For most baseball fans, not only is .400 a magical number, it is forever associated with Ted Williams. Of course, the Boston Red Sox’ Hall of Famer was the last .400 hitter in the major leagues, batting .406 in 1941.
During July in the St. Louis Cardinals system, an 18-year-old outfielder, born 56 years after the Splendid Splinter’s feat, had a month that makes one think of Williams.
Of course, the Dominican Summer League is light years away from the bigs, with many tests along the way. Still, when any hitter at any level puts up a .422 mark over the span of 31 days, it is worthy of recognition here.
Therefore, Wadye Ynfante is The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Month for July.
Not only did Ynfante post the highest batting average in the Cardinals system by 43 points, it was 46 points higher than the organization’s choice as the top player, Johnson City’s Allen Cordoba. Ynfante also paced the system in on-base percentage at .487, was eighth in the system in slugging and one of four Cardinals with an OPS over 1.000. Ynfante topped Cordoba in all four slash line components.
In terms of counting stats, the two tied with a pair of others for third in the system with 20 runs scored. Given the types of players they are, it is not surprising they are not among the home run and RBI leaders. Cordoba’s one clear edge is in stolen bases, but it is not enough to eclipse Ynfante, in my assessment.
Though he is competing in the DSL for a third season, Ynfante, a native of the Dominican Republic, has been well-recognized. He was a 2015 DSL All-Star and The Cardinal Nation’s DSL Cardinals Player of the Year last season.
Ynfante also has experience on US soil, though not yet in official game action. The outfielder participated in Cardinals instructional league camp last fall and in extended spring training in 2016. In fact, he is only one of two EST players to not be playing in the US currently, joining catcher Irving Wilson. The bats of Ynfante and the organization’s June Player of the Month, Brian Sanchez, are key reasons why the DSL Cardinals are off to their best season in the club’s 12-year history.
But many other players across the Cardinals system also had strong offensive performances during July. Let’s look at some of them in a number of key offensive categories.
As always, I identified the organizational leaders in key offensive measures, narrowing the pool of candidates for the slash stats of batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS to those who had at least 50 at-bats during the month.
Rate stats leaders
The hitting shoes were on across the system during July, with a whopping 22 men posting batting averages of at least .300. It is good to see full-season players stepping up. In fact, including Ynfante, only 10 of the .300-hitters are playing in short-season ball – from State College on down.
Along with Cordoba and Ynfante in the top batting average group are new draftee J.R. Davis at Johnson City and shortstop Jose Martinez, who kept right on hitting following his mid-month promotion to Peoria.
Three bounceback players at Memphis are bunched together at .364-.365 in Michael Ohlman, Dean Anna and Breyvic Valera. Also notable are a pair of 2016 draftees who are teammates at State College in infielder Danny Hudzina and catcher Jeremy Martinez. And let’s not forget Sanchez.
13 Cardinals posted an on-base percentage of at least .400 last month. As you would expect, many of the names are the same as on the batting average leaderboard.
Among newcomers, catcher Jeremy Martinez made a strong showing, in a tie for third-best OBP overall. Fellow 2016 draftee Caleb Lopes of Johnson City had a sharp .435 OBP.
Also, check out the last name in the table. One of this year’s July 2 signings, catcher Carlos Soto, logged a .400 OBP in his first month as a pro. Interestingly, the 17-year-old had more walks, 18, than hits, 12, and struck out just eight times in 53 at-bats.
|Wadye Ynfante||DSL||0.422||Wadye Ynfante||DSL||0.487|
|J.R. Davis||JC||0.379||Allen Cordoba||JC||0.459|
|Jose Martinez||SC-PEO||0.376||Jeremy Martinez||SC||0.443|
|Allen Cordoba||JC||0.376||Jose Martinez||SC-PEO||0.443|
|Leandro Cedeno||DSL||0.367||Dean Anna||MEM||0.443|
|Michael Ohlman||SPR-MEM||0.365||Breyvic Valera||MEM||0.436|
|Dean Anna||MEM||0.365||Caleb Lopes||JC||0.435|
|Breyvic Valera||MEM||0.364||Leandro Cedeno||DSL||0.424|
|Eliezer Alvarez||PEO||0.356||Brian Sanchez||DSL||0.419|
|Efren Navarro||MEM||0.343||Eliezer Alvarez||PEO||0.418|
|Danny Hudzina||SC||0.342||Julio Rodriguez||DSL||0.410|
|Jeremy Martinez||SC||0.342||Elier Rodriguez||SC||0.407|
|Brian Sanchez||DSL||0.337||Carlos Soto||DSL||0.400|
Moving to slugging and OPS, DSL teammates Julio Rodriguez and Sanchez led both categories, with Anna surprisingly close behind. The three, along with Ynfante, were the only hitters with an OPS over 1.000 for the month.
