2013 Johnson City Cardinals team review

The Cardinals put a hard-fought effort into the division race but missed out on the Appalachian League postseason.

Johnson City played hard during the regular season under first-year manager Joe Kruzel and made a last season push towards a fifth straight appearance in the playoffs. They fell short, however, wrapping up with a 36-31 (.537) record and a fourth-place finish in the Appalachian League West.

The squad ended its final week of the schedule with a 5-2 mark, but fell two games shy of clinching their bid for a postseason run. The Kingsport Mets won the division with the Greeneville Astros also making the playoffs.

Behind the JC Cardinals' 36-31 record

Longest win streak: Five games (Aug. 2-6)

Longest losing streak: Six games (June 28-July 5)

Series sweeps against: Four (Bristol, Elizabethton, Danville and Bluefield)

Swept by: Two (Princeton, Greeneville)

Record against Appalachian League West: 20-17

Record against Appalachian League East: 16-14

Home record: 18-15

Road record: 18-16

Links to Johnson City Cardinals' notebooks:

Week 11
Week 10
Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1
Season preview

Be sure to return to The Cardinal Nation daily this month and next for season recaps and award winners from the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league affiliates.

Roster changes

The Johnson City Cardinals finished the season with a 28-man roster after multiple changes during the summer.

In the final two months:

September 3 - Centerfielder Vaughn Bryan and shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls moved up, being assigned to the State College Spikes for the New York-Penn League playoffs.

August 24 - Third baseman Robelys Reyes was assigned to the Johnson City Cardinals from the Dominican Summer League.

August 21 - RHP Stalyn Lopez was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.

August 11 - Starting pitcher Hansel De Los Santos struggled throughout the year and received his pink slip on this day.

August 10 – A mainstay in the bullpen, Steve Sabatino, was promoted to the Peoria Chiefs. The same day, Kyle Grana and Ismael Brito were moved up from the Gulf Coast League Cardinals to the Johnson City pen.

In June, 10 2013 draftees had their initial professional assignment with the Cardinals:

Pitchers: Zach Loraine (21st round), Michael Holback (25th), Will Anderson (26th), Nick Lomascolo (34th), Blake McKnight (38th).

Position players: Richy Pedroza (17th), J.J. Altobelli (18th), Devante Lacy (24th), Justin Ringo (28th), Vaughn Bryan (35th).

2013 Appalachian League All-Star Team

The Cardinals drew three of a kind through the selection process for the all-stars of the Appalachian League. Shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls, catcher/right fielder Rowan Wick and centerfielder Vaughn Bryan each turned in key offensive showings throughout the year.

Wick was drafted in the ninth round back in 2012 by the Cardinals and he did not disappoint in his stop at Johnson City. Wick finished the season with a .256 batting average, led the team in home runs with 10 and drove in 35.

Right there with Wick in offensive production was Peoples-Walls. Walls was the Appalachian League Player of the Month in July and tallied career highs during the 2013 season. The shortstop joined Wick at the 35-RBI range, smacked seven home runs, four triples and posted a .300 batting average. Walls also showed key hitting with nine three-hit games and finished with nine stolen bases.

Rounding out the all-star crew was Vaughn Bryan. The team-high in stolen bases (13) showed the outfielder has legs, but Bryan also brought a mean swing to the batter's box. He finished the 2013 season with three home runs, five triples, eight doubles and 24 RBI to go with a .280 batting average.

Team batting

The Cardinals ended the season with an overall batting average of .259, just shy of first place - held by eventual league champion Pulaski and Kingsport (tied for first at .265). The team led the Appalachian League in at-bats with 2,326 while knocking 602 hits, second in the league.

Johnson City tallied a team total of 42 home runs, tied for second in the league with Bluefield, 11 back of Pulaski (53). The Cardinals finished with 103 doubles (fifth) and 23 triples (third).

Team pitching

In the pitching department, Johnson City finished the year with a 3.40 ERA, fourth-best. The pitchers issued 249 walks, second-most in the league, throughout the 67 games. They struck out 583, fourth-most.

Hitting leaders

Infielders Kenny Peoples-Walls and Justin Ringo finished tied for the sixth-best batting average in the Appalachian League at .300. Ringo, who emerged as the team's key offensive threat toward the end of the year, tallied six home runs in a 53-game span. Third baseman Ronnierd Garcia, named Appy League Player of the Week during the last week of the season, led the team with 39 RBI.

Pitching leaders

In 11 games, including 10 starts, right-hander Blake McKnight finished with a 2.69 ERA – seventh-best in the Appalachian League. Dailyn Martinez, who won his last two starts of the year, was right behind with a 2.70 ERA.

Alex Reyes finished 14th in the league with a 3.39 ERA. Reyes led all Cardinals pitchers in wins with a record of 6-4 and in strikeouts with 68 in 58 1/3 innings. Zach Loraine, with 24 appearances, emerged late as the closer with three saves. Fernando Baez led the team with six saves to go with a team-low 0.82 ERA.

Link to master article with all 2013 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series. Of course, that will include our selections as the Johnson City Cardinals Reliever, Starting Pitcher and Player of the Year.

Follow Curtis Carden on Twitter: @ERecordSports

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