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Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 04/03/15

Following are the highlights from the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league games held on Friday, April 2. The Cardinals held their final spring 2015 games, a pair of camp day contests on the George Kissell Quad at the Jupiter, Florida complex.

On the day, Springfield and Palm Beach tied while Peoria edged State College.

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.

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 the list of standouts on Friday – Alex Reyes, Nick Petree, Andrew Morales and Ronald Castillo.

Friday’s Hitter of the Day: Three players had three-hit days, but the clear leader in run production was Peoria’s Danny Diekroeger (pictured), with three RBI. The former Stanford third baseman is on a roll, after an RBI double in St. Louis’ final Florida contest.

Honorable mentions include the other three-hit players. Springfield’s Jonathan Rodriguez had three singles and a walk in four plate appearances. Palm Beach’s Bruce Caldwell had two singles a double and scored a run in his four at-bats. Jake Gronsky also doubled and homered for State College.

Friday’s Pitcher of the Day: All four starting pitchers went (almost) five innings. Two yielded no runs. Springfield’s Petree is today’s selection after allowing just five baserunners.

Honorable mention is given to Springfield’s Morales, whose line was almost as good as Petree’s. Though they allowed two runs each, it is worth noting that Peoria’s Austin Gomber fanned eight and State College’s Reyes whiffed seven.

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.

Springfield (4-5-5) 3, Palm Beach 3

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 4.2 4 2 3 71st overall was comp balance pick Jonathan Rodriguez 3B 3 3 2 1 Led entire system in 2014 with 56 walks
Others 3

Palm Beach (8-5-2) 3, Springfield 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
Nick Petree 20 5 5 2 MO State star to pitch in Sgf? Bruce Caldwell 3B 4 1 3 1 7 triples was 4th in system, 5th in FSL
Others 3 Ronald Castillo LF 36 4 2 1 All-star two consecutive seasons

Peoria (7-6-2) 3, State College 2

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 5 2 2 2 8 Ended ’14 w/ 14 scoreless inns Danny Diekroeger 3B 4 3 3 4th in NYPL in hits, T5th in runs scored

State College (5-1) 2, Peoria 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
Alex Reyes 2 5 3 2 2 7 Made MLB spring debut 3/13 Jake Gronsky DH 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 NDFA IF had .783 OPS in 2014 GCL
Others 1

Overall this spring, the Cardinals are 32-21-12, including a 22-11-6 record against external competition (Mets and Marlins plus one game against the Long Island Storm).

Saturday’s plan: The spring season has ended with the full season clubs heading to their local cities. The rest of the players will remain behind for extended spring training. Check back with The Cardinal Nation for roster information this coming week.

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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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One Response to “Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 04/03/15”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Comments about player of the day, Diekroger. In high school, he was a quarterback in football, contributing 36 touchdowns and throwing for more than 300 yards per game. In baseball, he played SS.
    At Stanford, Diekroger got onto the baseball field at 2B and 1B. Because a light hitter for 1B and because he has solid arm strength, the Cards are shifting him across the diamond to 3B. If he succeeds there, he will be a Wade Boggs/Matt Carpenter type 3Bman, a left swinger who hits for average, not a slugger. Since Matt Carpenter has been an all star, this type of player has appeal and the Cards selected Diekroger in the 10th round. We only had to give him $5,000 to sign, because as a college senior, he had little choice but to accept this modest bonus.
    While Diekroger might be able to hit acceptably for Palm Beach, because new to playing 3B, this may be a reason why he may be assigned to Peoria.

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