Previous articles mainly recognized those who excelled last season. Well, that is not true here. All players listed here had at least the one hundred fifty at-bats needed to qualify for post-season recognition.
Most At-Bats for the 2005 Season
Travis Hanson – Springfield Cardinals – 546 at-bats (.284/.347/.458/.805)
Shaun Boyd – Springfield Cardinals – 502 at-bats (.275/.336/.369/.705)
Matt Shepherd – Swing of the Quad Cities – 479 at-bats (.292/.402/.370/.772)
Bo Hart – Memphis Redbirds – 468 at-bats* (.269/.334/.404/.738)
Jarrett Hoffpauir – Palm Beach Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities – 453 at-bats (.285/.361/.362/.723)
Skip Schumaker – Memphis Redbirds – 443 at-bats (.287/.330/.404/.734)
Mike Ferris – Swing of the Quad Cities – 439 at-bats (.230/.334/.399/.733)
Matt Dryer – Palm Beach Cardinals – 433 at-bats (.219/.296/.416/.711)
Chris Duncan – Memphis Cardinals – 432 at-bats (.264/.359/.468/.826)
Tyler Minges – Springfield Cardinals – 429 at-bats, finished season on disabled list from August 23rd with a shoulder injury* (.324/.392/.564/.956)
*No longer in Cardinals' minor league system
It goes without saying that the above group remained pretty healthy in 2005. Only one of this top ten spent any time on the disabled list and that player only went on near the season's end.
The reasons these players received the playing time they did varied as much as their productivity. Some, like Travis Hanson and Jarrett Hoffpauir, combined prospect status with productivity. Others, such as Mike Ferris, continued to play because he was a high draft pick in 2004 and, hence, will be given lots of time to get going with his bat.
Players like Bo Hart kept himself on the field by showing defensive flexibility. Hart appeared in ten or more games at second, short and third in 2005 while committing only seven errors. Matt Shepherd combined lower level prospect status with performance and flexibility. Shepherd, like Hart, saw significant time at second, short and third. Matt Dryer was Palm Beach's primary power threat.
Lowest OPS for Season
Matt Pagnozzi, catcher – Palm Beach and Springfield Cardinals - .184/.269/.251/.520, 41-for-223 in seventy-six games
Calvin Hayes, second base – New Jersey Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities/Palm Beach Cardinals - .220/.276/.275/.551, 69-for-313 in eighty-eight games
Brady Toops, catcher – Palm Beach Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities - .187/.293/.280/.573, 40-for-214 in seventy-four games
Dan Moylan, catcher – Springfield Cardinals/Memphis Redbirds - .198/.315/.274/.588, 42-for-212 in seventy-two games
Daryl Jones, outfield – Johnson City Cardinals - .209/.311/.286/.597, 38-for-182 in sixty-one games
Terry Evans, outfield – Palm Beach Cardinals - .221/.285/.330/.615, 85-for-385 in one hundred fourteen games
Rayner Laya, infielder – Springfield Cardinals/Palm Beach Cardinals - .268/.302/.325/.628, 79-for-295 in eighty-seven games
Donovan Solano, shortstop – New Jersey and Johnson City Cardinals - .257/.339/.297/.636, 57-for-222 in sixty-seven games
John Santor, first base – Palm Beach Cardinals - .218/.291/.346/.637, 70-for-321 in ninety-eight games
Casey Rowlett, utility – Swing of the Quad Cities/New Jersey Cardinals - .240/.324/.320/.644, 48-for-200 in fifty-seven games
This group is a very good example of all stats not being created equal. While all made it into this dubious group, the stats need to be interpreted in light of each player's situation.
Three are part of the Cardinals' collection of defensively-superior/offensively-challenged catchers that comprise the majority of backstops in the system. Their current output is expected and it would be a pleasant surprise if their offensive improved dramatically.
Jones, Rowlett and Solano just completed their first professional season. Jones and Solano were both 17 at the start of their seasons while Solano and Rowlett both received promotions. There was something there that Cardinals management liked which does not show up in their stat line.
