Cardinals System News: Monday, August 24

Monday’s news and notes across the St. Louis Cardinals system – awards and more awards!

Thompson Tops in Midwest

Peoria Chiefs outfielder Nick Thompson was named Midwest League Player of the Week for the period of August 17-23. In six games, Thompson collected 11 hits in 24 at-bats for a .458 average including two home runs, six RBI, five runs scored and two doubles. He also drew a walk, finishing the week with a .480 on-base percentage and .792 slugging percentage.

For the season, Thompson is batting .238 with 11 home runs, 17 doubles, three triples and 52 RBI. He leads the Chiefs with 12 outfield assists and in walks with 46.

Escudero Aces Appy League

Johnson City reliever Jonathan Escudero was named Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week for the period of August 17-23. The 22-year-old right-hander was perfect last week in his pair of appearances against Danville and Greeneville, with no baserunners and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings and he picked up one save.

In 14 August innings, Escudero has allowed just two earned runs on two hits and five walks (1.29 ERA, 0.50 WHIP) while holding opposing batters to a .048 average.

Three Chiefs Named MWL Post-Season All-Stars

The Midwest League announced its Post-Season All-Star Team on Monday and the Peoria Chiefs led the way with three selections, the most of any team. A selection is truly elite as the 13-member All-Star roster covers the full 16-team league.

Second baseman Darren Seferina, left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber and right-handed reliever Kyle Grana were chosen in a vote of MWL Managers to the post-season team. Seferina and Grana were 2014 New York-Penn League All-Stars as well.

Gomber is the lone repeater from the five Chiefs mid-season stars from 2015. Daniel Poncedeleon, Luis Perdomo and Robby Rowland have since been promoted. Oscar Mercado remains with Peoria.

The Cardinals’ last MWL post-season stars were Anthony Garcia and Colin Walsh back in 2012, the organization’s final year in Quad Cities.

Seferina Stars

Seferina has been the Chiefs leadoff hitter since late May and is batting .282 with 22 doubles, four homers, 28 RBI, 22 steals, 92 runs scored and leads the Midwest League with 11 triples. Seferina leads the Chiefs with a .441 slugging percentage and is second with a .338 on-base percentage among those with at least 200 at-bats. He hit .410 in the month of June while racking up 14 extra-base hits and scoring 19 runs in 29 games. Seferina’s 11 triples are tied for the second most in a single season in team history with the record set by Kerry Robinson in 1996 at 14.

In The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 prospect list for August, Seferina is ranked 38th.

Gomber Great All Year Long

Gomber has turned in one of the best seasons in Chiefs history on the mound. The left-hander leads the Midwest League with 14 wins and 132 strikeouts while also topping the league with a .200 batting average against. His WHIP of 0.98 ranks second while he is also top 10 in innings pitched at 129 and sixth in ERA at 2.79. Gomber is tied for the fifth most wins in a season in team history and one win away from being tied for second. His 132 strikeouts are tied for 20th on the Chiefs single-season list and he is just 10 strikeouts away from the top 10. The lefty has gone at least five innings in 20 straight starts and is the only pitcher in all of MiLB to win 13 straight decisions as a starter this season, also a franchise record. Gomber has 12 quality starts and he has gone at least seven innings in seven starts this season. He has not lost a game since April 29.

In The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 prospect list for August, Gomber is ranked 36th.

Grana Owns the Ninth

Grana is having one of the best seasons for a reliever in team history with 20 saves and a 0.90 ERA in 47 outings. He is 2-2 with 59 strikeouts over 50 innings while holding opponents to a .188 batting average. With his 20th save of the season on Saturday night, Grana moved into second in the MWL this season in saves. If his ERA holds, Grana will set a new record for lowest ERA by a Chiefs reliever in franchise history. Grana’s 47 appearances are also second in the MWL as are his 37 games finished. The Missouri native is fourth among MWL relievers with 10.62 strikeouts per 9 innings and fifth with a .188 average against.

More News on the Way

As additional news across the Cardinals system comes to light on Monday, it will be added here.

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

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