The Cardinal Nation April Player of Month

Details behind why Xavier Scruggs is our overwhelming choice as the Cardinals top player in April.

In preparing these awards, I always go back to the prior month as an initial point of comparison, even though in this case, the reference point was with action nine months ago. It was much to my surprise to be reminded that the hottest hitter across the St. Louis Cardinals’ system in April was also The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Month last August – Memphis first baseman Xavier Scruggs.

Scruggs

The 27-year-old lapped his competition by leading all organization players during the first month of the 2015 season in on-base percentage (.430), slugging (.645), and OPS (1.075). For those who prefer old-fashioned counting stats, the right-handed hitter topped the system in home runs (five) and RBI (16) and was second in runs scored (14).

To qualify, hitters must have at least 50 at-bats. As a result, 31 players were eligible.

Now, let’s look at the full lists of April system-wide leaders in a group of key offensive categories.

Rate stats leaders

Last month, there were just three .300 hitters across the system. Four posted an OBP of at least .400, four who slugged over .450 and six qualifiers had an OPS greater than .750.

Name Tm AVG   Name Tm OBP
Jonathan Rodriguez  Spr 0.354   Xavier Scruggs  Mem 0.430
Luke Voit  PB 0.329   Bruce Caldwell  PB 0.425
Charlie Tilson  Spr 0.307   Luke Voit  PB 0.425
        Jonathan Rodriguez  Spr 0.400
             
Name Tm SLG   Name Tm OPS
Xavier Scruggs  Mem 0.645   Xavier Scruggs  Mem 1.075
Jonathan Rodriguez  Spr 0.523   Jonathan Rodriguez  Spr 0.923
Luke Voit  PB 0.466   Luke Voit  PB 0.891
Bruce Caldwell  PB 0.451   Bruce Caldwell  PB 0.876
        Stephen Piscotty  Mem 0.768
        Mason Katz  PB 0.765

Counting stats leaders

Across the system in April, only two hitters had at least three home runs, with eight more having two long balls each. Seven batters collected double-digit totals of RBI.

Seven players had at least four stolen bases and nine had at least 10 runs scored each.

Name Tm HR   Name Tm RBI
Xavier Scruggs  Mem 5   Xavier Scruggs  Mem 16
Jacob Wilson  Spr 4   Mason Katz  PB 13
Jonathan Rodriguez  Spr 2   Jacob Wilson  Spr 12
Luke Voit  PB 2   Luke Voit  PB 11
Mason Katz  PB 2   Ed Easley  Mem 11
Stephen Piscotty  Mem 2   Carson Kelly  PB 10
Cody Stanley  Mem 2   Rowan Wick  PB 10
David Washington  Spr 2        
Scott Moore  Mem 2        
Blake Drake  Peo 2        
             
Name Tm SB/CS   Name Tm R
Oscar Mercado  Peo 11/3   Bruce Caldwell  PB 16
Charlie Tilson  Spr 8/1   Xavier Scruggs  Mem 14
C.J. McElroy  PB 8/1   Luke Voit  PB 13
Danny Diekroeger  Peo 5/0   Stephen Piscotty  Mem 12
Robelys Reyes  PB 5/2   Oscar Mercado  Peo 12
Andrew Sohn  Peo 4/1   Danny Diekroeger  Peo 12
Darren Seferina  Peo 4/4   Mason Katz  PB 11
        C.J. McElroy  PB 11
        Magneuris Sierra  Peo 10

Honorable mentions

Backed up behind Scruggs on the system-wide depth chart at first base, Springfield’s Jonathan Rodriguez batted an impressive .354 during April and extended that to a .400 on-base percentage. He hit for power as well, ranking second to Scruggs in slugging and OPS. In the latter category, Rodriguez was the only other hitter with an OPS over .900.

The Palm Beach corner infield duo of first baseman Luke Voit and third baseman Bruce Caldwell rank among the select leaders in the slash categories. In addition, Caldwell paced the system in runs scored while Voit was third and he also tied for fourth in RBI.

Peoria shortstop Oscar Mercado leads the Cardinals system and the Midwest League with his 11 stolen bases. Centerfielders Charlie Tilson (Springfield) and C.J. McElroy (Palm Beach) are both an impressive 8-for-9 stealing bags.

Coming soon

The Cardinal Nation’s April Starting Pitcher of the Month and Relief Pitcher of the Month will be announced next. In addition, our first monthly update to the Cardinals top 40 prospect rankings for 2015 is coming next week, exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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