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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/29/15

Following are the highlights from the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league games held on Sunday, March 29. The Cardinals’ Memphis and Springfield clubs hosted the Mets, while Palm Beach and Peoria traveled to Port St. Lucie.

The Cardinals had a rough day, with the top three clubs each losing one-run contests and Peoria claiming the lone victory. The Springfield and Palm Beach staffs were gored for a total of 18 runs. You may have seen the strong wind out to right field on the big league game telecast on Sunday. You can imagine that it is even windier on the minor league fields without all the built in protection the stadium provides.

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 eight players have yet to be cut from Major League camp. Four players were sent down on Sunday. (details here)

When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 40 for 2015, their rankings are noted in the tables below in the “TCN” columns. Three top 40 members are among Sunday’s standouts, led by number 15 and 19 prospects, shortstops Juan Herrera and Edmundo Sosa.

Hitter of the Weekend: OK, so I tweaked my rules a bit. Here’s the deal. The last two days, Kenny Peoples-Walls was an honorable mention both times. The outfielder had another notable afternoon for Peoria on Sunday, but isn’t going to be second-fiddle this time.

Putting the last three days together, Peoples-Walls has been on fire. The right-handed hitter has gone 7-for-12 (.583) with five extra base hits – four doubles and a home run. He drove in two and scored three times. Remember that Peoples-Walls is still just 21 years old.

Honorable mention goes to a man who could be the Player of the Day on any other day. Palm Beach first baseman Jesus Ustariz singled, doubled and tripled in just four at-bats, scoring one and driving in another.

Sunday’s Pitcher of the Day: Given that two staffs were tattooed, the choices are somewhat limited. However, Memphis dependable Zach Petrick tossed four scoreless innings at the Mets on three hits and no walks. He struck out two.

Honorable mention is given to Peoria reliever Jonathan Escudero, who faced five batters and collected five outs, four via the punchout. Starter Austin Gomber fanned seven in four frames.

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.

Las Vegas 3 at Memphis (6-3-1) 2

Memphis pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Zach Petrick 29 4 3 2 System Pitcher of Year in 2013 David Washington 1B 3 1 1 1 1 1 Regular here this spring had .734 OPS at PB
Miguel Socolovich 1 2 Down from MLB camp
Justin Wright 1 2 Top 10 in system in saves, appearances

Binghamton 10 at Springfield (4-4-2) 9

Springfield pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
None reported 10 David Popkins LF 3 3 1 1 1 1 Also HBP – Switch-hitter batted .317 in 2013
Robelys Reyes 3/2B 4 1 2 NYPL All-Star in 2014 is 24 years old
Juan Herrera SS 17 2 1 2 Sharp gloveman 2nd in system in steals (28)

St. Lucie 8, Palm Beach (6-4-1) 7

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
Chase Brookshire 1 2 Started 18, relieved 11 at Peo Darren Seferina 2B 5 1 2 1 1 1 5th rounder was NYPL All-Star
Others 8 Jesus Ustariz 1B 4 1 3 1 1 1 Just needed that homer for cycle
Jhohan Acevedo CF 4 2 3 1 6th year in system for Venezuelan

Peoria (4-5-2) 10 at Savannah 4

Peoria pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Austin Gomber 4 1 2 3 7 Low ERA, high WHIP with SC Anthony Ray CF 4 1 2 1 Career .236 hitter having strong spring
Jonathan Escudero 1.2 4 .190 OBA 5th lowest in Appy Lg Edmundo Sosa SS 19 5 2 2 Chance he could he stick with Peoria
Others 2 Michael Pritchard RF 5 2 3 1 4th in GCL with .330 BA, All-Star
Kenny Peoples-Walls LF 3 1 2 2 Hail 1st ever Hitter of the Weekend!

Overall this spring, the Cardinals are 22-16-6, including a 15-9-2 record against external competition (Mets and Marlins plus one game against the Long Island Storm).

Monday’s games: On Monday, the Cardinals are scheduled for another camp day, with Memphis opposing Springfield and Palm Beach facing Peoria.

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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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