The Season in Review – Quad Cities

The fourth in our series highlighting the players from each of the St. Louis Cardinals' affiliates in 2005. This week, our focus is on the Single-A Quad Cities Swing.

The Season in Review – Quad Cities

October 28, 2005

This is the fourth in my series of year-end reviews of each of the St. Louis minor league teams, following my look back at Memphis, Springfield and Palm Beach. Below are clarifications needed for this report: - First, the roster used is the last active roster available, with a few notable exceptions and is listed by age, youngest to eldest, which should give a way to differentiate actual prospects from borderline prospects from strict roster filler.
- The age given is each player's age as of April 2005, the season's start.
- Next, the positions played are in order of most to least often. I did not differentiate the designated hitter from the pinch hitter role at this level so the "designated hitter" is only given for those players that were a DH a significant part of the season.
- All stats given are minor league stats only unless otherwise noted.
- The "last month" line in the "Roster" sub-heading covers the final twenty-eight games of the season.
- In the in-depth look at pitchers I charted how all pitchers' outs were recorded: via a groundball, fly ball or strikeout. Those percentages are listed after "Out Type".
- "Contact Outs" covers those outs made by contact with the ball. Those percentages of either ground- or flyballs were used to determine "Type of Pitcher".
- The ratio of ground-to-fly balls used to determine whether a pitcher is predominately groundball, fly ball or neutral changes from season-to-season, depending on each season's results. Therefore, a range of 1.2-to-1.3 ground-to-fly balls was calculated as the neutral range. This roughly corresponds to 52%-to-58% ground-to-fly balls. Anything outside that range places the pitcher in either the groundball or fly ball category.
- "Type of Pitcher" – a pitcher qualifies for the "strikeout" designation with a ratio of one strikeout per inning pitched or higher which corresponds to 33% strikeouts or more.
- The 2005 levels are listed in order each player experienced them so any promotion or demotion is clear.

Quad Cities competes at class A in the Midwest League. They are the entry level for full season play and, as such, are comprised of some of the least experienced players. These players work on replicating good performances and learning what it takes to succeed at a professional level. Many of the more talented players here are in either their first or second year of professional play. All of the eight players chosen for an in-depth look experienced this level for this first time. Six of those eight were invited and participated in the Florida Instructional League after the regular season ended.

Enjoy!

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A-Swing of the Quad Cities
League Affiliation - fourteen-team Midwest League, eight-team West division
Regular Season – April 7th through September 5th
Post-Season – September 7th and September 8th
Regular Season Record – 72 - 67 (36 – 34 in the second half)
Post-Season Record – 0-2 Second Half Final Standing – Three-way tie for second place with Beloit Snappers (Twins) and Kane County Cougars (Athletics), one and one-half games behind the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Mariners)
Post-Season Results – Eliminated by the Clinton LumberKings (Rangers) 2-0 in the first round

A Look Back At The Season
Quad Cities joined Palm Beach as the only two of the Cardinals' six minor league teams to qualify for postseason play. As such a goal was reached. Unlike their Palm Beach brethren, however, the Swing did not shine in the postseason. They were, in fact, swept in two games by the Clinton LumberKings. (Clinton lost in the next round.)

Quad Cities began the season quite slowly with a 2-8 start. They gradually improved until the week ending May 15th when they went 5-1 and moved into second place. Quad Cities continued to be in the top three teams for the duration of the first half. They failed to qualify for the postseason by one and one-half games when they ended the first half in third place with only the top two teams qualifying. The Swing attributed their near miss to their slow start. This factored into their hot start to begin the second half as they went 15-7 to begin the second half and claimed first place. They remained in first place until the final full week of the season as they slowly squandered their excellent second-half start. The Swing did not have a winning week the final five weeks of the season and ended the season in a three-way tie for second place. They only qualified for the postseason due to owning a tie breaker over the other two teams with which they were tied. The Swing's postseason was a dismal flop. Not only were they swept in two games, the final scores were 11-2 and 10-0. Every facet of their game failed: offense, defense and pitching. It was an extremely unsatisfactory end to a good season.

On the player development front, there were eight players that started in Quad Cities, were promoted to Palm Beach and stuck there without seeing further time in Quad Cities. Those eight players were: Starters Eric Haberer, Dennis Dove and Mike Parisi, relievers Cory Doyne and Kevin Ool and position players Jarrett Hoffpauir, Joe Mather and Brady Toops. Rick Ankiel was promoted back to Springfield after a successful stint in Quad Cities to work on several matters. Two other players were promoted from Quad Cities to Palm Beach to temporarily fill various needs on the Palm Beach club and then returned to Quad Cities: centerfielder Simon Williams and reliever Jaymie Torres.

