The Cardinal Nation April Player of the Month

Outfielder Alex Castellanos has made a major splash in his first month with Double-A Springfield.

It would cause little controversy to just name the Springfield Cardinals offense as The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month for April. After all, the club sports four of the top five sluggers in the entire St. Louis Cardinals system in slugging percentage, three of the top four hitters as measured by batting average, the three with the most home runs and the two hitters with the most runs batted in.

Our winner is the only system-wide leader in two categories. Outfielder Alex Castellanos' six home runs are the most in the organization and his .658 slugging percentage is head and shoulders above everyone else – a whopping 114 points more than the second-highest player in the system.

The 24-year-old is second among all Cardinals minor leaguers in batting at .329 and in RBI with 17. Castellanos' biggest day was on April 19, when he struck two home runs, plated four and had nine total bases in a 14-7 Springfield loss to Midland. All are team highs.

The right-handed hitter is the reigning Texas League Player of the Week, having picked up the honor for the period of April 18-24.

Offensive success is not new to the organization's 10th-round selection in the 2008 draft. Last season, Castellanos was The Cardinal Nation's choice as Palm Beach Player of the Year after he paced the club in batting average, home runs, RBI, on base and slugging percentages, hits, doubles, triples, total bases, and tied for the team lead in stolen bases.

Castellanos ranked in the top five in the pitching-dominated Florida State League in many of those categories as well and his doubles total of 35 set a new Palm Beach record.

Honorable Mention

Matt Adams, first baseman, Springfield. The first of the pair of Springfield's "presidential players," Adams and Jackson, ranks fourth in the system with a .311 batting average, first with 18 RBI, tied for second with five home runs and second in slugging at .544. The 22-year-old has handled a two-level jump from Class A Quad Cities in fine fashion.

Ryan Jackson, shortstop, Springfield. Jackson was the hottest hitter in the system for the early part of the month. Despite cooling off, hitting just .188 over his last ten games, the shortstop more known for his glove is still batting a system-leading .337. His OBP of .411 and slugging of .482 are respectively third and fifth-best in the organization.

Tommy Pham, outfielder, Springfield. The 23-year-old averaged just seven home runs per season over his first five years as a professional with a career slugging percentage of .373. For the first month of the season, Pham has transformed with five long balls, tied for second-most in the system and his SLG of .526 is third among all Cardinals minor leaguers.

Alan Ahmady, outfielder, Palm Beach. Yes, there are hitters in the system performing well with other clubs besides Springfield. Palm Beach's cleanup hitter is batting .317, third-highest among Cardinals farmhands and his .456 on-base percentage is tops.

Previous winners: Click on the highlighted links to be taken to earlier articles about the monthly selections by both The Cardinal Nation and the Cardinals organization.

Player of Month   Pitcher of Month  
2011 The Cardinal Nation Cards organization The Cardinal Nation Cards organization
April  Alex Castellanos   Jordan Swagerty  

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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