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St. Louis Cardinals prospects report: Grichuk and Cooney start strong

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Yesterday the St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliates went 2-2. Links to yesterday's games can be seen below along with the stat lines for the most prominent prospects in the system and some shorthand analysis. The stars of the night were Randal Grichuk, Tim Cooney, and Jacob Wilson.

AAA: Memphis 11, Iowa 1

  • Oscar Taveras – 5 PA, 0 R, 1 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Stephen Piscotty – DNP
  • Randal Grichuk – 5 PA, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Tim Cooney - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K

Notes: Oscar Taveras has not hit much early in the year (he currently has a .214 average) but the sample size is small and when he has hit the ball he has hit it hard (a double and home run). Randal Grichuk continues his hot start yesterday with two singles and an RBI. Stephen Piscotty got rest as the Memphis manager evidently felt pity on the other team and refused to unleash the Piscotty, Grichuk, Taveras outfield on them three times in a row. The best performance by far came from Cooney, whose performance builds on a solid 3.80 ERA and 2.57 FIP last year in AA. Most encouraging is Cooney's K rate (9.51K/9 IP) and walk rate (1.37 BB/9 IP) last year. With Jamie Garcia down with injuries, Cooney could be the next legitimate lefthander to start for the big league club.

AA: Springfield 3, San Antonio 6

  • James Ramsey – 4 PA, 0 R, 1 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Patrick Wisdom – 4 PA, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K
  • Aledmys Diaz – 1 PA, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Seth Blair - 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Notes: James Ramsey continues to have a solid start to the AA season with a .400 average so far and solid power. The problem for Ramsey is that he is now behind at least seven other guys (Craig, Jay, Bourjos, Holliday, Taveras, Piscotty, Grichuk) before he will even get a sniff at big league baseball. The Cardinals outfield depth practically begs for a trade deadline deal. Patrick Wisdom had a solid day and managed to get through the game without commiting an error (the first game he has done so this season). Aledmys Diaz still has yet to start a game in the field as he is being given time to do conditioning drills. Blair is a former first round pick in 2010. He boasted a plus fastball and curveball out of college but since that time has struggled with control and injuries in the minor leagues. Yesterday's performance (high strike out rate accompanied by high walk rate accompanied by too many earned runs) is pretty indicative of Blair's professional career thus far.

High A: Palm Beach 8, St. Lucie 3

  • Charlie Tilson – 5 PA, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Jacob Wilson – 4 PA, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (two errors)
  • Samuel Tuivailala - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Notes: Tilson may just be figuring things out with the bat and if so that is a good thing for Cardinals fans as he has a great deal of athleticism which could make him a top prospect. Jacob Wilson is turning into something of a Matt Adams at third base as he continues to hit everywhere he goes. Unfortunately his defense also mirrored Adams yesterday with two errors. In his defense, Wilson played better defense last year (10 errors in 473 chances and .979 fielding percentage). Depending on how Wisdom performs, the 23 year-old Wilson could become the team's top third base prospect.

A: Peoria 4, Wisconsin 8

  • Carson Kelly - 5 PA, 1 R, 1 H, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Kenneth People-Walls - 4 PA, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 SB, 1 Error
  • CJ McElroy - 5 PA, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K

Notes: Kelly is struggling early this year (.125 batting average) but the triple is encouraging coming from the third baseman turned catcher. People-Walls mashed last year in Johnson City (.352 OBP and .468 SLUG) and now is trying to prove his worth in A at the mere age of 20. McElroy is another outfielder who has plently of athleticism but has to prove he can hit first.

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