For players like Cal Hayes, on the other hand, 2005 was a set-back in their progression. He began the season in A-Advanced Palm Beach, spent time in class A Quad Cities and finished in short-season A New Jersey. However, at 21, Hayes still has time.
Future Craig Biggios?
Andy Schutzenhofer, first base – Palm Beach and Springfield Cardinals – hit by pitch twenty-one times in four hundred fifty-eight plate appearances. Schutzenhofer's on-base percentage (.366) was over one hundred points higher than his batting average (.263). He walked once every 10.41 plate appearances.
Daryl Jones, outfield – Johnson City Cardinals – hit by pitch thirteen times in two hundred twelve plate appearances. Jones' on-base percentage (.311) was also over one hundred points higher than his batting average (.209). He walked once every 14.13 plate appearances.
Joe Mather, outfield – Palm Beach Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities – hit by pitch twelve times in four hundred fifty-nine plate appearances. Mather's on-base percentage (.318) was seventy points higher than his batting average (.247). He walked once every 14.34 plate appearances.
Jake Mullinax, third base – Swing of the Quad Cities – hit by pitch ten times in three hundred ninety-eight plate appearances. His on-base percentage (.348) was sixty-five points higher than his batting average (.283). Mullinax walked once every 14.74 plate appearances.
Matt Lemanczyk, outfield – Swing of the Quad Cities – hit by pitch ten times in four hundred eighty-three plate appearances. His on-base percentage (.350) was over eighty points higher than his batting average (.266). Lemanczyk walked once every 10.73 plate appearances.
Aaron Herr, second base – Springfield Cardinals – hit by pitch ten times in four hundred fifty-six plate appearances. His on-base percentage (.336) was thirty-eight points higher than his batting average (.298). Herr walked once every 30.40 plate appearances and is no longer in the Cardinals' minor league system.
Starting off with a clarification, it is not very likely that any of this group will have a career to compare with future Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio. But I think the guys that put their bodies on the line, even to a limited extent, deserve a tiny bit of recognition. Beside, I just love Andy Schutzenhofer's last name.
Most Interesting Combinations of BB/PA and K/PA Ratios
Juan Lucena, shortstop – Swing of the Quad Cities
Lucena went .301/.329/.349/.678, 100-for-332 in ninety-nine games. He walked once every thirty plate appearances and struck out once every 32.73 plate appearances. What this means is there was only one player in the Cardinals' system that walked less than Lucena (Aaron Herr, but more on him in a minute) and he was tops in plate discipline. He never walked and he never struck out.
Rayner Laya, infielder – Springfield and Palm Beach Cardinals
Laya was hot on Lucena's heels in the "Never Walk/Never K" category. His 1:22.57 BB/PA ratio was third from worst while his 1:14.36 K/PA ratio was second best. Laya went .268/.302/.325/.628, 79-for 295 in eighty-seven games.
Aaron Herr, second base – Springfield Cardinals
As mentioned above, Herr is the 2005 "Never Walk If I Don't Have To" champion with a 1:30.40 BB/PA ratio. Yes, he barely edged Lucena for the title. But Lucena never struck out which balanced things out for him. In contrast, Mr. Herr struck out once every 4.22 plate appearances or 3.91 at bats. That was 1.1 plate appearances off the lead for the biggest whiffer in the Cardinals system. This is not a good combination.
Speaking of the "Biggest Whiffers" in the system, the top three were:
Matt Wilkerson, outfielder – New Jersey Cardinals
Wilkerson gets the "Whiffie" as the biggest K artist in the Cardinals minor league system in 2005. He struck out once every 3.12 plate appearances (2.76 at bats) while walking once every 9.2 plate appearances. The latter stat was good for eleventh best in the system. Wilkerson went .239/.321/.436/.756, 39-for-163 in forty-five games.
