It was a year of contrasts as the Cardinals began with a first-place divisional finish and a 38-32 record, clinching a post-season berth in the process. After several of their league-best nine all-stars were lost due to call-ups to Triple-A and injury, the Cards limped home with a second-half record of 33-37.
The Cardinals finished eighth of eight Texas League teams in batting at .253, but when they did connect, they did much better with a slugging mark of .393 (fourth-best). They were sixth in on-base percentage (.333) and fourth in OPS (.727).
Outfielder Tyler Henley's .303 batting average was
fifth-highest among league qualifiers and his on-base mark of .367 was
15th. Henley and catcher Steven Hill's slugging marks of .482
and .470 were sixth and seventh-best in the league and
Jim Rapoport ranked fifth in walks with 71,
but batted only .255. Hill's 19 home runs were good for seventh and his 64 RBIs
tied for 11th.
A major trouble area was
consistently throwing strikes.
The staff finished a collective fifth in ERA at 4.30 and strikeouts with 897. Their 41 saves led the Texas League.
Trey Hearne and Lance Lynn became a powerful pair of
co-aces, finishing second and third in the league in ERA at 2.82 and 2.92,
respectively. Hearne's 12 wins tied for tops in the circuit and
Francisco Samuel was second in the league with 22 saves but also walked 46 in 47 2/3 innings. Tyler Norrick walked 44 in 59 innings. After taking over the closer's role, top prospect Eduardo Sanchez chipped in with ten saves.
The league also has an annual
Post-Season All-Star Team. The four Cardinals members were all repeaters -
Hearne, Lynn, Henley and Descalso. The latter selection was especially
noteworthy since Descalso was promoted to
Jones, injured much of the second half, was joined by Samuel and former Cardinal Brett Wallace in the MLB Futures Game in St. Louis in July.
Descalso was our Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for April while his teammate Hill earned the honor from the organization for the same period.
In his first month in the league,
League Players of the Week included Hill (April 20-26), Kozma (June 8-14),
"2009 Palm Beach Cardinals Team Review" – by Dustin Mattison
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"2009 Johnson City Cardinals Team Review" – by Shawn Kerrick
"2009 Gulf Coast League Cardinals Team Review" – by Dustin Mattison
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