This Week in the Cards Minors– 06/09– Hitters

In this installment of our weekly stats-based report, Leonda Markee analyzes position player performances across the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league system.

This week has seen some shuffling around on the minor league board with two minor leaguers getting their first call to The Show and the last of the Cardinals ‘draft and follows' signed.  Palm Beach and Springfield exchanged back-up catchers.  Memphis moved an outfielder, John Rodriguez, off the disabled list and he was replaced there by the third baseman, Travis Hanson.  St. Louis found itself temporarily squeezed up the middle so called up shortstop Brendan Ryan as insurance.  Ryan made his Major League debut before coming back down when pitching needs outweighed position needs.  Reliever Andy Cavazos then got his first call to the big club.  Finally, news was received that several of the ‘draft and follows' from the 2006 draft signed and were sent to Extended Spring Training.  They are the last ‘draft and follows' since the new MLB Players' Agreement eliminates this as a draft option.

 

 

How Are They Doing?  (Standings as of June 8, 2007)

Memphis Redbirds – 27-34, Last place, ten games behind the Iowa Cubs

Springfield Cardinals – 27-28, Second place, one and one-half games behind the Tulsa Drillers (COL)

Palm Beach Cardinals – 31-28, Second place, one and one-half games behind the Brevard County Manatees (MIL)

Swing of the Quad Cities – 34-25, Tied for third place with the Cedar Rapids Kernels (LAA), two and one-half games behind the Beloit Snappers (MIN)

 

 

Up, Down and Out

Here are the transactions for the week:

 

06/01/07 - Springfield (Palm Beach) - C Henry Guerrero sent down to A-Advanced Palm Beach;  C Danilo Sanchez called up from Palm Beach

06/01/07 - Memphis - OF John Rodriguez activated from the 7-day Disabled List;  3B Travis Hanson placed on the 7-day Disabled List (back spasms)

06/02/07 - St. Louis (Memphis) - LHP Troy Cate optioned to Triple-A Memphis;  SS Brendan Ryan called up

06/03/07 - St. Louis (Los Angeles) - C Kelly Stinnett acquired for cash considerations

06/04/07 - St. Louis - LHP Nick Addition (47th round - 2006 draft) agreed to terms with and sent to Extended Spring Training, exact signing date unknown but within the last week

06/05/07 - St. Louis (Memphis) - C Brian Esposito optioned to Triple-A Memphis;  RHP Josh Kinney transferred to the 60-day Disabled List:  C Kelly Stinnett activated on both the 40- and 25-man rosters

06/05/07 - Memphis - LHP Ryan Meaux given his unconditional release

06/07/07 - St. Louis (Memphis) - SS Brendan Ryan optioned to Triple-A Memphis;  RHP Andy Cavazos called up from Triple-A Memphis

 

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Triple-A – Memphis Redbirds

League Affiliation - sixteen-team Pacific Coast League, four-team America North division

Overall Record – 27-34 

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=0.91, H=0.94, 2B=0.93, HR=1.08, BB=1.01, SO=1.04

 

Roster Link

 

Current Two-Week Hitting - .259/.315/.434/.749, .278 BABIP, 63.73 RC

Hitting Year-to-Date* – .262/.324/.423/.747, .295 BABIP, 268.25 RC

*Note:  Pitchers' offensive statistics excluded

 

Who's Hittin' Hot

Outfielder Nick Stavinoha went .370/.408/.522/.930, 17-for-46 in 14 games with four doubles, one home run, seven runs batted in and a stolen base.  He had a .410 BABIP and 10.02 RC.     

 

Who's Hittin' Not

Edgar Gonzalez has cooled off considerably since receiving ‘Hot' honors last report.  He went .184/.216/.306/.522, 9-for-49 in 13 games with one double, one triple and one home run.  His BABIP was .190.

 

First baseman Tagg Bozied hit a feeble .206 with a .622 OPS in 34 at bats with a .250 BABIP.  He has been sharing first base duties with Rico Washington who went .278/.333/.333/.667 in 36 at bats with a 294 BABIP.