The Roster (by age, youngest to oldest)
Pitchers
Cory Meacham – 07/31/84 (20) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie, Short-season A, A
- experience - first season, 40.1 innings pitched
- last month - 9 G, 0 GS, 1-2, 0 SV, 9.1 IP, 14 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 10 SO, 11.56 ERA, 1.93 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SVB, 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA, 2.99 WHIP

Kyle McClellan – 06/12/84 (20) – RHP
- role/position - Swing
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - fourth season, 261.2 innings pitched
- last month - Did not pitch, to disabled list on July 2nd, Tommy John surgery on July 22nd

Nick Webber – 05/09/84 (20) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - fist season, 82 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 5 GS, 1 CG, 0-4, 29 IP, 28 H, 15 R, 11 ER, 1 HR, 9 BB, 11 SO, 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
- postseason - did not pitch

Michael Cooper – 02/02/84 (21) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - first season, 69.1 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 1-3, 19.1 IP, 29 H, 28 R, 25 ER, 4 HR, 12 BB, 16 SO, 11.64 ERA, 2.12 WHIP
- postseason - did not pitch, to disabled list on September 4th

Jason Cairns – 11/13/83 (21) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - first season, 37 innings pitched
- last month - 7 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 0 SV, 17 IP, 15 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 7 SO, 1.06 ERA, 1.12 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 2 SO, 9.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Phillip Andersen – 10/28/83 (21) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 161 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 2-0, 28 IP, 21 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 2 HR, 11 BB, 31 SO, 2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 5 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 SO, 9.00 ERA, 1.60 WHIP

Mark McCormick – 10/15/83 (21) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - first season, 48.2 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 0-2, 24.2 IP, 27 H, 20 R, 19 ER, 4 HR, 15 BB, 28 SO, 6.93 ERA, 1.70 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 7 SO, 9.81 ERA, 3.00 WHIP

Matt Scherer– 01/20/83 (22) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 194.1 innings pitched
- last month - 4 G, 4 GS, 0 CG, 0-2, 17.2 IP, 31 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 6 HR, 8 BB, 12 SO, 7.64 ERA, 2.21 WHIP
- postseason - did not pitch

Dennis Medina – 01/17/83 (22) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - fourth season, 169.2 innings pitched
- last month - did not pitch, to disability list on August 5th with right shoulder stiffness
- postseason - did not pitch

Donnie Smith – 01/14/83 (22) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 70.1 innings pitched
- last month - did not pitch, to disabled list on July 3rd with right shoulder soreness
- postseason - did not pitch

Tyler Adamczyk – 11/09/82 (22) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - A-Advanced, A
- experience - fourth season, 461.2 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 0 SV, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 4 SO, 7.94 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 0 SO, 4.50 ERA, 2.00 WHIP

Matt Trent – 08/07/82 (22) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - first season, 28.2 innings pitched
- last month - 9 G, 0 GS, 1-0, 13.3 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 8 SO, 3.38 ERA,1.28 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, .2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 SO, 13.43 ERA, 2.99 WHIP

Jackson Paz – 07/10/82 (22) – LHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 56.1 innings pitched
- last month - did not pitch, to disabled for second time this season on June 25th with a partial labrum tear

Bo Dickerson – 05/11/82 (22) – LHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - second season, 35 innings pitched
- last month - 4 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 4 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA, 2.50 WHIP
- postseason - did not pitch, to disabled list on August 26th

Jaymie Torres – 01/12/82 (23) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - A, A-Advanced, A
- experience - second season, 121.2 innings pitched
- last month - 12 G, 0 GS, 2-1, 17.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 13 SO, 2.60 ERA, 0.69 WHIP (combined stats – Quad Cities/Palm Beach)
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO, 18.00 ERA, 5.00 WHIP

Mike Sillman – 12/03/81 (23) – RHP
- role/position - Reliver/Closer
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 94.2 IP
- last month - 8 G, 0 GS, 2-0, 4 SV, 9.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 8 SO, 1.86 ERA, 0.62 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, .1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Michael Gross – 10/04/81 (23) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - A, Short-season A, A
- experience - Second season, 103.2 innings pitched
- last month - 11 G, 0 GS, 1-2, 17.1 IP, 19 H, 11 R, 5 ER, 0 HR, 9 BB, 10 SO, 2.60 ERA, 1.62 WHIP
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 0 SO, 6.77 ERA, 2.26 WHIP

