and carry the torch. Still just 21, Woodford has made six starts for Memphis and hold a 2.73 ERA over that time, though a 4.58 FIP is a bit harder on his performance. Woodford has struggled with walks, giving up a round 3 BB/9 in his 33 innings with the Redbirds. His Thursday start, featuring a 6:1 K:BB, was a step in the right direction.

Players of the Week

José Adolis García (OF): .385/.407/.885, 7 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, SB

Springfield Cardinals - Week: (3-4), 2nd Half: (18-25), Year: (51-62)

After a strong 14-game stretch, Springfield has fallen back to earth. They’re still 7.5 games back from the Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League North’s second half and sit seven games below .500.

Pitcher of the Week

Evan Kruczynski (LHP): 2 GS, 14 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 14 K

Kruczynski was promoted from Palm Beach to Springfield on July 27 and made his first two AA starts this week. He looked pretty great in both, going seven innings each time and allowing one run over both outings while striking out 14 total. A 23-year-old lefty drafted in the 9th round of the 2017 draft, Kruczynski hasn’t shown any sign of weakness against the next level.

Player of the Week

Tommy Edman (2B/SS/3B): .387/.406/.516, 8 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 3 SB, HBP

Edman returned from a stint on the 7-Day DL this week and hit the ground running (literally, with three stolen bases). After struggling through a midseason promotion to Springfield in 2017, Edman has posted a .300/.354/.406 slash line good for a 107 wRC+ in 450 PA. Both his home run (5) and stolen base (23) totals eclipse his previous career highs and he’s striking out less than 16% of the time. Though Edman has been listed as a middle infielder, he’s been recently getting a lot more time at third for Springfield.

Palm Beach Cardinals - Week: (3-3), 2nd Half: (19-22), Year: (58-47)

Palm Beach continues to struggle along in the second half. Their playoff birth was clinched with a first-half win and they still (barely) own the best overall record in the division, but the PB Cardinals dropped even further behind in the Florida State League South, 5.5 games behind the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Pitcher of the Week

Alex Fagalde (RHP): 2 GS, 13 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 16 K

Fagalde appeared in this spot frequently for Peoria and pitched so well for the Chiefs that he earned a call-up to Palm Beach last week. Fagalde’s final start for the Chiefs was seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball where he walked none and struck out a whopping ten. Fagalde started his Palm Beach tenure with six scoreless innings, giving up two hits, walking one and striking out six.

Player of the Week

Ryan McCarvel (C): .368/.400/.579, 4 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

McCarvel had a nice year with Peoria in 2017 but has struggled to adjust to the Florida State League, seeing his wRC+ drop from 112 to 73 in that time. His power has especially fallen off a cliff, with his slugging percentage dropping more than 130 points and his home runs just a third of where they were last season (though Roger Dean may have something to do with that). This week, McCarvel flashed a bit of the power that’s been missing and showcased some pretty solid contact, not a part of his game for which he’s been known.

Peoria Chiefs - Week: (4-3), 2nd Half: (25-15), Year: (64-46)

Five of Peoria’s seven games this week were decided by one run. The Chiefs are now ten games above .500 in the second half and gained two games in the division race, now one game behind the the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League Western Division, tied for second place with the Beloit Snappers. Their overall record of 64-46 is still the best in the division.

Pitcher of the Week

Jake Dahlberg (LHP): 2 GS, 7 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K

Dahlberg has taken this spot for the Spikes on multiple occasions already this season and was one of the few bright spots on the pitching staff of State College; so much so that he earned a promotion to Peoria on Wednesday, and one of his starts included in this line was for the Chiefs. Dahlberg has put together a string of five starts with seven innings pitched and one run or fewer surrendered. His final line on his 50 innings pitched for State College in 2018 was a 2.15 ERA and 2.55 FIP with a 17.3% K-BB%; his first start for Peoria was seven innings with one run, one walk and six strikeouts.

Player of the Week

Elehuris Montero (3B): .357/.400/.607, 6 R, 7 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, HBP

Welcome back to the Elehuris Montero report. Seven of Montero’s ten hits were doubles and his wRC+ is now 153 over 415 PA. Montero leads the Midwest league in average, doubles, and OPS. He’s second in slugging percentage and tied for seventh in home runs. The 19-year-old third basemen really put together a monster year.