 

 

Of Note –   

Utility player Mike McCoy is trying to ensure that he does not see Springfield again and is doing an excellent job right now.  McCoy hit .419 the past two weeks with a .455 on-base percentage and 1.196 OPS in 31 at bats.  He had a .423 BABIP and struck out an average of once for every 10 at bats.

 

Prospect Watch

Rick Ankiel - .294/.345/.588/.934, 15-for-51, .314 BABIP, 10.5 RC, .294 ISO, 4.3 K/AB, 3.9 PA/Game

Travis Hanson – went on the disabled list with back spasms

John Rodriguez - .400/.455/1.100/1.555, 8-for-20, .333 BABIP, 10 RC, .700 ISO, 5 K/AB, 1.6 PA/Game

Brendan Ryan – made his Major League debut, .231/.250/.282/.532, 9-for-39, .290 BABIP, .051 ISO, 4.9 K/AB, 2.86 PA/Game 

Nick Stavinoha – is ‘Hot'

 

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AA – Springfield Cardinals

League Affiliation - eight-team Texas League, four-team East division

Overall Record – 27-28

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=1.03, H=1.02, 2B=0.98, HR=1.16, BB=1.02, SO=1.10

 

Roster Link

 

Current Two-Week Hitting - .273/.348/.436/.784, 309 BABIP, 66.7

Hitting Year-to-Date* – .261/.340/.419/.759, .293 BABIP, 252.3 RC

*Note:  Pitchers' offensive statistics excluded

 

Who's Hittin' Hot

Joe Mather is heating back up and hit .349/.474/.767/1.241, 15-for-43 with three doubles and five home runs.  His 15 runs batted in led the team and he once again walked more (11) that he struck out (six).     

 

Who's Hittin' Not

Third baseman Juan Richardson is struggling, going .239/.327/.435/.762, 11-for-46 with 16 strikeouts to only six walks.  That is an average of a strikeout every 2.9 at bats.

 

Of Note –

Although Colby Rasmus' bat has cooled off in recent days, he drove in 13 runs in the past 13 games.

 

Jarrett Hoffpauir's performance is noteworthy, even if he received an average of only 2.6 plate appearances per game.  Hoffpauir went .448/.500/.552/1.052, 13-for-29, with three doubles.  He had a .520 BABIP.  The Springfield News-Leader reports that Hoffpauir has an injured ankle although he continues to play.

 

 

Prospect Watch

Bryan Anderson is generating no power right now, .270/.325/.351/.676, 10-for-37, .290 BABIP, 4.2 RC, .081 ISO, 1:7.4 K/AB, 3.1 PA/Game

Tyler Greene .244/.333/.488/.821, 10-for-41, .286 BABIP, 7 RC, .244 ISO, 1:3.7 K/AB, 3.8 PA/Game

Jon Jay – still on the disabled list

Joe Mather - .313 BABIP, 15.9 RC, .419 ISO, 1:7 K/AB, 4.4 PA/Game

Colby Rasmus – .260/.339/.560/.899, 13-for-50, .313 BABIP, 9.2 RC, .300 ISO, 1:3.3 K/AB, 4.3 PA/Game

 

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A-Advanced – Palm Beach Cardinals

League Affiliation - twelve-team Florida State League, six-team East division

Overall Record – 31–28

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=0.89, H=0.96, 2B=1.06, HR=0.71, BB=0.97, SO=1.07

 

Roster Link

 

Current Two-Week Hitting - .267/.315/.382/.697, .309 BABIP, 55.9 RC

Hitting Year-to-Date – .260/.324/.375/.699, .303 BABIP, 243.6 RC

 

Who's Hittin' Hot

Mark Hamilton was the easy choice.  Hamilton went .327/.397/.731/.1.127, 17-for-52 with three doubles and six home runs.  He drove in 18 and was the only Palm Beach position player to have double-digit RBIs.    

 

Who's Hittin' Not

Outfielder Ian Church went .205/.239/.273/.512, 9-for-44, with eight strikeouts to two walks.  He had a .250 BABIP.

 

Of Note –

Indy League and free agent signees have a short timespan to first impress and then keep their positions in affiliated baseball.  Indy League signee Ian Church is struggling and may not be in the organization much longer.  Mark Shorey is a candidate for the Palm Beach outfield once Jon Jay is activated in Springfield.   

