This Week in the Minors – 6/10 - A-Advanced/A

One of our most popular features with the St. Louis Cardinals organization's minor leaguers' stats and news from the week past. This report focuses on the Cardinals A-Advanced affiliates in Palm Beach and the Quad Cities.

This Week in the Minors – A-Advanced/A

June 10, 2006

Two of my favorite days on the baseball calendar came on Tuesday and Wednesday, the annual First-Year Player Draft. Now when it comes to the draft, I am totally in the ‘pupil' category so will not dream of giving an opinion of the Cardinals' selections. However, there are some extremely knowledgeable posters on the message board so check it out if you want to learn more about the newest Cardinals. I do love the promise each new draft brings while I empathize with those currently in the Cardinals system that will eventually be replaced by some of the newbies.

Both of the middle level clubs had winning weeks with Quad Cities really going on a winning tear. Palm Beach's winning week did nothing to improve their standing as they remain four games behind St. Lucie. Quad Cities remained in fourth place but did gain two games on first-place Kane County. While Quad Cities' push is most likely a case of ‘too little, too late', it is encouraging to see them playing closer to their potential.

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High-A – Palm Beach Cardinals
League Affiliation - twelve-team Florida State League, six-team East division
Overall Record – 28 - 27
Weekly Record – 4 – 2
Current Standing – Fourth, four games behind the St. Lucie Mets

The Roster
Transactions - None
On the DL front – OF Matt Lemanczyk (swelling in arm), OF Wes Swackhamer (wrist sprain)

Current Week Team Batting – .267/.326/.406/.732
Cumulative Team Batting – .247/.319/.384/.703, fifth in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation*Mitch Boggs, Eric Haberer, Blake Hawksworth, Mark Michael, Chris Narveson, Nick Webber
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.48 ERA and 1.35 WHIP: 12 earned runs, 35 hits and 7 walks in 31 innings pitched

Current Bullpen*Tyler Adamczyk, Troy Cate, Dennis Dove, Jose Garcia, Matt Scherer, Mike Sillman, Zack Zuercher
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 4.09 ERA and 1.09 WHIP: 10 earned runs, 18 hits and 6 walks in 22 innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 3.77 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, ninth in the league, by WHIP
*Those pitchers contributing to the current stats. Pitcher may appear in both rotation and bullpen.

Who's Pitchin' Hot – LHS Eric Haberer turned in his best performance of the season this week: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 6:1 K/BB, .214 BAA
Who's Pitchin' Not – RHS Nick Webber had one of his worst outings of the season: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 0 SO, 54.00 ERA, 7.00 WHIP, .800 BAA

Who's Hittin' Hot – OF Terry Evans went .450/.560/1.000/1.560, 9-for-20 in six games with two doubles, three home runs, four runs scored, seven runs batted in, four walks, four strikeouts, one stolen base in one attempt and no errors
Who's Hittin' Not – 3B Matt Dryer went .211/.238/.368/.607, 4-for-19 in five games with one home run, two runs scored, three runs batted in, one walk, eight strikeouts (which would be a really nice K/BB ratio if he were a pitcher) and no errors

Of Note – Offense/Defense
When the 2006 season began conventional wisdom thought pressure would be brought to bear on the Springfield shortstop, Brendan Ryan, by the Palm Beach shortstop, Tyler Greene. Instead, Ryan has spent the entire season so far on the disabled list with an injury to his left wrist while Greene has floundered at Palm Beach. But a Palm Beach middle infielder is putting pressure to perform on his Springfield counterpart. Palm Beach second baseman Juan Lucena is hitting .294 since May 1st while Springfield's second baseman, Jarrett Hoffpauir, is hitting .233 during that same time period. The on-base percentages are nearly a dead heat, .330 vs..329, as Lucena still needs to learn how to take a walk while Hoffpauir is walking less than he has previously. Both second sackers' OPS numbers are in the mid-.600's while Lucena is the younger of the two by about six months. Lucena turned 22 in January.
Looking at Terry Evans' stats for the week it comes as no surprise that he was promoted on Thursday, June 8th. (The transaction date on Springfield's website of June 6th is incorrect since Evans appears in Palm Beach boxscores through June 8th.) Evans led the team in hits, runs scored and runs batted in, stolen bases, on-base percentage and slugging so Palm Beach has a huge offensive hole to fill with his departure.
On the defensive side, Evans also played center field this week. This is the first time he has gotten the starting nod in center, on a regular basis, when Sean Danielson was available. Danielson played left.
Brandon Yarbrough is off to a good start at Palm Beach. He hit over .300 for the week while catching four of the six games played. Matt Pagnozzi is the other catcher on Palm Beach's roster.

