Three Cardinals Earn GCL All-Star Honors

For the second straight season, the Gulf Coast League Cardinals featured the batting champion and Most Valuable Player rolled into one.

The 12-man Gulf Coast League All-Star Team was announced on Wednesday, representing the 16-club rookie-level league.

For the second consecutive year, the St. Louis Cardinals had far more than their fair share of selections with three. They are left-handed pitcher David Oca, outfielder Bladimil Franco and league Most Valuable Player Allen Cordoba. The latter is the Cards’ second straight batting champion as well as league Most Valuable Player, following Magneuris Sierra in 2014.

Cordoba, 19, posted a .342 average to win the title and was also first with 69 hits. He finished second in runs (40) and total bases (85). Cordoba was fourth in on-base percentage (.404) and fifth in slugging (.421). The native of Panama was the league’s toughest hitter to strike out, fanning just once per 11.45 plate appearances. He was among the 41 players invited to the Cardinals instructional league camp, now underway in Jupiter, Florida.

Franco

Franco, 21, batted .322, fourth in the league. The Dominican Republic native was second to Cordoba in hits with 65 and was tied for third in the league with 29 RBI. In 202 at-bats, Franco struck out just 17 times.

Oca, 20, joined the Cardinals after four very successful starts in the Dominican Summer League. The left-handed starter finished second in the GCL with a 1.70 ERA in 63 2/3 innings and was first in the league in wins with seven. Oca was promoted to short-season Class-A State College after the GCL season ended for the Cardinals, eliminated in the one-game semifinals.

All are graduates of the Cardinals Dominican academy, where the three were teammates on the 2013 Dominican Summer League Cardinals. Oca and Cordoba also competed there for the entire 2014 season while Franco preceded them in 2012. (Franco was assigned to Johnson City in the Appalachian League in 2014.)

2014 Cardinals GCL All-Stars were Sierra, Michael Pritchard and since-traded Malik Collymore.

The full 2015 GCL All-Star roster can be seen here.




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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