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.
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.
|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|
|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|
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.
|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|
|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|
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.
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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