Of Note – Pitching
Palm Beach went with a six-man rotation this week as Nick Webber started his own game instead of pitching after Chris Narveson during the latter's start as he did last week. Most of the starters are still searching for that elusive consistency. Blake Hawksworth has strung together the most consistent group of starts while Mitch Boggs' recent performance showing improvement. Both Eric Haberer and Mark Michael's 2006 seasons are a disappointment so far as neither has come close to replicating their 2005 Palm Beach performances.
When looking at this week's bullpen stats, the incongruity of a 4.09 ERA and 1.09 WHIP sticks out. The overall ERA was skewed by Jose Garcia's terrible week. Garcia appeared in only one game but gave up five earned runs on eight hits in four innings for an 11.25 ERA and 2.00 WHIP.

Prospect Watch
Mitch Boggs – 1 G, 1 GS< 0 CG, 1-0, 6 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 3:1 WHIP, .333 BAA
Mike Ferris – .222/.300/.444/.744, 4-for-18 in five games with one double, one home run, four runs scored, two runs batted in, two walks, five strikeouts and no errors
Tyler Greene - .238/.238/.286/.524, 5-for-21 in five games with one double, four runs scored, one run batted in, no walks, six strikeouts (another good K/BB ratio for a pitcher) and no errors
Eric Haberer – Pitchin' Hot
Blake Hawksworth – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2:1 K/BB, .240 BAA
Juan Lucena - .304/.360/.304/.664, 7-for-23 in six games with three runs scored, two runs batted in, two walks, one strikeout and no errors
Mark Michael – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 9.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, .471 BAA
Chris Narveson – 1 G, 1 GS< 0 CG, 0-0, 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, .100 BAA
Mike Sillman – 2 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 2 SV, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 6:1 K/BB, .200 BAA
Nick Webber – Pitchin' Not
Brandon Yarbrough - .333/.467/.417/.883, 4-for-12 in four games with one double, one run scored, two runs batted in, three walks, three strikeouts and no errors

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Low-A – Swing of the Quad Cities
League Affiliation - fourteen-team Midwest League, eight-team West division
Overall Record – 26 - 28
Weekly Record – 6 – 1
Current Standing – Sixth, seven games behind the Kane County Cougars (Oakland)

The Roster
Transactions – None
On the DL front – RHP Phillip Andersen (May 2006 Tommy John surgery), RHP Kyle McClellan (July 2005 Tommy John surgery), RHP Donnie Smith (August 2005 shoulder capsule surgery)

Current Week Team Batting – .279/.331/.361/.691
Cumulative Team Batting – .264/.326/.378/.705, fifth in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation*Adam Daniels, Jaime Garcia, Trey Hearne, Mark McCormick, Cory Meacham, Kyle Sadlowski
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 2.63 ERA and 1.15 WHIP: 12 earned runs, 36 hits and 11 walks in 41 innings pitched

Current Bullpen*Danny Borne, Jason Cairns, Ashley Hooks, Jon Mikrut, Brian Stitt, Matt Trent, Scott Vander Weg
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 3.32 ERA and 1.32 WHIP: 7 earned runs, 18 hits and 7 walks in 19 innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 3.73 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, fourth in the league, by WHIP
*Those pitchers contributing to the current stats. Pitcher may appear in both rotation and bullpen.