As already noted, Ynfante and Cordoba are here, as is another regular in Memphis slugger David Washington. Don’t miss out on a new name from the 2016 draft class, Johnson City outfielder Matt Fiedler.
|Julio Rodriguez||DSL||0.712||Julio Rodriguez||DSL||1.122|
|Brian Sanchez||DSL||0.634||Brian Sanchez||DSL||1.053|
|David Washington||MEM||0.620||Dean Anna||MEM||1.051|
|Dean Anna||MEM||0.608||Wadye Ynfante||DSL||1.034|
|Michael Ohlman||SPR-MEM||0.596||Michael Ohlman||SPR-MEM||0.989|
|Anthony Garcia||SPR-MEM||0.556||Leandro Cedeno||DSL||0.974|
|Leandro Cedeno||DSL||0.550||Allen Cordoba||JC||0.965|
|Wadye Ynfante||DSL||0.547||David Washington||MEM||0.933|
|Jacob Wilson||SPR-MEM||0.542||J.R. Davis||JC||0.913|
|Matt Fiedler||JC||0.519||Matt Fiedler||JC||0.910|
|J.R. Davis||JC||0.517||Eliezer Alvarez||PEO||0.910|
|Danny Hudzina||SC||0.507||Danny Hudzina||SC||0.902|
Counting stats leaders
As usual, power was relatively scarce. Seven hitters averaged a home run per week, however,, paced by the system’s season leader, Washington, with eight. Other regulars on both the home run and RBI lists include Springfield teammates Paul DeJong and Luke Voit. More rebounders appear in Anthony Garcia and Jacob Wilson, two who have had ups and downs this season, but can call July an “up”.
A name that may surprise some among the long ball leaders is middle infielder Tommy Edman. The 2016 sixth-rounder hit six out of the park for State College.
The clear RBI leader is Sanchez, with at least dozen more than the pack. Two very interesting new names among the top run producers are outfielder Vincent Jackson of State College and St. Louis’ top draft pick, shortstop Delvin Perez.
|David Washington||MEM||8||Brian Sanchez||DSL||32|
|Brian Sanchez||DSL||7||Julio Rodriguez||DSL||20|
|Paul DeJong||SPR||7||Paul DeJong||SPR||19|
|Anthony Garcia||SPR-MEM||6||Vincent Jackson||SC||18|
|Jacob Wilson||SPR-MEM||5||Delvin Perez||CAR||18|
|Luke Voit||SPR||5||Luke Voit||SPR||17|
|Tommy Edman||SC||4||Magneuris Sierra||PEO||17|
Leading the stolen base list is one of those players who has never seemed to realize his potential in outfielder Vaughn Bryan, who has moved between Palm Beach and Peoria multiple times this season.
Three players have the interesting distinction to have placed both among the RBI and stolen base leaders. They are Peoria’s Magneuris Sierra along with newcomers Jackson and Perez.
Edman makes two more appearances, having gone six for seven in steals and co-leading the system with 26 runs scored. Free agent infield signee Yariel Gonzalez, the other leader in runs, has already earned a promotion to State College.
|Vaughn Bryan||PEO-PB||9/2||Tommy Edman||SC||26|
|Magneuris Sierra||PEO||9/3||Yariel Gonzalez||JC-SC||26|
|J.R. Davis||JC||9/5||Brian Sanchez||DSL||20|
|Allen Cordoba||JC||8/2||Wadye Ynfante||DSL||20|
|Vincent Jackson||SC||7/0||Allen Cordoba||JC||20|
|Delvin Perez||CAR||7/1||Esequeil Delgado||DSL||20|
|Oscar Mercado||PMB||7/5||Paul DeJong||SPR||19|
|Tommy Edman||SC||6/1||Jose Martinez||SC-PEO||19|
June’s winner in July
How did Brian Sanchez, the organization’s June Player of the Month, perform in July?
The answer is, “Quite nicely, thank you.” As noted, the 20-year-old made a decent case to repeat, coming in first in RBI, tied for second in homers, tied for third in runs scored, 13th in batting average, ninth in OBP, and second in both slugging and OPS during July.
Here are the earlier winners of these monthly awards for 2016 to date – both from The Cardinal Nation and the St. Louis Cardinals themselves – along with links to those prior articles.
|Pitcher of Month||Starter of Month||Reliever of Month|
|2016||Cards organization||The Cardinal Nation||The Cardinal Nation||2016|
|April||Andrew Morales||Austin Gomber||Kevin Herget||April|
|May||Jake Woodford||Jake Woodford||Rowan Wick||May|
|July||Matt Pearce||L Weaver/A Gomber||July|
|Player of Month|
|2016||Cards organization||The Cardinal Nation||2016|
|April||Harrison Bader||Harrison Bader||April|
|May||David Washington||David Washington||May|
|July||Allen Gordoba||Wadye Ynfante||July|
The Cardinal Nation’s July Relief Pitcher of the Month will be announced next. Following that will be the oft-delayed in-season update to our Cardinals top 40 prospect rankings, exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Prospect Interview: Daniel Poncedeleon
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