A nearly full slate of minor league action, but not much top prospect action. There were a handful of interesting performances at the upper-level full season clubs, but the big names at the bottom of the ladder failed to make a splash. The GCL club was the only one with the day off.
Oklahoma City Dodgers 8 @ Memphis Redbirds 6
Mike Hauschild (SP) – 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Ryan Helsley (RP) – 2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Lane Thomas (LF) – 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, K
John Nogowski (1B) – 2-5, 2B
First baseman John Nogowski remains one of the most interesting players in the minors. After Thursday, Nogowski is batting a unique .310/.412/.450. I say unique because he’s done it in the most Nogowski of ways, walking more than he’s striking out to get past only modest power output. Interestingly enough, the juiced ball at AAA hasn’t helped his ISO despite that fact that he’s putting the ball in the air significantly more than he did at Springfield next year. The market for reverse-split, lightly powered first baseman is light, to say the least, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Nogowski gets full-trial at the major league level. That being said, he’s Rule 5 eligible this year, and I can’t see why burn-it-down rebuilders like the Orioles or Marlins wouldn’t take a flier on him.
Springfield Cardinals 6, Arkansas Travelers 4
Johan Oviedo (SP) – 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, HR
Connor Jones (RP) – 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Dylan Carlson (CF) – 2-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K
Brian O’Keefe (C) – 1-2, HR, RBI, 2 BB, K
I touched on Carlson’s stat line in yesterday’s report, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Carlson is now running a 143 wRC+ in the Texas League, with 14 home runs and 13 steals.
Connor Jones has had interesting season, one that hopefully ends up amounting to growing pains. The bullpen move that went over so well in last year’s AFL has extended into 2019, with mixed results. On one hand, Jones has upped his strikeout rate from pedestrian ~15% marks to a more palatable 21.6%. Good but not great in a relief role at first glance, but a number that looks much better when paired with his otherwordly 66.3% groundball rate. The bad news? He’s walking an unsustainable 15.5% of batters.
Palm Beach Cardinals 12 @ Clearwater Threshers 8
Alvaro Seijas (SP) – 4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, HR
Julio Rodriguez (C) – 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Nolan Gorman (3B) – 2-5, 3B, 5 RBI
Luken Baker (1B) – 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K
Can we please, please, free Luken Baker from Palm Beach? I’m not saying he’s earned the promotion (he’s running a 99 wRC+, after all), but I cannot for the life of my discern the benefit of keeping him at Roger Dean. The plate discipline is there, with Baker walking at a 11.2% clip and capping the strikeouts in the low 20%’s. Power has been hard to come by, which would be surprising considering Baker’s monstrous frame until you consider the way he’s changed his approach. He’s putting the ball in the air significantly more than in 2018 (44.1% vs. 34.0%) while also pulling the ball more (50.7% vs. 42.5%). It’s a simple analysis, but it looks like Baker is making a concerted effort to get to his raw power in games more often. Roger dean, unfortunately, tends to be the place that fly balls go to die. Let’s see him in a more neutral park.
Lansing Lugnuts 3 @ Peoria Chiefs 2
Kyle Leahy (SP) – 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
Freddy Pacheco (RP) – 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Brendan Donovan (2B) – 1-3, HR, RBI, BB
Edwin Figuera (3B) – 1-3, 2B, BB
Let’s take a moment to marvel at Freddy Pacheco. The undersized righty has pitched to a 4.50 ERA out of the Peoria bullpen, and he’s gotten to that mediocre mark in a remarkably peculiar way. What are his components? He’s rocking a 3.44 FIP and a 4.01 xFIP – better, but not shockingly so. His BABIP is elevated, hovering at .397, and his groundball rate (40.9%) certainly plays, but he’s also gotten lucky on flyballs and hasn’t allowed a home run in 36 innings. Now for the truly weird part: Pacheco is striking out 37.1% of batters and walking an ungodly 23.6%. Truly bizarre.
Tri-City ValleyCats 4, State College Spikes 3
Adrian Mardueno (SP) – 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Brylie Ware (3B) – 2-3, RBI, 2 BB
Andrew Warner (DH) – 1-4, 2B, BB
Johnson City Cardinals 4 @ Bristol Pirates 2
Jake Sommers (SP) – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Chandler Redmond (3B) – 2-3, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K
Liam Sabino (2B) – 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Brandon Purcell (C) – 2-4, 2B, K
DSL Cardinals Red 5, DSL Phillies White 1
Angel Cuenca (SP) – 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Luis Garcia (RP) – 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3K
Diowill Burgos (DH) – 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Fernando Brazoban (RF) – 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, K
DSL Rockies 8, DSL Cardinals Blue 1
Eduar Pimentel (SP) – 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Yordy Richard (RP) – 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Brandon Hernandez (3B) – 2-4, 2B, RBI, K
Jose Zapata (DH) – 1-4, 2B
MEM: Austin Warner
SPR: Tommy Parsons
SC: Enmanuel Solano
JC: Jose Moreno