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Daily Farm Report: Knizner Heats Up

Recapping Wednesday’s action down on the farm

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

It was smiles all around on Wednesday, with every affiliate in play picking up a victory. Springfield was the only club with the night off, and will resume play today against NW Arkansas.

Memphis Redbirds 2, Iowa Cubs 1

Austin Gomber (SP) - 5 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, HR

Andrew Knizner (C) - 2-4, HR, RBI, K

Rangel Ravelo (1B) - 1-3, HR, RBI

Austin Gomber was nails again on Wednesday, limiting the Triple-A Cubs to just one run over five innings of work. He struggled slightly early on, getting into a bases loaded jam in the top of the first. He escaped that jam with no damage, inducing a groundball out on a backdoor curve. From there he settled in, striking out five of the next eight batters he faced. The lone blemish on his card was a solo home run.

The offense did just enough to pick up the win, owing production to a pair of solo shots from Rangel Ravelo and Andrew Knizner.

Speaking of Knizner, the backstop is heating up after a lukewarm start. He’s batting .323/.364/.677 over his last 8 games, a stretch that includes two doubles and three home runs. Knizner was batting .327/.403/.364 in 15 games prior to the hot stretch, keeping his head above water via a 1-1 K-BB ratio and a strong OBP. Overall, his slash line now looks more in line with his career numbers:

Andrew Knizner - May 8

G PA AVG OBP SLUG BB% K% BABIP ISO wRC+
G PA AVG OBP SLUG BB% K% BABIP ISO wRC+
23 95 .326 .389 .477 7.4% 11.6% .347 .151 117

The win improves Memphis to 18-15 on the season. They’ll take on Iowa again tonight at 7:05pm CDT.

Palm Beach Cardinals 2 at Daytona Tortugas 1

Edgar Gonzalez (SP) - 6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K

Zach Kirtley (RF) - 1-4, HR, RBI, K

Yariel Gonzalez (DH) - 1-4, 2B, K

Michael Perri (3B) - 2-4, RBI, K

Edgar Gonzalez logged a dominant start, rebounding after a pair of rough outings. If you’re unfamiliar with Edgar Gonzalez, I can’t blame you. For context, here’s A.E. Schafer’s report on the 2018 sixth-rounder. The Fresno State product was an interesting day two gamble, as a relatively unknown arm with a big curveball and strong strikeouts numbers, but significant questions about his delivery and the rest of his arsenal. After spending his debut summer coming out of the bullpen for State College, he’s shown promise in the Palm Beach rotation:

Edgar Gonzalez - May 8

IP GS K/9 BB/9 BABIP ERA FIP
IP GS K/9 BB/9 BABIP ERA FIP
33.1 7 11.07 3.24 0.383 3.78 2.53

Offensively, the Cardinals’ production came via a Michael Perri single in the fourth and a Zach Kirtley home run in the sixth.

Palm Beach sits at 19-13 after Wednesday’s win. The Cardinals will open a series against Bradenton tonight at 5:30pm CDT.

Peoria Chiefs 6 at West Michigan Whitecaps 4

Diego Cordero (SP) - 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Brendan Donovan (2B) - 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Delvin Perez (SS) - 3-4, 2 R

Brady Whalen (DH) - 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K

Peoria and West Michigan traded blows early and often, leading to a 3-3 tie entering the eighth inning.

The Chiefs struck first in the frame, starting a rally with a Edwin Figuera leadoff single. Delvin Perez then attempted to bunt Figuera over, and a throwing error by catcher Jose Vasquez put both runners on the corners. The bases would soon be loaded after a flyout by Josh Shaw and a intentional walk of Lars Nootbaar. With Brady Whalen at the plate, the go ahead run was scored on a balk. To add insult to injury, Whalen then singled to bring in two more runs.

The Peoria bullpen gave one run back in the bottom of the eighth, but ultimately held on for the win.

The Chiefs are now an even 15-15. They’ll attempt to claw above .500 tonight at 6:05 pm CDT against South Bend.

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Stock Watch

Rising: Zach Kirtley - 2B/1B

G PA AVG OBP SLUG BB% K% BABIP ISO wRC+
G PA AVG OBP SLUG BB% K% BABIP ISO wRC+
25 110 .266 .361 .447 10.9% 23.6% .328 .181 145

Kirtley is rising, but more as a return to his expected level rather than a boost in his overall profile. Coming out of St. Mary’s, Kirtley was a prototypical Cardinals mid-rounder, boasting strong plate discipline numbers and modest power but no apparent defensive home. He also followed some early Randy Flores trends, being young for his class and featuring a slight uppercut swing. He stumbled is his first two pro seasons, however, barely producing league-average lines with little to no power to speak of. 2019 has been different, so far, with modest power output despite Palm Beach’s hitting environment and a characteristically strong walk rate.

Falling: Nick Plummer - May 8

G PA AVG OBP SLUG BB% K% BABIP ISO wRC+
G PA AVG OBP SLUG BB% K% BABIP ISO wRC+
27 97 .133 .247 .193 10.3 42.3% .238 .060 41

No pick is safe, not even a first round selection. Nick Plummer’s unpleasant daydream has escalated in a full blown nightmare, leaving any hopes to become a post-hype sleeper dead in the water. The saddest part about this whole narrative is that injuries sapped his potential before he ever got a chance to get started. The broken hamate put him on a bad track early, and since then he has dealt with multiple nagging oblique injuries. Maybe he’ll find traction as a late bloomer one day, but for now it’s time to write this pick off as a loss.

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Thursday’s Probables

MEM: Jake Woodford

SPR: Austin Warner

PMB: TBD

PEO: Alvaro Seijas