Buddy Blair – 07/02/81 (23) – LHP (given name is Tom)
- role/position - Swing
- 2005 level(s) - Double-A, A-Advanced, Short-season A, A
- experience - third season, 331.1 innings pitched
- last month - 10 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 12.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 HR, 8 BB, 15 SO, 2.92 ERA, 1.38 WHIP (combined stats – New Jersey/Quad Cities)
- postseason - 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA, 2.26 WHIP

Position
Brandon Yarbrough – 11/09/84 (20)
- role/position - catcher, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - A, Short-season A, A
- experience - third season, 553 at bats
- last month - .123/.188/.205/.393, 9-for-73 in 19 games, 6 R, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 6 BB, 21 SO
- postseason - did not play, was placed on the Temporary Inactive list on September 7th when catcher Spencer Wyman was activated

Juan Lucena – 01/20/84 (21)
- role/position - shortstop, second base
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 537 at bats
- last month - .250/.271/.265/.536, 17-for-68 in 19 games, 3 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO
- postseason - .000/.000/.000/.000, 0-for-6 in 2 games, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO

Jose Mendez – 07/17/83 (21)
- role/position - catcher, first base, third base, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A-Advanced, A
- experience - fifth season, 340 at bats
- last month - .250/.364/.375/.739, 2-for-8 in 4 games, 0 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO (combined stats – New Jersey/Palm Beach/Quad Cities)
- postseason - did not play, to disabled list on August 26th

Matt Shepherd – 05/05/83 (21)
- role/position - shortstop, second base, third base
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 733 at bats
- last month - .287/.380/.309/.688, 27-for-94 in 26 games, 17 R, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 14 BB, 20 SO
- postseason - .167/.286/.167/.453, 1-for-6 in 2 games, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO

Casey Rowlett – 02/08/83 (22)
- role/position - second base, third base, centerfield, left field, right field, shortstop
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - first season, 200 at bats
- last month - .189/.246/.264/.510, 10-for-53 in 17 games, 4 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 9 SO
- postseason - .500/.667/.500/.1.167, 1-for-2 in 1 game, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 0 SO

Wes Swackhamer – 01/21/83 (22)
- role/position - left field, right field, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 496 at bats
- last month - .326/.340/.587/.927, 15-for-46 in 17 games, 7 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 7 SO
- postseason - .000/.000/.000/.000, 0-for-6 in 2 games, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO

Mike Ferris – 12/31/82 (22)
- role/position - first base, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 585 at bats
- last month - .282/.349/.474/.823, 22-for-78 in 24 games, 12 R, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 8 BB, 16 SO
- postseason - .000/.000/.000/.000, 0-for-6 in 2 games, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO

Sean Danielson – 08/06/82 (22)
- role/position - centerfield, left field, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, A
- experience - first season, 155 at bats
- last month - .365/.440/.417/.857, 35-for-96 in 24 games, 17 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 12 BB, 18 SO (combined stats – New Jersey/Quad Cities)
- postseason - .000/.250/.000/.250, 0-for-6 in 2 games, 1 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO

Simon Williams – 06/30/82 (22)
- role/position - centerfield
- 2005 level(s) - A, A-Advanced, A
- experience - second season, 403 at bats
- last month - .444/.545/1.000/1.545, 4-for-9 in 4 games, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO (limited action due to left hamstring strain which put him on the disabled list from August 1st through August 27th and again from August 30th through season's end
- postseason - did play, on disabled list

Jake Mullinax – 06/13/82 (22)
- role/position - third base, designated hitter, first base
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 581 at bats
- last month - .188/.224/.297/.521, 12-for-64 in 18 games, 4 R, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 12 SO
- postseason - did not play

Spencer Wyman – 05/10/82 (22)
- role/position - catcher
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - third season, 339 at bats
- last month - .167/.286/.167/.452, 1-for-6 in 4 games, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO (on disabled list from August 23rd to September 7th
- postseason - .000/.000/.000/.000, 0-for-6 in 2 games, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO

Nick Stavinoha – 05/03/82 (22)
- role/position - right field, first base
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - first season, 250 at bats
- last month - .347/.394/.684/.1.078, 33-for-95 in 25 games, 27 R, 10 HR, 24 RBI, 7 BB, 9 SO
- postseason - .143/.143/.571/.714, 1-for-7 in 2 games, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO

