Minors Monday

I’d like to try to do this a little more often. Not that I’ll outdo the fine work over at Future Redbirds, but let’s at least get a little prospect talk going now and then, what say?

Memphis:
The Official Prospect of StLCardinals.com, or at least of OYNAG, is still raking even after a promotion. Bryan Anderson is at 324/343/500 since coming up to Memphis, and 368/392/518 on the year. I’d like to see more walks and more power, but a lefty-swinging catcher who hits .300 is a pretty nice player. And five XBH in 34 ABs at Memphis is a very good start.

Another guy in the same boat, somewhat, is Nick Stavinoha. The former LSU Tiger (hi, Derrick!) is batting a ridiculous .377 and he’s not striking out much. But as an outfielder, he’ll need more secondary contributions than Anderson will at catcher.

At this point, the guy who really catches my eye at Memphis is Joe Mather, who is having a huge year at 315/432/562. That’s batting average AND secondary skills, and it’s extremely encouraging. One big year can be a fluke. Do it twice in a row and you’re onto something. Mather passes the eyeball test, too — you watch him play, and you think ballplayer.

On the pitching side, the guy who jumps out most to me is Jason Motte, who’s blowing guys away AND walking fewer than Chris Perez or Mark Worrell. A lot to like there, though. We’ll check in with Jaime Garcia after another start or two, but boy the first one was encouraging.

Springfield:
Florida State product Shane Robinson is still well over .400 — .434 to be exact. And best of all, he’s got an ISO of .195. A guy who entered the year with 21 XBH in 429 career Minor League ABs has 15 in 113 ABs this year.

After a slow start, Allen Craig is hot right now. He’s slugging .714 over his past 10 games, though he hasn’t walked in that span. On the year he’s at 274/329/466.

The bad news at SPFD is that some of the aggressively promoted pitchers are having a tough time, especially Adam Ottavino (7.04 ERA, 4 1/3 innings per start, 18 K, 14 BB, 4 HR in 21 2/3 innings). Clayton Mortensen’s superficial numbers aren’t a lot better (1-3, 5.61), but his peripherals are much better — 27 K, 13 BB, 4 HR in 33 2/3 innings.

Palm Beach:
As usual, it’s about the pitchers at PB. Jess Todd, a guy that lots of people seem to like quite a lot, is having a huge year thus far. 1.65 ERA, 35 K, 7 BB, 0 HR in 27 1/3 innings.

Mark McCormick is taking the ball regularly, which is good news in itself, and he’s striking out nearly a batter per inning. He’s also walking a lot of guys, nearly six per nine innings.

The guy who stands out with the bat at PB is a guy shaping up as one of the best pieces of news in the entire system this year — Daryl Jones. Kevin Goldstein, you may have been right all along. Jones is striking out a TON, but he’s also walking at a decent clip, hitting .323, slugging .462 and has five steals in six tries.

Tyler Henley, a guy who’s intrigued me since they drafted him, is at 313/370/531. He’s a guy to keep an eye on, a LHH from a major college program (Rice) with good OBP skills. He’s considered an outstanding defensive player as well.

Quad Cities:
Pete Kozma has cooled off a bit but is still having a terrific year at 293/382/457. I’m eager to see him play.

-M.

10 Comments

We saw Mortenson pitch what must have been his only win in Springfield this year…he looked very impressive (this was also Brendan Ryan’s first rehab game in Springfield, now that I think about it) in a 20 – 5 victory…but I always take pitching performances in one-sided games with a grain of salt…seems like it would totally change the mindset of the losing team at the plate…or at least throw them off just enough to make the opposing pitcher sparkle. All in all, he did look very effective.

Anderson…man…what a problem to have, huh? Any news on how his defense is looking in Triple A? With all due respect to the guy, if his past ball defense doesn’t improve, he just cannot play behind the plate in a major league game…any runner on third would scare me to death!

I have been curious regarding David Freese…he seems to be having a good year (although he also seems to have a high strikeout rate) with power and average (but a few errors). Is it possible we could see him instead of Rico if Troy or Brendan gets injured? Just curious about the third base pecking order…

Finally…any news on Juan Gone?

What is the word on Colby Rasmus? And, how about Chris Perez?

Jess Todd was recently promoted to Springfield. I only know because he shut down the Naturals on the road in SpringDALE, not Springfield. He was limited to 70 pitches and tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings. He gave up two hits, while striking out six batters and walking three. Allen Craig hit two HRs in that game. Also in that game Andy Van Slyke, Jr. singled and scored., and drove in a run. Fun game to watch until the rain stopped it.

Rasmus, from what I understand, started rough and has since improved a bit, but is still only hitting .205…but he has 6 HRs with that average…pretty standard Rasmus…start small while he makes his adjustments to the higher level…

Lets just hope that Rasmus keeps up that trend. Will he or Mather be called up first?

Again…I’m not Matt…but I would say it depends on the situation, but I would bet on Mather. The club has stated they want Colby to play everyday…if we have a 15 day DL situation, Mather could very well be the guy…I would think they would want to leave Colby in Triple A as long as possible until they are sure he is 1. ready and 2. going to play everyday (no platooning for him)…

I think that’s pretty much dead on, Kevin. It’ll depend on the situation. If they needed somebody for a short time, it’d likely be Mather. When they commit to Rasmus, it’ll be a full-on commitment.

BTW, for those worrying about Rasmus, look at what Justin Upton did when he was promoted last year (ugly), and what he’s doing this year (dazzling). Rasmus may not be quite the player Upton is, but it’s just something worth being aware of. Level jumps can be really tough, especially for players that young.

-M.

Two differences between Raz and Upton: Upton struggled on promotion to the Show, not AAA, and he was even younger at the time. That said, I’m still not too worried about Raz. He’ll straighten himself out eventually — swings like that don’t come along every day. I just wish he’d get on with it so that a deal can be swung involving one of the current major-league OFs and a pitcher or two. Watching Iz2 is getting painful. An improved backup catcher wouldn’t hurt either, and shouldn’t cost much.

Nothing wrong with having a Bayou Bengal or two around. Classic program. Winning tradition. Omaha seasoning. Gumbo. Crawfish. Cheese fries at Chimes. Saw some of the Baton Rouge ilk — members of the fabled title team of 2000 — take some good hacks against the Cardinals in recent weeks. Fontenot. Hawpe. The Geaux Tigers can swing the bats.

dg
-30-

Like Todd Walker… he was a great one, wasn’t he, D?

-M.

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