Who's Pitchin' Hot – LHS Adam Daniels' line: 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 14 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 11 SO, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 3.67:1 K/BB, .180 BAA
Who's Pitchin' Not – RHS Jaime Garcia's line: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 6 SO, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .304 BAA

Who's Hittin' Hot – C Bryan Anderson went .391/.462/.478/.940, 9-for-23 in six games with two doubles, four runs scored, five runs batted in, three walks, three strikeouts and no errors
Who's Hittin' Not – OF Simon Williams went .158/.238/.211/.449, 3-for-19 in seven games with one double, four runs scored, five runs batted in, two walks, nine strikeouts, two stolen bases in two attempts and no errors

Of Note – Offense/Defense
The Swing had six players with at least twenty-four plate appearances hitting over .300 for the week. They were: Bryan Anderson, shortstop Luis Cotto (.333/.391/.381/.772), infielder Dan Nelson (.310/.375/.483/.858), centerfielder Colby Rasmus, corner infielder Randy Roth (.346/.400/.538/.938) and utility player Casey Rowlett (.323/.344/.355/.699).
After starting the season on a record pace for errors made, the Swing has made six or less weekly errors the past five weeks.
Colby Rasmus has definitely improved his plate discipline. After striking out slightly more than once every three at bats during his rookie season, he is currently bettered that to a once every 5.4 at bats so far this year. Jose Martinez has the best K/AB rate, striking out once every nine at bats. That is very impressive.
Randy Roth leads the team in a number of offensive categories: hits (66), doubles (15), triples (2 – woo hoo), home runs (12), runs batted in (40), slugging (.565), OPS (.926) and hit-by-pitch (5). Roth, who turned 24 in March, is one of the oldest members of the Swing. Since his primary positions played are first and third base, he will have to supplant either Mike Ferris (first base), Ryan Barthelemy (third base) or Matt Dryer (third base) at Palm Beach to move up. Since Ferris is still considered a prospect, the most likely position to open up for him is third base. While he has appeared in right field twice this season, he has not appeared in the outfield often enough to signal a possible defensive switch.
Bryan Anderson leads the team in average (.333) and on-base percentage (.415).

Of Note – Pitching
Well, here are the numbers by-the-month on the McCormick Control Watch: 8.70 BB/9 IP in April (19 BB, 19.2 IP) and 6.09 BB/9 IP in May (16 BB, 23.2 IP). That is the good news. On the other hand, as McCormick's control has improved, if ever so slightly, his BAA has risen from .194 in April to .226 in May. Still, that is a very good BAA. His strikeouts per nine innings has also risen somewhat from 10/9 IP in April to 12.5/9 IP in May.
More on the strikeouts per nine innings pitched: Jaime Garcia (9.7/9 IP) and Mark McCormick (11/9 IP) are the only starters averaging at least a strikeout per inning. Lefty Danny Borne (10/9 IP), closer Brian Stitt (9/9 IP) and Matt Trent (12.9/9 IP) are the relievers that do likewise.
Jaime Garcia also has the best control of the starters as he is walking an average of two batters every nine innings (14 BB, 60.1 IP). Reliever Trey Hearne has the best control of the bullpenners with a 1.61 BB/9 IP (5 BB, 28 IP).

Prospect Watch
Bryan Anderson – Hittin' Hot
Jaime Garcia – Pitchin' Not
Jose Martinez - .286/.276/.357/.633, 8-for-28 in seven games with two doubles, four runs scored, three runs batted in, four strikeouts and no errors
Mark McCormick – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 4 SO, 3.60 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .222 BAA
Colby Rasmus - .360/.448/.360/.808, 9-for-25 in seven games with four runs scored, four runs batted in, two walks, six strikeouts, two stolen bases in two attempts and no errors
A.J. Van Slyke - .118/.118/.118/.325, 2-for-17 in five games with one run scored, one run batted in, four strikeouts and no errors

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Extended Spring Training

Transactions – 05/29/06 – RHP Armando Carrasco (36th Round-2005 draft), RHP Blake King (44th Round-2005 Draft): signed as ‘draft and follows'

Of Note – Overall
"Draft and Follow" is a process that enables teams to maintain exclusive rights to a drafted player up until one week prior to the next year's draft, if that player attends junior college. However, the club loses those rights as soon as a drafted high schooler attends a four-year college or a drafted college player returns to school and attends his first class. Draft and follow is often employed to enable an emerging player to gain another year of experience but still allow the drafting team the option to attempt to sign him before he is eligible to re-enter the draft the following June.

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You may contact Leonda Markee at uconncard@yahoo.com with any questions or suggestions on how to improve the report.


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