 

Utility player Dan Nelson hit for very good average (.313) and had a nice on-base percentage (.365) but little power (.354) with only two of his 15 hits being for extra bases.  Both were doubles.

 

A.J. Van Slyke's playing time has increased since the last report, no doubt due to his increased hitting.  Van Slyke went .342/.375/.421/.796 with a .433 BABIP.  He averaged 3.1 plate appearances per game.

 

 

Prospect Watch

Allen Craig - .255/.280/.489/.769, .250 BABIP, 6 RC, .234 ISO, 1:9.4 K/AB, 3.8 PA/Game

Isa Garcia.263/.333/.289/.623, .278 BABIP, 3.5 RC, .026 ISO, 1:19 K/AB, 3.2 PA/Game

Mark Hamilton – .306 BABIP, 15.3 RC, .404 ISO, 1:5.2 K/AB, 4.5 PA/Game

Nathan Southard – .279/.354/.349/.703, .333 BABIP, 5.3 RC, .047 ISO, 1:6 K/AB, 3.7 PA/Game

 

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Low-A – Swing of the Quad Cities

League Affiliation - fourteen-team Midwest League, eight-team West division

Overall Record – 34–25

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=0.97, H=0.99, 2B=1.09, HR=0.93, BB=0.93, SO=0.98

 

Roster Link

Current Two-Week Hitting - .272/.336/.412/.749, 297 BABIP, 54.25 RC

Hitting Year-to-Date – .260/.324/.375/.699, .303 BABIP, 243 RC

 

Who's Hittin' Hot

Brandon Buckman continues to impress in the Midwest League, going .321/.373/.604/.977, 17-for-53, with three doubles and four home runs.  He had 11 runs batted in and a .310 BABIP.

 

Who's Hittin' Not

Shortstop Donovan Solano went .262/.295/.310/.605, 11-for-42, with a .282 BABIP.

 

Of Note –

This reporting period saw the arrival of hot prospect Tommy Pham, along with Venezuelan Wilmer Alvarado.  Pham is the new Quad Cities' shortstop while Alvarado splits time at catcher with Chris Grossman.  Both are off to slow starts as they adjust to full-season class A ball.

 

Second baseman Jared Schweitzer continues to garner attention.  He went .317/.356/.439/.795, 13-for-41, with a .324 BABIP.  Overall, Schweitzer is hitting .322/.381/.494/.876 in 87 at bats with an identical .324 BABIP.  Yet at 23 years of age he needs to get moving.

 

 

Prospect Watch

Brandon Buckman – is ‘Hot', 11.8 RC, .283 ISO, 1:7.6 K/AB, 4.2 PA/Game

Luke Gorsett .361/.410/.556/.966, 13-for-36, .400 BABIP, 7.6 RC, .194 ISO, 1:7.2 K/AB, 2.8 PA/Game

Daryl Jones .182/.308/.303/.611, 6-for-33, .200 BABIP, 2.7 RC, .121 ISO, 1:4.7 K/AB, 2.8 PA/Game

Donovan Solano – 3.6 RC, .048 ISO, 1:14 K/AB, 3.1 PA/Game

 

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NOTE:  The three sabermetric statistics being used in this report as of now are BABIP, Isolated Power and Runs Created.

 

Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) - is used mainly to measure the luckiness or unluckiness of either a pitcher or batter on those balls put into play that involve fielders.  Hence, home runs are excluded.  The standard BABIP range is .280-.310 for either pitchers or hitters so hitters with a BABIP above .310 are getting lucky while those below .280 are unlucky. 

 

Isolated Power (ISO) – is one of five primary production metrics used in identifying a hitter or pitcher's comparables. PECOTA uses a slightly modified version of Isolated Power that assigns the same value to triples as to doubles (extending a double into a triple is generally an indicator of speed, rather than additional power).'

 

Runs Created (RC) - is a statistic created by Bill James to measure a player's total offensive production? Bill James describes it by saying that scoring runs consists of two actions: first - getting on base or creating base runners and second - the advancing of those runners around the bases. The formula we used to ascertain each player's RC incorporates the stolen base element of offense.

 

 

Leonda Markee may be reached via email at uconncard@yahoo.com.

 

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