Luke Voit (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Details behind why Springfield first baseman Luke Voit is The Cardinal Nation’s top hitter in August and lists of key offensive leaders

Details behind why Springfield first baseman Luke Voit is The Cardinal Nation’s top hitter in August and lists of key offensive leaders last month.

Once in a while, a hitter bats .400 in a month. In a rare occasion, an offensive player manages a .500 on-base mark over 30 or 31 days. Now and then, a slugger posts a .600 slugging percentage in a calendar month.

In the St. Louis Cardinals system in August, there was one of each, making the selection of The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Month a bit of a challenge.

In just his second full month as a professional, Johnson City outfielder Matt Fiedler collected 36 hits in 89 at-bats, for a .404 average. 90 days ago, Fielder was fielding fly balls as a member of the University of Minnesota’s baseball club. The 21-year-old was selected in the ninth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.

http://www.scout.com/player/209608-matt-fiedler?s=321

Fiedler’s Appalachian League teammate, infielder Caleb Lopes, had 23 hits and a system-best 19 walks for an amazing .506 on-base percentage last month. Like Fiedler, Lopes joined the organization in this June draft, taken in the 33rd round from the University of West Georgia.

http://www.scout.com/player/209730-caleb-lopes?s=321

Not to be outdone, an incumbent Cardinal, Luke Voit, slugged his way to an even .600 mark for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in August. The Texas League mid-season and post-season All-Star performed in front of local supporters from his days as a Missouri State star.

Putting the results together, on-base plus slugging, narrows the race down to Fiedler and Voit, just a point apart at 1.039 and 1.038, respectively.

The tie is broken by referencing counting stats. Voit was one of just four players in the system to hit at least one home run per week last month, tied for third with four long balls. In addition, the Springfield slugger drove in 20 runs, again tied for third in the system, to Fiedler’s 18. 

Therefore, Luke Voit is hereby named The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Month for August.

http://www.scout.com/player/179967-luke-voit?s=321

Voit also leads the Double-A Texas League in batting average (.301), hits (138) and OPS (.862) and was a serious contender for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. The 25-year-old is preparing to lead his Springfield club into the playoffs.

 

System leaders

In reality, there were many strong offensive performances across the Cardinals system during August, especially at the lower levels of the system. Let’s look at some of them in a number of key 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 remained on across the system during August, with a whopping 22 men posting batting averages of at least .300 for the second consecutive month. Listed below are the top 10, those with marks at .333 or better. Going at least 1-for-3 each and every day on average all month is quite an accomplishment!

Nestled between Fiedler and the pair of Voit and Lopez in the top batting average group are three hitters, including The Cardinal Nation’s last two system-wide Players of the Year. Peoria’s Magneuris Sierra (.384) took the honors in 2014, followed by last season’s winner, Johnson City’s Allen Cordoba (.375). Also at .375 is a catcher, Dennis Ortega of the Gulf Coast League Cardinals!

13 Cardinals posted an on-base percentage of at least .400 last month. Again, that is the exact same total as in July. As you would expect, many of the names are the same as on the batting average leaderboard.

Fiedler was the only Cardinal other than his teammate Lopes coming in with an OBP over .450, at .455. Another backstop, Julio Rodriguez, a 19-year-old from the Dominican Summer League, appears in the top 10 at .427.

Name Tm AVG   Name Tm OBP
Matt Fiedler  JC 0.404   Caleb Lopes  JC 0.506
Magneuris Sierra  Peo 0.384   Matt Fiedler  JC 0.455
Allen Cordoba  JC 0.375   Dennis Ortega  GCL 0.444
Dennis Ortega  GCL 0.375   Luke Voit  Spr 0.438
Luke Voit  Spr 0.367   Allen Cordoba  JC 0.427
Caleb Lopes  JC 0.354   Julio Rodriguez  DSL 0.427
Breyvic Valera  Mem 0.337   Magneuris Sierra  Peo 0.426
Chris Chinea  Peo 0.333   Stefan Trosclair  GCL 0.422
Julio Rodriguez  DSL 0.333   Casey Grayson  PB 0.422
Stefan Trosclair  GCL 0.333   Moises Castillo  DSL 0.417
        Joshua Lopez  JC 0.410
        Paul DeJong  Spr 0.407
        Jose Godoy  Peo 0.400

Moving to slugging, two hitters registered slugging percentages over .550 last month, behind Voit and Fiedler. They are first baseman Stefan Trosclair in the Gulf Coast League and catcher Brian O’Keefe of Peoria.

http://www.scout.com/player/209684-stefan-trosclair?s=321

The future looks brighter for power in the system perhaps, as eight of the top 10 August sluggers are playing in short-season ball.

As already noted, Fiedler and Voit are neck and neck at the top in OPS, but Trosclair, Rodriguez, Lopes and Cordoba also came in very respectively last month, above .950.