Chris Patrick – 02/20/82 (23)
- role/position - third base, designated hitter, second base
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - second season, 483 at bats
- last month - .272/.341/.432/.773, 22-for-81 in 24 games, 13 R, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 6 BB, 13 SO
- postseason - .333/.333/.333/.666, 1-for-3 in 1 game, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO

Cody Palmer – 08/25/81 (23)
- role/position - catcher
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie, A
- experience - third season, 268 at bats
- last month - .164/.253/.239/.492, 11-for-67 in 22 games, 5 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 8 BB, 29 SO
- postseason - did not play

Eric Verbryke – 08/06/81 (23)
- role/position - left field, right field, center field
- 2005 level(s) - A, A-Advanced, Double-A (latter two levels in the NYY organization)
- experience - fourth season, 1,209 at bats
- last month - .182/.229/.258/.486, 12-for-66 in 19 games, 4 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 14 SO
- postseason - .000/.000/.000/.000, 0-for-3 in 1 game, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO

Matt Lemanczyk – 10/15/80 (24)
- role/position - centerfield, left field, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - A
- experience - fourth season, 1,413 at bats
- last month - .289/.354/.400/.754, 26-for-90 in 25 games, 18 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 11 SO
- postseason - .333/.333/.333/.666, 1-for-3 in 1 game, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 BRI, 0 BB, 2 SO

In-Depth – The Pitchers
Phillip Andersen – RHS
Drafted - 23rd round (690th overall), 2004 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Flyball, second most extreme flyball pitcher in the Cardinals' system (behind Anthony Reyes)
Out Type - 27.65% ground, 43.73% fly, 28.62% strike in 311 outs
Contact Outs - 38.74% ground, 61.26% fly in 222 outs
Comment - Phillip Andersen was drafted in 2004 out of Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona at age 20. He was assigned to rookie level Johnson City where he went 5-1 in thirteen game starts and 60.1 innings pitched with a 4.01 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 2.00 K/BB ratio.

Andersen's 2005 campaign began on June 1st when he was transferred to the Swing from extended spring training. He took reliever Jeremy Zick's roster slot when Zick was transferred to extended spring training and replaced Quinton Robertson in the Swing rotation. (Robertson moved back into the bullpen.) At that point there were thirteen weeks left in the season. Andersen posted a sub 3.50 ERA in eleven of the thirteen weeks he pitched to the season's end. His BAA dropped from .273 his first week to .203 in mid-July. Opponents batted .216 against him for the season. From July onwards his season-to-date WHIP was never above 1.19. Andersen quietly put together a very good regular season. His worst start of the year came in the postseason where he got pounded by Clinton.

Andersen's 2005 season merits consideration for a promotion to Palm Beach in 2006. His 1.16 WHIP, 2.32 K/BB ratio and .216 BAA led the Swing rotation. Two areas of concern are his extreme flyball tendencies and control. However, I look for him to start the season at Palm Beach unless a higher upside starter beats him out for a slot.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 2-1, 29 IP, 23 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 3 HR, 11 BB, 19 SO, 2.48 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 1.73 K/BB, 5.90 K/9 IP, 3.41 BB/9 IP
- July – 6 G, 6 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 37.2 IP, 31 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 3 HR, 13 BB, 29 SO, 3.58 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.23 K/BB, 6.93 K/9 IP, 3.11 BB/9 IP
- August – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 28.1 IP, 18 H, 12 R, 8 ER, 3 HR, 12 BB, 34 SO, 2.54 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 2.83 K/BB, 10.80 K/9 IP, 3.81 BB/9 IP
- September – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3.38 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.00 K/BB, 6.75 K/9 IP, 1.69 BB/9 IP
- Postseason – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 5 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 SO, 9.00 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 1.50 K/BB, 5.40 K/9 IP, 3.60 BB/9 IP

Cory Meacham – RHR
Drafted - 35th round (1070th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Groundball
Out Type - 44.44% ground, 29.91% fly, 25.64% strike in 117 outs
Contact Outs - 59.77% ground, 40.23% fly in 87 outs
Comment - Cory Meacham was drafted out of Alabama Southern Community College where he was a starter. He missed the 2004 season due to Tommy John surgery and was an early signee of Auburn University before being drafted by the Cardinals in June 2005. The Cardinals assigned Meacham to the rookie level Johnson City Cardinals affiliate where he spent about twenty seconds, working exclusively out of the bullpen. Meacham was promoted to the short-season A New Jersey Cardinals on June 26th after appearing in two games for the Johnson City team.