State College Spikes - Week: (2-6), Year: (19-29)

Now ten games below .500, State College dropped even further to 11 games behind the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the NY-Penn’s Pinckney Division. After a five-game winnings treak, the Spikes are now riding a six-game losing streak and already have an elimination number in the teens (18).

Pitcher of the Week

Diego Cordero (LHP): 2 GS, 13.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Cordero started the season with the GCL Cardinals and pitched so well he earned a jump all the way to Palm Beach. On the surface, he pitched well in in his 12.1 innings, holding a 1.46 ERA, but his 5.03 FIP and and identical strikeout/walk rates told a different story. Since his demotion to State College, he’s pitched to a 4.40 ERA and 4.20 FIP over 30.2 innings, but settled down considerably this week and showed some major improvement.

Player of the Week

Justin Toerner (OF): .423/.484/.423, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, SB, SF, HBP

Another day, another outfielder. The 21 year old was taken in the 28th round of this year’s draft out of Cal State Northridge collected 11 hits (all singles) and three walks in 31 AB for State College this week, one of the few who provided any offense to the team. Toerner definitely doesn’t hit for power, carrying a .329 slugging percentage, but his .369 OBP has him with 112 wRC+ through 168 PA with State College.

Johnson City Cardinals - Week: (4-1), Year: (20-21)

Johnson City nearly pulled themselves up to .500 with a strong week. The past seven days featured two rainouts, but the games that were played were power-packed; the JC Cardinals never scored less than five runs in a game and logged 18 in yesterday’s dominant performance. They gained on the division-leading Elizabethton Twins and are now five games back in the Appalachian League West.

Pitcher of the Week

Colin Schmid (LHP): 1 GS, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Schmid (nope, that’s not a typo) was drafted in the 13th round of this year’s draft out of Appalachian State. Initially used as a reliever, the 20 year old was lit up in his first appearance, giving up seven earned runs and walking four while logging only two outs. Since then, he’s been slowly whittling away at his sky-high ERA and FIP. Schmid was moved to the rotation and hasn’t given up more than three runs in any of his four starts. Schmid’s struggles have centered on command, having walked 11 and struck out 17 in 25.2 innings of work.

Player of the Week

Nolan Gorman (3B): .583/.615/1.292, 7 R, 5 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K

I really love this kid. Of course, it’s hard not to love Gorman when he’s hitting four home runs in a week. Gorman is now tied for the Appalachian League-lead in home runs (11) and has the third-best OPS (1.119). He’s hitting over .300. His wRC+ is 183. My favorite part is that Gorman is really showcasing a solid batter’s eye. His K% is 22.5%, BB% is 14.6%. Several teams above the Cardinals have to be kicking themselves for not taking Gorman after the numbers he’s put up in his first 151 PA. Here’s a video of his swing on the 11th home run, if you’re into that kind of thing:

GCL Cardinals - Week: (4-2), Year: (26-12)

After a strong week, the GCL Cardinals increased their East Division lead to six games over the GCL Astros. They play the Astros in a double-header on Wednesday.

Pitcher of the Week

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

Coward was the 26th-round selection for the Cardinals in the 2018 draft and has transitioned from a bullpen role to the rotation over the past month. The Virginia Tech product has now logged three starts for the GCL Cardinals, going five innings and allowing one run in each outing. Over 26 innings, Coward carries a 1.38 ERA and 2.12 FIP and has demonstrated excellent command of the zone, boasting 8.31 K/9 and a very nice 0.69 BB/9.

Player of the Week

Ivan Herrera (C): .643/.668/1.000, 7 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K, SB

Herrera was a 16-year-old international signee out of Panama in 2016 and began his professional career with a trip through the Dominican Summer League in 2017, which he dominated to the tune of a 155 wRC+ in 201 PA. Having taken 106 trips to the plate so far in the GCL in 2018, Herrera’s offense has improved, now holding a 168 wRC+ with a slugging percentage nearly 100 points higher. Herrera makes outstanding contact, hitting an astronomical .376. He currently possesses a .972 OPS. If the 18 year old can continue to hit like this, it won’t be long before he’s flying through the system.