2010 Gulf Coast League Cardinals Team Review

In the team's fourth year, the Gulf Coast League Cardinals finished with a franchise-best 28 wins.

The 2010 season marked the Gulf Coast League Cardinals' fourth campaign since starting play in 2007. This season, the Cardinals set a franchise mark with 28 victories while also logging the team's best-ever winning percentage of .500. Previous top marks were 25 victories and a .446 winning percentage, both achieved in 2009.

This season's entry finished in third place in the GCL East division, nine games behind the first-place Marlins.

The Cards used 24 position players over the course of the season while 21 pitchers saw action. The team was used as the recovery base for several Cardinals minor leaguers as well as the stepping stone for once heralded prospect Jose Martinez' return.

The Cardinals organization's 2010 first-round pick, Zack Cox, saw his first professional action with the GCL team. The former Arkansas Razorback hit .400/.471/.467 in four late-August games.

At the Plate

Anthony Garcia led the team with an OPS of .862 and was rewarded for his play with a promotion to Johnson City. The former backstop finished with an overall line of .284/.406/.457 with five home runs and 20 RBI.

Roberto De La Cruz showed the power the organization had hoped for when it gave him the largest international bonus in the club's history. The 18-year-old led the team with seven home runs and 70 total bases. Still very raw, De La Cruz struck out 46 times while walking only seven. The third baseman also saw action at Johnson City at the end of the season. He will also need to continue to improve in the field as De La Cruz led the team with 15 errors.

First baseman Luis Pimentel led the team with a .301 average, 46 hits, and 29 RBIs. The 21-year-old posted an OPS of .765 while finishing the season with only one error.

Starlin Rodriguez proved to a catalyst at the top of the batting order. The second baseman posted a slash line of .285/.357/.377 with 14 stolen bases.

After hitting only .165 in his first professional season, 2009 draft pick David Washington rebounded with a solid campaign. The former 15th round pick hit .284/.370/.432 and also saw an inning on the pitcher's mound.

On the Mound

Jose Pasen led the team with 11 starts and 55 1/3 innings. The 19-year-old struck out 52 while holding opponents to a .211 average.

Javier Avendano struck out 52 hitters while finishing with an ERA of only 1.35. His body of work was rewarded with a promotion to Batavia, where he made one start.

Manuel De La Cruz was a rock in the team's bullpen. The southpaw made a team-high 28 appearances and led the club with nine saves.

Draft Picks

Along with Cox, several 2010 draft picks spent their first professional year in the GCL. Outfielder Steven Ramos, a 22nd round selection, reached base at a .340 clip and stole 15 bases in 17 attempts. 20th round pick Trevor Martin appeared in 23 games and hit .253/.359/.316

The highest pick other than Cox that made his debut in the GCL was third-round selection Sam Tuivailala. The shortstop might have only hit .178 but he did draw 29 walks to boost his on base percentage to .335.

A pair of back-to-back picks, Anthony Bryant and Corderious Dodd (16th and 17th round, respectively), both struggled to find their rhythm. Bryant struck out in over 40% of his at bats while Dodd whiffed at a greater than 50% rate in 43 trips to the plate.

Of the 2010 draft picks, 11th round selection Ben Freeman logged the most innings with 43 2/3. The southpaw struck out 37 while posting a 3.50 ERA.

Next on the list, Cesar Aguilar, who was picked in the 14th round, was able to see action in 16 games. The former prep hurler had an ERA of 3.82 while being credited with three holds.

Though 21st round selection Josh Lucas might have gotten knocked around a little bit, he was able to log almost a strikeout per inning. The 6-foot-6 right-hander finished with an ERA of 4.88 while allowing a .294 batting average against.

Dyllon Nuernberg, a 23rd round selection, appeared in 14 games covering 16 innings. He racked up 20 strikeouts but finished with an ERA over five.

Ex-prep hurler Cole Brand had a couple rough outings at the end of the season that really skewed his stats. The 42nd round pick made consecutive outings in which he gave up a total of five earned runs and did not record an out. This caused his ERA to balloon to 5.12.

Around the League

In the 15-team Gulf Coast League, the Cardinals finished third with a team on base percentage of .336. The Cards finished ninth with a .244 average and a .345 slugging percentage. The team finished seventh in runs and 10th in total bases. The Cards' 198 walk total was the best in the GCL while ranking exactly in the middle in team strikeouts.

The 3.73 team ERA was tenth in the league, over a run worse than the Marlins' league leading 2.50 mark. The team was tied for 10th in saves while ranking in the middle of the pack in strikeouts.

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