That is when I first noticed Meacham as he must have been promoted due to his stuff since he had not pitched with Johnson City long enough for stats to factor into the promotion. I saw Meacham in action during my visit to New Jersey in early July. He was the losing pitcher in the July 1st game primarily because of two errors that allowed the winning run to score. However, two things about Meacham were quite memorable in that outing. First, he did not allow either error (one of which was his own but more on that coming up) to rattle him in the least. He remained calm and focused and that was noteworthy when compared to some of his fellow pitchers that week-end. Second, he was assessed an error when he threw to third base with no one covering. Here was the game situation – a runner on second and the ball is bunted to the first side of the mound. Meacham fielded the ball very quickly, whirled and threw a dead shot bullet to the corner of the third base bag. The problem was that no one was covering. (I later discovered that the umpire blocked his vision of third so he did not see that the shortstop had failed to cover third on the shift.) That throw to third made you sit up and go "Whew!" It was a very hard throw and very accurate.

On July 21st he became only the fifth member of the 2005 draft class to reach class A when he was promoted to Quad Cities. The only 2005 draftees to reach Quad Cities ahead of Meacham were outfielder Nick Stavinoha (7th round), starters Michael Cooper (17th round) and Mark McCormick (1st round) and reliever Jason Cairns (8th round). Not bad for a 35th round draft pick. He also became the second youngest player on the Swing roster behind Brandon Yarbrough and the youngest pitcher on the roster. The second promotion within a month prompted a "What is going on here?" reaction by me. The answer came via an excellent post on the Scout message board: Mr. Meacham throws in the 94 mph range. If you can locate a 94-mph pitch, that will get you noticed. His primary pitches at this point are the plus fastball and a sharp slider. Meacham began well at Quad Cities, compiling a 1.62 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in his first ten appearances over sixteen and two-thirds innings with opponents batting just .183 against him. His performance took a nosedive after that point to where he ended the season with a 5.47 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in twenty-four and two-thirds innings and eighteen appearances. Opponents ended up hitting .250 against him.

Meacham was invited to participate in the Florida Instructional League after the season ended which is a sign that the Cardinals are interested in his potential. Where he is assigned for the 2006 season may well depend on how he does there.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – 5 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 8 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 7 SO, 2.25 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 1.40 K/BB, 7.88 K/9 IP, 5.63 BB/9 IP (combined stats – Johnson City/New Jersey)
- July – 13 G, 0 GS, 0-2, 15 IP, 12 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 10 BB, 11 SO, 3.60 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 1.10 K/BB, 6.60 K/9 IP, 6.00 BB/9 IP (combined stats – New Jersey/Quad Cities)
- August – 12 G, 0 GS, 2-2, 16.1 IP, 16 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 12 SO, 6.61 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 1.71 K/BB, 6.61 K/9 IP, 3.86 BB/9 IP
- September – 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 2+ K/BB, 18.00 K/9 IP, 0.00 BB/9 IP
- Postseason – 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA, 2.99 WHIP, 0.00 K/9 IP, 26.87 BB/9 IP

Mike Sillman – RHR/Closer
Drafted - 21st round (630th overall), 2004 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Strikeout/Neutral
Out Type - 32.98% ground, 28.19% fly, 38.83% strike in 188 outs
Contact Outs - 53.91% ground, 46.09% fly in 115 outs
Comment - Mike Sillman was drafted after his senior year out of the powerful University of Nebraska program in 2004. He was used exclusively out of the bullpen his final two years in college and accumulated eight saves during that time span. The Cardinals assigned Sillman, a sidearmer, to rookie league Johnson City where he pitched nine innings with one save over six games before being promoted to New Jersey where he finished the 2004 season.

Sillman spent the entire 2005 season in Quad Cities and acted as the team's closer from the start. He was practically untouchable in April with a 0.943 WHIP and .105 BAA. The only area of concern was his control as he walked over five batters every nine innings. Control remained an issue for the duration of the 2005 season. With the exceptional numbers put up in April, the only way Sillman could go was up which is what happened in May. Still his numbers were solid although a 13.50 ERA and 2.00 WHIP the last week of May portended troubles to come in June. In June Sillman walked a whopping 9.53 batters every nine innings which was key to his poor performance for the month as batters were hitting only .167 against him cumulatively. However, the massive number of walks meant that the few hits allowed usually drove in a run. His continuing difficulties led to his ouster as closer in favor of Jason Cairns after Cairns promotion to Quad Cities on July 2nd. Sillman worked on his pitching during July, mainly in the righty set-up role, and his numbers improved. He was reinstated as the Swing closer in early August, a role he continued to fill for the season's balance.