Colby Rasmus, outfielder – Johnson City Cardinals
Young Mr. Rasmus was just edged for the Whiffie (to which his response was undoubtedly a big "Whew") as he struck out once every 3.34 plate appearances (2.96 at bats) while walking once every 11.62 plate appearances. The BB/PA ratio landed him in thirty-eighth place out of sixty-six players. Rasmus went .296/.362/.514/.876, 64-for-216 in sixty-two games. Both Wilkerson and Rasmus were playing in their first professional season, which is more than can be said for…
John Nelson, shortstop – Memphis Redbirds
John Nelson simply should know better by now. 2005 was Nelson's fifth season in professional ball and he struck out once every 3.44 plate appearances (3.03 at bats). His 1:9.51 BB/PA ratio placed him twenty-seventh. Just think, Nelson struck out this much and never faced either his teammate Anthony Reyes or a major league pitcher like Mark Prior. Nelson went .241/.326/.407/.734, 103-for-427 in one hundred twenty-eight games.
Home Runs/At-Bat Ratio
There were four players in 2005 that hit a home run at a better than once every twenty at-bats clip. They were:
Juan Diaz, first base – Springfield Cardinals
Diaz hit thirteen home runs in one hundred ninety-eight at-bats for a 1:15.23 HR/AB ratio. He struck out once every 5.09 plate appearances (21st from the bottom) while walking once every 12.88 plate appearances (48 of 66). Diaz went .308/.374/.571/.945.
Rick Ankiel, outfielder – Springfield Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities
Ankiel hit twenty-one home runs in three hundred twenty-one at-bats or once every 15.29 at-bats. He struck out once every 5.59 plate appearances (29th from the bottom) and walked once every 9.97 plate appearances (19 of 66). For those that would like his HR/AB splits by level, his HR/AB ratio at Quad Cities was 1:16.82. In Springfield he hit a home run once every 13.60 at-bats. If you eliminate his horrific Double-A start when he went 1-for-20, Ankiel hit a home run once every 11.60 at-bats in Double-A for an overall ratio of 1:14.3 at-bats. He went .259/.339/.514/.853.
Brandon Berger, outfielder – Memphis Redbirds
Berger hit a home run every 15.79 at-bats, nineteen in three hundred at-bats. He struck out once every 5.83 plate appearances (38th from the bottom) and walked once every 11.27 plate appearances (34th of 66). Berger went .233/.309/.467/.775.
Nick Stavinoha, outfielder – Swing of the Quad Cities
Stavinoha hit fourteen home runs in two hundred fifty at-bats, a 1:17.86 clip. He struck out only once every 11.16 plate appearances (the fifth best in the system) and walked once every 12.13 plate appearances (42 of 66). Stavinoha went .344/.398/.564/.962.
Walked More Than He K'd
Seven of the sixty-six players with a minimum one hundred fifty at-bats walked more often than they struck out. In alphabetical order, they are:
Charles Carter, outfield – Johnson City Cardinals
In his first season, Carter walked once every 6.70 plate appearances and struck out once every 7.62 plate appearances – 221 total plate appearances.
John Gall, outfield – Memphis Redbirds
Gall walked once every 9.64 plate appearances and struck out every 10.10 plate appearances – 424 total plate appearances.
Jarrett Hoffpauir, second base – Palm Beach Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities
Hoffpauir walked once every 9.83 plate appearances and struck out once every 13.03 plate appearances – 521 total plate appearances.
Juan Lucena, shortstop – Swing of the Quad Citties
While Lucena never walked or K'd, on those extremely rare occasions that he did either of them (such as when there was either a solar eclipse or a blue moon) he walked more than he struck out. He did the former once every 30 plate appearances and struck out once every 32.73 plate appearances – 360 total plate appearances.
Jose Martinez, shortstop/second base – Johnson City Cardinals
Martinez in his first season walked once every 8.70 plate appearances and struck out once every 11.60 plate appearances – 174 total plate appearances.
Dan Moylan, catcher – Springfield Cardinals/Memphis Redbirds
Moylan did not hit for a very good average but he did not strike out either. He walked once every 6.92 plate appearances and struck out once every 7.11 plate appearances – 249 total plate appearances.
Matt Shepherd, infielder – Swing of the Quad Cities
In his second season Shepherd walked once every 6.72 plate appearances and struck out once every 8.13 plate appearances – 585 total plate appearances.
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