The Palm Beach Cardinals Report – Week Eleven

Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals from our on-site beat reporter in Jupiter, Jim Rutledge. Allen Craig is our first-half team MVP with Tyler Norrick the top pitcher.

The Palm Beach Cardinals are just about half-way through their 2007 season and so far they are the definition of average. Currently the Cards' are 34-34 and tied with Vero Beach for second place in the Florida State League's Eastern Division.

 

The season has had its high points and low points and we've seen players come and go. I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce the new players and give some much needed credit to some of the Cards' players.

 

MVP

 

Allen Craig has been far and away the best player in the first half of the 2007 season. The third baseman from Cal Berkeley is hitting .306 with fourteen home runs, twelve doubles and forty-five runs batted in. Craig has come through in big situations all season and even though he lost his protection in the line-up, Mark Hamilton, Craig has proven all year that he can hit no matter who is around him.

 

Pitcher of the Year

 

Tyler Norrick has been a dominant front of the rotation for the Palm Beach Cardinals all season. The lefty has a team-leading six wins and a solid 3.20 earned run average. Norrick has stopped trying to overpower every batter he faces. He now is mixing a biting slider that has helped him accumulate sixty-two strikeouts in 84.1 innings pitched.

 

Player to Watch

 

At the start of the season, the player I received the most emails about was A.J. Van Slyke. Although he struggled to find his stroke early in the season, A.J. has finally come around and started to live up to the early season interest. Van Slyke is hitting .273 with eleven doubles and nine stolen bases and his numbers should increase with steady playing time. Springfield has called up big-hitting first baseman Mark Hamilton and Van Slyke is the early favorite to get some playing time at first.

 

New Faces

 

P.J. Walters was called up from Quad Cities on Wednesday to fill the spot left by starter Adam Daniels. Walters played his college ball at South Alabama and was 6-2 with a 2.62 in ten starts at Quad Cities.

 

James Rapoport is a left handed centerfielder who was called up from Quad Cities a few weeks ago. Rapoport is hitting .235 with two doubles and a triple in sixty-eight at bats.

 

Palm Beach All-Stars

 

Tyler Norrick added another highlight to his impressive 2007 season Saturday when the Palm Beach starter earned the victory in the Florida State League's East vs. West All-Star Game. Teammate Allen Craig hit a home run in the fifth and drove in two runs to earn MVP of the game. Mark Hamilton walked in his only at bat and Luke Gregerson struck out the only two batters he faced.

 

News and Notes

 

6-18-07: Springfield - Called up P Adam Daniels from Palm Beach.
6-18-07: Palm Beach - Called up P P.J. Walters from Quad Cities and placed OF Shane Robinson on the DL with a broken foot. He's expected to miss 6 weeks.      

6-19-07: Springfield - Called up 1B Mark Hamilton from Palm Beach.

 

 

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