Overall, Sillman has been effective in the closer role but it is not clear whether that is due to his "stuff" or his unorthodox delivery. The latter may well be the case. Sillman walked more batters at season's end than he did at the season's start which does not bode well for his professional future. On the other hand, his strike out rate per nine innings remains in double digits and batters hit a mere .171 against him this season which are real assets. Where he begins the 2006 season depends on the decisions that are made by Cardinals management about the closers above him on the hierarchy, Springfield's Cory Doyne and Palm Beach's Mark Worrell.
Numbers By The Month -
- April – 9 G,0 GS, 2-0, 4 SV, 11.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 7 BB, 15 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.943 WHIP, 2.14 K/BB, 11.57 K/9 IP, 5.40 BB/9 IP
- May – 11 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 8 SV, 14 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 10 BB, 16 SO, 2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 1.60 K/BB, 10.29 K/9 IP, 6.43 BB/9 IP
- June – 12 G, 0 GS, 0-2, 5 SV, 11.1 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 12 BB, 18 SO, 6.35 ERA, 2.29 WHIP, 1.50 K/BB, 14.30 K/9 IP, 9.53 BB/9 IP
- July – 13 G, 0 GS, 3-0, 0 SV, 14.2 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 0 HR, 11 BB, 15 SO, 3.07 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 1.36 K/BB, 9.20 K/9 IP, 6.75 BB/9 IP
- August – 10 G, 0 GS, 3-0, 5 SV, 13 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 9 BB, 10 SO, 2.08 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 1.11 K/BB, 6.92 K/9 IP, 6.23 BB/9 IP
- September – 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 3.00+ K/BB, 27.00 K/9 IP, 0.00 BB/9 IP
- Postseason – 1 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, -- K/BB, 0.00 K/9 IP, 0.00 BB/9 IP

Nick Webber – RHS
Drafted - 2nd round (78th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Extreme Groundball, highest groundball starter in the Cardinals' system
Out Type - 60.50% ground, 18.49% fly, 21.01% strike in 238 outs
Contact Outs - 76.80% ground, 23.40% fly in 188 outs
Comment - Nick Webber played college ball with the Central Missouri State Mules, a division II-AA school. He was the Mules' closer and set both a conference and school record with 19 career saves. Going into the 2005 collegiate baseball season, Webber featured a 92-95 mph fastball and a slider. He compiled a 1.06 ERA and 0.756 WHIP in his final year in college with a 3.75:1 K/BB ratio. Opponents batted just .139 against him.

The Cardinals assigned Webber to the short-season A New Jersey team where he was converted to a starter. I saw Webber pitch and was impressed with his mound presence. At 6'7" Mr. Webber is a commanding figure on the mound. He looks like a pitcher. He struggled a bit with his control but his control improved during his New Jersey stint. Webber went 5-2 in nine starts with a 1.87 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with opponents batting just .179 against him. He was promoted to Quad Cities on August12th and took Jaymie Torres' roster slot when Torres was briefly sent up to Palm Beach. Webber replaced Tyler Adamczyk in the Swing rotation with the latter moving into the bullpen. He struggled in his first three starts at Quad Cities, with a 5.14 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 1.20 K/BB, and .317 BAA. In his final two starts, however, Webber improved significantly, compiling a 1.80 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in fifteen innings pitched although he did strike out only five while walking four batters.

Webber was invited to attend the 2005 Florida Instructional League where he will undoubtedly work on expanding/perfecting his pitching arsenal. Webber may well return to closing in the future but for now I expect Webber to begin the 2006 season in the Quad Cities' rotation.
Numbers By The Month -
- April – G, GS, CG, -, IP, H, R, ER, HR, BB, SO, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, K/9 IP, BB/9 IP
- May –
- June – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 7 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 4 SO, 5.14 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 1.33 K/BB, 5.14 K/9 IP, 3.86 BB/9 IP
- July – 6 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 4-1, 34 IP, 23 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 8 BB, 35 SO, 1.06 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 4.38 K/BB, 9.26 K/9 IP, 2.12 BB/9 IP
- August – 6 G, 6 GS, 1 CG, 1-4, 34 IP, 30 H, 19 R, 12 ER, 2 HR, 11 BB, 14 SO, 3.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 1.27 K/BB, 3.71 K/9 IP, 2.91 BB/9 IP
- September – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 1 SO, 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.50 K/BB, 1.29 K/9 IP, 2.57 BB/9 IP
- Postseason – did not pitch

In-Depth – The Hitters
Sean Danielson – bats R, throws R
Drafted - signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an non-drafted free agent in June 2005
Comment - Sean Danielson was signed out of the University of Texas- San Antonio where he spent the final year of his collegiate career after transferring from Kansas State University. Danielson played centerfield and acted as the team's lead-off hitter, going .304/.381/.412 or 73-for-240 in fifty-nine games. He also stole twenty bases in thirty attempts to lead the club.