Name Tm SLG   Name Tm OPS
Luke Voit Spr 0.600   Matt Fiedler JC 1.039
Matt Fiedler JC 0.584   Luke Voit Spr 1.038
Stefan Trosclair GCL 0.556   Stefan Trosclair GCL 0.978
Brian O'Keefe Peo 0.551   Julio Rodriguez DSL 0.960
Julio Rodriguez DSL 0.533   Allen Cordoba JC 0.952
Jonathan Rivera JC 0.529   Caleb Lopes JC 0.952
Allen Cordoba JC 0.525   Brian O'Keefe Peo 0.943
Dylan Carlson GCL 0.524   Magneuris Sierra Peo 0.941
Magneuris Sierra Peo 0.515   Paul DeJong Spr 0.902
Starlin Balbuena GCL 0.508        
Patrick Wisdom GCL-Mem 0.500        

 

Counting stats leaders

As usual, home runs were scarce in August. As noted above, just four hitters averaged a long ball per week, compared to seven individuals in July.

O’Keefe had a very strong and productive month for the Midwest League Chiefs, with a system-best six home runs and tying winner Voit with 20 RBI.

http://www.scout.com/player/189832-brian-o-keefe?s=321

Short-season ball is especially well-represented among the RBI leaders, with three each from State College and Johnson City. The system co-leaders with 22 runs driven in are outfielder Vince Jackson of the Spikes and catcher Andrew Knizner of JC.

http://www.scout.com/player/159916-vincent-jackson?s=321

Other RBI leaders not mentioned previously are Bryce Denton of Johnson City and State College teammates Andy Young and Ryan McCarvel. The latter also swatted four long balls, tying Voit for third overall.

Though Jacob Wilson was sent down to Springfield from Memphis for a second time, the infielder did still launch five long balls in August, exactly half of his hits for the entire month.

Name Tm HR   Name Tm RBI
Brian O'Keefe  Peo 6   Vince Jackson  SC 22
Jacob Wilson  Spr-Mem 5   Andrew Knizner  JC 22
Luke Voit  Spr 4   Luke Voit  Spr 20
Ryan McCarvel  SC 4   Brian O'Keefe  Peo 20
        Bryce Denton  JC 19
        Matt Fiedler  JC 18
        Chris Chinea  Peo 18
        Julio Rodriguez  DSL 17
        Andy Young  SC 17
        Ryan McCarvel  SC 16
        Bruce Caldwell  Spr-Mem 16

Leading the stolen base list are two middle infielders, Cordoba and second baseman Eliezer Alvarez of Peoria. Between them, the pair had two dozen steals and were caught just once. Five others snagged between five and seven steals each, all with strong success rates.

http://www.scout.com/player/179665-allen-cordoba?s=321

The system had tri-leaders in August with 23 runs scored apiece. Regulars Cordoba and Sierra were joined at the top by newcomer J.R. Davis of Johnson City. Next were more middle infielders in Tommy Edman of State College and Moises Castillo from the Dominican Summer League at 20 each.

Name Tm SB/CS   Name Tm R
Allen Cordoba  JC 14/1   Allen Cordoba  JC 23
Eliezer Alvarez  Peo 10/0   Magneuris Sierra  Peo 23
Magneuris Sierra  Peo 7/4   J.R. Davis  JC 23
Oscar Mercado  PB 7/2   Tommy Edman  SC 20
Tommy Edman  SC 6/2   Moises Castillo  DSL 20
Shane Billings  JC 6/0   Matt Fiedler  JC 19
Wadye Ynfante  DSL-GCL 5/1   Andy Young  SC 19
        Wadye Ynfante  DSL-GCL 17
        Andrew Knizner  JC 17

 

Strugglers

Seven hitters finished the month with at least 50 at-bats and batting averages under the Mendoza Line. It is interesting that four of the seven performed at multiple levels, with several taking a step back in competition.

One surprising name among the August strugglers is top 10 prospect Harrison Bader, who had a tough time adapting at Triple-A Memphis. The Cardinals are likely hoping the outfielder’s end-of-season reboot at Springfield will propel him into a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League

Name Tm AVG
Joey Hawkins  Spr-SC-JC 0.138
Jacob Wilson  Spr-Mem 0.154
R.J. Dennard  Peo 0.164
Steve Bean  PB 0.176
Bladimil Franco  Peo-SC 0.190
Harrison Bader  Spr-Mem 0.193
Esequeil Delgado  DSL 0.196

 

July’s winner in August

How did Wadye Ynfante, our July Player of the Month, perform in August?

http://www.scout.com/player/189891-wadye-ynfante?s=321

Though the outfielder did not dominate statistically, he did place among both the runs and stolen base leaders (in the table presented above) and was promoted to the Gulf Coast League when the DSL club was eliminated from post-season contention.

Between the two stops, Ynfante’s August line was a subdued .253/.330/.342/.671.

 

Prior winners

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
June Luke Weaver DNA DNA June
July Matt Pearce L Weaver/A Gomber Brian Pirela July
Aug       Aug
         
  Player of Month      
2016 Cards organization The Cardinal Nation   2016
April  Harrison Bader Harrison Bader   April 
May David Washington David Washington   May
June Brian Sanchez DNA   June
July Allen Cordoba Wadye Ynfante   July
Aug   Luke Voit   Aug

 

Coming soon

The Cardinal Nation’s August Starting and Relief Pitchers of the Month will be announced next, with the details exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation.

 

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

© 2016 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


The Cardinal Nation Top Stories