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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: 03/28/16

Welcome back to our eighth year of providing results and much more from St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games here at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

Following are the highlights from the Cardinals minor league games held on Monday in Jupiter, FL. They were the second-to-last contests of the spring against the Mets with four games scheduled at 1:00 p.m. Memphis and Springfield were at home with Palm Beach and Peoria busing up to Port St. Lucie.

The Cardinals had a rough 0-3-1 day with only Memphis salvaging a tie and Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria taking losses. For the spring, the Cards are now 16-20-5 overall, including 9-13-3 against external competition.

Like the major league club, the minor league teams are not scoring runs in bunches. The four teams combined for six runs on Monday. The starting pitchers being missing from the Springfield and Palm Beach notes suggests they did not have a great day.

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. However, be aware that only pitching and hitting results selected by the organization are being shared. 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, more players have yet to be cut from Major League camp.

When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 40 for 2016, their rankings are noted.

Monday’s Hitter of the Day: Harrison Bader, Springfield

The only TCN top 40 prospect in Monday’s highlights (at number 13) is also the only hitter with two extra base hits. Bader doubled and tripled in his four at-bats and also scored a run for Springfield. It was not a fluke, as his .523 slugging percentage at Peoria last season was second-best in the entire system (after Jeremy Hazelbaker).

Monday’s Pitcher of the Day: Kurt Heyer, Memphis

With flashy starters usually grabbing the attention ahead of hard-throwing closers, it can be a challenge for a role player to be recognized here. However, Memphis’ Kurt Heyer, a valuable swing man who spent his first season primarily in relief in 2015, earned his mention as our top Monday pitcher with two perfect innings including two strikeouts for Memphis.

For more, The Cardinal Nation members can check out the complete list of minor league spring training attendees and full minor league spring training game schedules. Also exclusively for TCN members is my annual pre-camp series in which I predict the opening rosters for all four full-season minor league affiliates and explain why. Memphis, Springfield and Palm Beach are posted, with Peoria to follow on Sunday. 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 system 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 (7-2-1) 0, New Orleans 0

Memphis pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Jeremy Hefner 3.1 4 2 Former Mets starter working back from 2 TJS David Washington 1B 2 1 1 1 Held his own in his first MLB camp this spring
Kurt Heyer 2 2 Walks crept up in 1st year as reliever (2.5/9 IP)

Binghamton 9 at Springfield (2-7-1) 2

Springfield pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
John Brebbia 1 1 2 5th in indy American Assoc with 19 saves in 2015 Harrison Bader CF #13 4 1 2 1 1 .311 BA in 2015 tied for 7th in entire system
Luke Voit 1B 3 1 2 1 Also HBP – ready to move up after 2 PB years
Luis Cruz C 2 2 1 1 Career 35.7% thrown out stealing rate

St. Lucie 6, Palm Beach (3-5-2) 2

Palm Beach pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Palm Beach hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Luke Harrison 1 1 Best K/BB ratio in StL minors in 2015 (9.33:1) Thomas Spitz RF 3 1 2 1 Also 2 steals – 32nd rounder batted .233 at SC
Craig Aikin LF 4 1 2 1 1 1 Batted .243 with .283 SLG at SC as rookie

Columbia 3, Peoria (3-6-1) 2

Peoria pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Brennan Leitao 4 2 1 1 Started at JC, pen at SC in 2015 intro (4.06 ERA) Michael Pritchard RF 3 2 1 1 2nd-toughest to K in 2015 NYPL (1/10.4 PA)
Allen Staton DH 3 1 1 1 1 TCN’s 2015 Johnson City Player of the Year

Tuesday’s games: Tuesday will bring the final camp day of the spring, with Memphis and Springfield meeting along with Palm Beach versus 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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