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Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/28/15

Following are the highlights from the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league games held on Saturday, March 28. For the first time in four days, the Cardinals faced all external competition. Hosting the Marlins for five games, Cardinals action filled the George Kissell Quad and one other field.

The young Cards had a good day, in fact their best of the spring so far, winning four. Only Peoria was unable to secure a victory.

Once again this spring, Cardinals Baseball Operations Coordinator for Player Development Tony Ferreira is sharing highlights from minor league spring training contests. The raw data is his, but the comments and awards are mine. Actually, the data comes from players and managers charting, so some inconsistencies are possible. Only partial pitching results are being shared this season to go along with the selected hitting highlights. So to find those struggling, you will have to look for names missing or make some guesses.

Remember these working team assignments are fluid by the day. In addition, another 12 players have yet to be cut from Major League camp. My guess is that the next batch of moves will be made on Sunday.

When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 40 for 2015, their rankings are noted in the tables below in the “TCN” columns. Four top 40 members are among Saturday’s standouts, led by number seven prospect Tim Cooney.

Saturday’s Hitter of the Day: Palm Beach outfielder Collin Radack (shown sliding into second base) made his single and double count, driving in a day’s-best three runs. Last season with State College, the Cards’ 20th-rounder plated 23 in just 39 games.

Honorable mention goes to three players with two extra-base hits each: Memphis’ Anthony Garcia (double and home run), Springfield’s Mason Katz (same) and Peoria’s Kenny Peoples-Walls (two doubles and back here for a second straight day).

Saturday’s Pitcher of the Day: Cards’ second-rounder Andrew Morales had a sharp, though short debut with the Gulf Coast League and Palm Beach clubs after pitching a full college season for Cal-Irvine in 2014. On Saturday for Springfield, the 6-foot, 185-pound righty allowed just four baserunners in four scoreless innings while striking out three. It would not be inconceivable for Morales to return to the Florida State League to open 2015.

Honorable mention is given to Fernando Baez, whose line is comparable to Morales, but with a run allowed for Peoria. That is the same level at which the 23-year-old right-hander should be vying for a rotation spot out of camp. Memphis’ Cooney also earns honorable mention, with four one-run innings during which just three reached. The consistent lefty struck out three.

The Cardinal Nation members can also check out the complete list of minor league spring training invitees and full minor league spring training game schedules, posted earlier. Also exclusively for TCN members is my annual pre-camp series in which I predicted the opening rosters for all four full-season minor league affiliates and explain why: Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria. My St. Louis roster prediction article is free for all readers.

If you are not yet a member of The Cardinal Nation, seven-day free trials are always available.

The entire Cardinals organization view by level and position as last season ended is available via the Roster Matrix, always free, right here at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

Memphis (6-2-1) 5, New Orleans 4

Memphis pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Tim Cooney 7 4 1 1 2 3 Took no-hitter into 9th on 5/29/14 Jonathan Rodriguez 1B 2 2 1 2 1 1 Led entire system with 56 BBs in 2014
Nick Greenwood 3 4 1 3 6 starts, 40 relief apps in 2014 Anthony Garcia RF 2 1 2 2 1 1 Puerto Rican winter league MVP

Springfield (4-3-2) 6, Jacksonville 5

Springfield pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Andrew Morales 35 4 4 3 Only 2 baserunners in 7.1 FSL IP David Popkins LF 4 1 2 1 1 2 Batted .317 in FSL in ’13, .243 in TL in ’14
Mason Katz 2B 33 4 2 2 1 1 1 Multi positions and bat plays everywhere

Palm Beach (6-3-1) 7, Jupiter 3

Palm Beach pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Palm Beach hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Nothing to report Brett Wiley DH 2 0 3 1 Friday’s Player of the Day is back
Collin Radack RF 5 1 2 3 1 1 Saturday’s Player of the Day

Greensboro 5 at Peoria1 (3-5-2) 2

Peoria 1 pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria 1 hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Fernando Baez 38 4 3 1 1 4 Consistent 95-96 mph last time out Kenny Peoples-Walls LF 4 1 2 2 Hot! After 2 singles and HR on Friday
Jesus Ustariz 1B 4 1 1 2 1 Disappointing .647 OPS at JC in 2014

State College/Peoria2 (3-0) 6, Batavia 3

State College pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes State College hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Juan Caballero 1.1 2 22 y/o in 22 relief apps bet GCL/JC Eliezer Alvarez DH 4 1 1 1 1.047 OPS in 21 games in 3rd try at GCL
Ricardo Bautista RF 2 1 2 1 1 1 More walks (22) than Ks (20) in GCL

Overall this spring, the Cardinals are 21-13-6, including a 14-6-2 record against external competition (Mets and Marlins plus one game against the Long Island Storm).

Sunday’s games: On Sunday, the Cardinals will be hosting the Mets’ Triple-A and Double-A squads, with Palm Beach and Peoria heading to Port St. Lucie.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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8 Responses to “Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/28/15”

  1. blingboy says:

    I’ve been trying to write down the name of these young guys I don’t know so I can see which names keep popping up. Then I know who to try to follow more closely this year. May even have some idea who might be looking like a promising prospect when stock is taken next winter. It is hard to keep up with. I am hoping for a good recap article or two once minor league camp breaks. But then, EST will be going on. Jeesh.

    It is good to see Cooney doing well. At the least I want to have a sense of what we’ve got ready to go at AAA.

  2. blingboy says:

    Ichiro on being an older FA:

    “Amongst all the cute little puppies jumping and tumbling for prospective owners, there’s one who’s a little older, a little more mature, who keeps getting passed over for the more adorable ones. . . . When someone finally comes along and points a finger at him, an undying loyalty is born.”

    • JumboShrimp says:

      A cute thought from Ichiro.

      Nonetheless, the endless March of time does claim all. Ichiro has had a long and magnificent career. In due course, every player retires, even Franco did.

    • blingboy says:

      Another Ichiro quote:

      “I’m not a big guy and hopefully kids could look at me and see that I’m not muscular and not physically imposing, that I’m just a regular guy. So if somebody with a regular body can get into the record books, kids can look at that. That would make me happy.”

      • blingboy says:

        I’ve been thinking about this quote. Youngsters may well be encouraged to work hard, but they may not get a chance anyway. The qualities that make a young Ichiro a future great cannot be quantified. That means these qualities are not reflected in a database. These qualities in abundance will not cause the youngster to pop out at the top of the list. If he is born in Japan or Cuba he could become a star, then come here. But he probably wouldn’t be taken seriously here. A shrimpy scrawny kid who hits .500 in high school is not going to be on anybody’s radar.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Ichiro, or as someone we all know says “Itchy-row,” seems like a really thoughtful person. I wonder what he does with the rest of his life.

          • blingboy says:

            The reason I looked up bio information on him was I thought the first quote I posted reflected a surprising mastery of the English language. Much more than one would expect from a person learning the language as an adult. I wondered if he had spoken English as an additional language from an early age. Not a word about it in Wiki or anywhere else I looked at. I don’t remember if he had to learn once he got here. If so, that is really something.

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