End of the Year – Florida Complex Cardinals Hitters

The average age for hitters in the FCL this year was 19.7. There were 16 teams, and average team ages ranged from 19.0 (Orioles) to 20.6 (Nationals). The average age for the Cardinals was 19.2, which was the 5th youngest group.

The Cardinals, like the Class A team, play at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. This is a pitcher's park that really suppresses power.

The average batting line for the league was .232/.342/.350 for a .691 OPS. The average K rate was 25%. The average walk rate was 12%. The average BJM was 7.4%. Pitchers in the league were on average 21.0 years old, almost 2 years older than the Cards' hitters.

This was a young team playing in a pitchers park against generally older pitchers in a league that already was a suppressed hitting environment compared to the majors.

The Cardinals ended with 22 hitters in the Complex. They had 4 catchers, 2 1B, 3 MIF, 3 3B, and 10 OF. The most famous hitters coming into the season were Luis Pino, Won-Bin Cho, Felix Taveras, Tre Fletcher, Adanson Cruz, and Adari Grant. .Jhon Torres finished his injury marred year here, which was less than ideal, but I'm mostly excluding him and his 16 Pas.

The 5 best hitters by wRC+ were:

1. 3B Brandon Hernandez, 20 yo, 127,

2. 3B Samil De La Rosa, 18, 121,

3. OF Won-Bin Cho, 18, 118,

4. OF Jose Cordoba, 19, 112, and

5. MIF Lizandro Espinoza, 19, 99.

The five youngest hitters were all 18: De La Rosa, Cho, Pino, Grant and OF Romtres Cabrera.

The best hitter was Samil De La Rosa. At 18, he was 21% better than league average with 9 doubles, a triple, and 6 homers in 141 ABs. He struck out 20% of the time and walked 8%. He played 25 games at 2B and 20 at 3B.

According to Fangraphs and MiLB, Samil De La Rosa is 5'8" and 175 lbs. He's not a big guy. That is a bit bigger than Fernando Vina. It is bigger than David Eckstein or Jose Altuve. Kolten Wong is 5'7"185. De La Rosa is only 18 and could grow a bit. He is certainly big enough to rage against the machine.

This group of hitters did better than I expected this year. They were not a powerhouse, but they weren't set up to be. The 18 year olds did very well, which is excellent. Many of these players will move up to A ball next year as more players arrive from the DSL. It will be interesting to see who the club promotes and how they fair. The club is developing a decent core of young hitters, especially if De La Rosa is a player. De La Rosa, Cho, Pino, Grant, Taveras, and Espinoza could join Baez, Bernal, Rivas and Meija as solid teenage hitting prospects to complement the young pitching.