Danielson was assigned to short-season A New Jersey where he received limited at bats through the end of July. His opportunity came when regular centerfielder Yonathan Sivira missed time due to an injury. Danielson went .400/.400/.533 his first week playing fulltime which relegated Sivira to left field on his return to action. Mark DeJohn, the New Jersey Cardinals' manager, reported that Danielson had the strongest arm of the team's outfielders. He also set a team record by stealing six bases in one game and was named to the New York-Penn All-Star team. (The previous team record for stolen bases in a single game was held by Esix Snead.) Danielson was promoted to Quad Cities on August 30th when Simon Williams was placed on the disabled list for the second time. He continued his hot hitting in the five games he played during the rest of Quad Cities' regular season. Danielson was named the New Jersey Cardinals Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. He also took part in the Florida Instructional League where he led the team in runs scored, walks and stolen bases while batting .325.

Danielson is one of my sleeper picks for players that may surprise. He had an excellent rookie campaign and carried it over into the Florida Instructional League. Now he needs to replicate that performance in 2006. At 23 he was old for both leagues in which he played.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – .111/.200/.111, 5 G, 9 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS
- July – .250/.348/.250, 11 G, 20 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3 BB, 6 SO, 3 SB, 0 CS
- August – .377/.436/.425, 25 G, 106 AB, 16 R, 40 H, 1 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 10 BB, 22 SO, 16 SB, 2 CS (combined stats, New Jersey/Quad Cities)
- September – .350/.409/.550, 5 G, 20 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 0 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO 1 SB, 0 CS
- Postseason – .000/.333/.000, 2 G, 6 AB, 1 R, 0 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS

Mike Ferris – bats left, throws left
Drafted - 2nd round (60th overall), 2004 Draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Comment - When the Cardinals drafted Mike Ferris in the second round of the 2005 draft, Cardinals executives trumpeted the fact that they had acquired a first round talent. They were thrilled that he had dropped to them. Well, so far it appears as if the other teams knew what they were doing when they passed on Mr. Ferris, at least at the level at which he was drafted.

Ferris got off to a less-than-stellar start to his professional career when he went .199/.295/.295 in 146 at bats over 40 games at short-season A New Jersey in 2004. He spent the entire 2005 season at class A Quad Cities where he continued his abysmal performance through May. June's offensive numbers were encouraging, particularly his on-base percentage which reflected Ferris' ability to work a walk. He relapsed in July, however, with the only bright spot being a second consecutive month in which Ferris' walks outnumbered his strikeouts. Just when I was ready to write him off, he finished the season with acceptable numbers from August onwards. Ferris participated in the Florida Instructional League after the regular season was over.

Ferris' 2005 season certainly did not live up to his draft status. My expectations for him, at this point, are not very high as he turns 23 in December. He needs to get moving and do so quickly as he is being passed by higher performing members of the 2005 draft class such as Nick Stavinoha.
Numbers By The Month -
- April – .203/.264/.405, 21 G, 79 AB, 12 R, 16 H, 7 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 18 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS
- May – .202/.269/.383, 27 G, 94 AB, 11 R, 19 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 8 BB, 16 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS
- June – .268/.407/.465, 21 G, 71 AB, 15 R, 19 H, 5 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 17 BB, 16 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS
- July – .198/.368/.308, 27 G, 91 AB, 13 R, 18 H, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 25 BB, 19 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS
- August – .273/.347/.443, 26 G, 88 AB, 10 R, 24 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 14 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS
- September – .313/.389/.438, 5 G, 16 AB, 4 R, 5 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS
- Postseason – .000/.000/.000, 2 B, 6 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS

Simon Williams – bats R, throws L
Drafted - 11th round (330th overall), 2004 Draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Comment - Simon Williams was drafted out of the University of Maine in June 2004 and assigned to rookie level Johnson City. He finished the 2004 season by playing six games at short-season A New Jersey where he impressed with his bat, .353/.476/.353 in 17 at bats.

Williams began 2005 with class A Quad Cities where he split time in centerfield with Matt Lemanczyk. He started off slow offensively in April but did improve in May. He was hitting .279/.401/.442 at the time of his promotion to Palm Beach on June 25th where he replaced Reid Gorecki in centerfield when the latter went on the disabled list. Williams went .261/.320/.377 at Palm Beach before going back to Quad Cities on July 18th upon Gorecki's activation from the disabled list. The balance of Williams' season was mostly lost to his own stints on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. He went on the DL on August 1st and was activated on August 27th only to go back on the DL for the rest of the season on August 30th. Sean Danielson was promoted from New Jersey to replace Williams in center.

Williams' 2005 season was cut short by his battle with a hamstring strain right when he was putting up the best numbers of the season. Therefore, it is difficult to project where he will begin 2006. Williams turned 23 at the end of June so was old for the levels at which he played.
Numbers By The Month -
- April – .256/.304/.302, 17 G, 43 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 15 SO, 0 SB, 2 CS
- May – .276/.402/.513, 26 G, 76 AB, 18 R, 21 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 14 BB, 24 SO, 6 SB, 0 CS
- June – .233/.371/.384, 21 G, 73 AB, 13 R, 17 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 13 BB, 18 SO, 2 SB, 2 CS (combined stats, Quad Cities/Palm Beach)
- July – .347/.429/.449, 16 G, 49 AB, 5 R, 17 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 BB, 13 SO, 1 SB, 2 CS (combined stats, Palm Beach/Quad Cities)
- August – .444/.545/1.000, 4 G, 9 AB, 2 R, 4 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB< 3 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS (limited at bats due to disabled list stint)
- September – did not play
- Postseason – did not play

Brandon Yarbrough – bats L, throws R
Drafted - 5th round (155th overall), 2003 Draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Comment - Although 2005 was Brandon Yarbrough's third season in professional baseball he will not turn 21 until November 2005. He is young and that is important to remember when looking at his season. Yarbrough finished up his 2003 draft year at rookie level Johnson City, the same level at which he started the 2004 campaign. It was at Johnson City in 2004 that he really caught fans' attention by going .326/.411/.497 in forty-eight games and 175 at bats. 2004 finished with him promoted to short-season A New Jersey.

Yarbrough began 2005 in class A Quad Cities where he split catching duties with Brady Toops. Yarbrough struggled at the plate, going .214/.286/.365/.651, 27-for-126 in thirty-six games before being optioned to New Jersey on June 19th. I observed Yarbrough in action during my July visit to New Jersey and was disappointed with his catching. I also admit to being spoiled by watching such excellent defensive catchers as Yadier Molina and Mike Matheny, so my expectations may well have been too high. My main issue with Yarbrough's defensive capabilities is that he showed limited lateral movement behind the plate but the sample size was merely three games out of the fifty-one he played in New Jersey this season. Yarbrough began quite well in New Jersey, batting over .300 for the month with a .436 OBP but struggled in August as he flirted with the Mendoza line for the month. Overall, he batted .255/.338/.399/.737 or 48-for-188 in fifty-one games before his promotion back to Quad Cities on August 31st. He was named to the New York-Penn League All-Star team. Yarbrough was hitless in two games in September and was placed on the Temporary Inactive list on September 7th when catcher Spencer Wyman was activated from the disabled list. Yarbrough was not on the Swing's postseason roster. He participated in the Florida Instructional League after the regular season finished.

2005 had to be a disappointment for him but Yarbrough is young. He was the youngest member on the Swing roster and third youngest on the New Jersey roster. However, he needs to put together a much stronger 2006 season to retain his "prospect" status which was tarnished by his 2005 results.
Numbers By The Month -
- April – .136/.188/.295, 13 G, 44 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 12 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS (Quad Cities)
- May – .227/.333/.318, 13 G, 44 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 11 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS (Quad Cities)
- June – .290/.338/.464, 19 G, 69 AB, 12 R, 20 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 27 SO, 2 SB, 0 CS (combined stats – Quad Cities/New Jersey)
- July – .313/.436/.453, 19 G, 64 AB, 9 R, 20 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 14 BB, 22 SO, 0 SB, 3 CS (New Jersey)
- August – .204/.265/.355, 23 G, 93 AB, 13 R, 19 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 23 SO, 2 SB, 0 CS (New Jersey stats only as did not play in Quad Cities in August - promotion date of August 31st)
- September – .000/.000/.000, 2 G, 7 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS
- Postseason – not on postseason roster


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