Valera Repeats as The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month

photo: Breyvic Valera (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Breyvic Valera (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The first of The Cardinal Nation’s top two monthly awards to St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers goes to the top system-wide hitter in August. The selection is made by reviewing a series of rate and counting stats, with the winner usually revealing himself.

This time around, we have a two-time winner. In fact, Memphis’ Breyvic Valera is the rare individual to collect these honors in two consecutive months, adding August honors to his July award.

We start our analysis with the Tommy Phams of the minor league system – .300 hitters, .400 on-base performers, .500 sluggers and of course, those with at least a .900 OPS across the Cardinals system. Players needed at least 60 at-bats to qualify.

Rate stats

Name BA Team Name OBP Team
Anthony Garcia 0.391 SPR Taylor Bryant 0.481 GCL
Taylor Bryant 0.385 GCL Chase Pinder 0.470 JC
Yariel Gonzalez 0.356 SC Anthony Garcia 0.444 SPR
Breyvic Valera  0.346 MEM Yariel Gonzalez 0.418 SC
Wilfredo Tovar 0.343 MEM Kramer Robertson 0.417 PEO
Chase Pinder 0.338 JC Rangel Ravelo 0.396 MEM
Jonatan Machado 0.338 GCL Breyvic Valera  0.395 MEM
Andrew Knizner 0.324 SPR Scott Hurst 0.393 SC
Carlos Soler 0.316 DSL
Scott Hurst 0.316 SC
Rangel Ravelo 0.313 MEM
J.D. Crowe 0.311 SC
Juan Yepez 0.309 PEO
Kramer Robertson 0.308 PEO
Imeldo Diaz 0.307 JC
Leobaldo Pina 0.307 PB
Name SLG Team Name OPS Team
Adolis Garcia 0.600 SPR/MEM Breyvic Valera  0.991 MEM
Breyvic Valera  0.596 MEM Anthony Garcia 0.960 SPR
Stefan Trosclair 0.573 PEO Chase Pinder 0.947 JC
Luis Bandes 0.567 JC Rangel Ravelo 0.934 MEM
Brian O’Keefe 0.551 PEO/PB Adolis Garcia 0.927 SPR/MEM
Rangel Ravelo 0.538 MEM Taylor Bryant 0.927 GCL
Patrick Wisdom 0.538 MEM Brian O’Keefe 0.901 PEO/PB
Carlos Soler 0.532 DSL Carlos Soler 0.900 DSL
Anthony Garcia 0.516 SPR
Andrew Knizner 0.500 SPR
Anthony Garcia (USA TODAY Sports Images)

As the above tables indicate, there were at least 16 .300 hitters in the Cardinals system during August. That is as high as I can recall in recent memory. At the top are Anthony Garcia and Taylor Bryant, each pushing .400. Three others were clustered around .350 – Yariel Gonzalez of State College and a pair of Memphis teammates, Valera and Wilfredo Tovar.

Garcia and Bryant are among the OBP leaders, with Chase Pinder of Johnson City joining them. Only two others had a .400 OBP or better – Gonzalez and Kramer Robertson of Peoria. However, Valera and another Memphian, Rangel Ravelo, were very close.

Adolis Garcia (St. Louis Cardinals)

In the slugging category, the “other” Springfield Garcia, Adolis, led the way, closely followed by Valera. Stefan Trosclair, Luis Bandes and Brian O’Keefe all came in over .550.

Putting it together in OPS, Valera and Anthony Garcia are head and shoulders above the others. Six others logged an OPS of at least .900 in August.

Counting stats

Now, let’s look at the system-wide August leaders in home runs, RBI, runs scored and stolen bases.

HR Team RBI Team
Adolis Garcia 7 SPR/MEM Luis Bandes 26 JC
Luis Bandes 7 JC Yariel Gonzalez 25 SC
Patrick Wisdom 7 MEM Adolis Garcia 23 SPR/MEM
Tyler O’Neill 6 MEM Julio Rodriguez 19 JC
Breyvic Valera 5 MEM Breyvic Valera 18 MEM
Brady Whelan 5 JC Elehuris Montero 17 GCL
Brian O’Keefe 5 PEO/PB Patrick Wisdom 17 MEM
Stefan Trosclair 5 PEO Stefan Trosclair 17 PEO
Runs Team SB/att Team
Brady Whelan 23 JC Wilfredo Tovar 8/12 MEM
Irving Lopez 21 JC Jonatan Machado 6/7 GCL
Kramer Robertson 21 PEO Harrison Bader 6/9 MEM
Breyvic Valera 19 MEM Edwin Figuera 5/7 SC
Adolis Garcia 19 SPR/MEM Magneuris Sierra 4/5 Spr
Leobaldo Pina 18 PB Darren Seferina 4/5 SPR
Stefan Trosclair 18 PEO Kramer Robertson 4/5 PEO
Edwin Figuera 17 SC Carlos Soler 4/6 DSL
Luis Bandes (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

We have some short-season names on top here, including Bandes and Yariel Gonzalez. Bandes of Johnson City is the sole leader in RBI, with an amazing 26 in 23 games, followed by State College’s Gonzalez with 25.

Bandes is joined by Patrick Wisdom of Memphis and Adolis Garcia with seven August long balls each.  Next is newcomer Tyler O’Neill with six homers.

In runs scored, JC teammates Brady Whelan (23) and Irving Lopez (21) are first and tied for second, respectively. Also at 21 is Kramer Robertson of Peoria, with Valera and Adolis Garcia next.

A surprise leader in stolen bases with eight is Memphis’ Tovar, though his success rate was just 66%. Jonatan Machado from the GCL was more effective, swiping six of seven bags attempted.


If I could combine the two Garcias, Adolis for his power and Anthony for his rate stats, they/he would be the winner.

However, in terms of overall success across the board, Valera checks more boxes. In the eight lists of leaders above, the Memphis utilityman appears on seven, only falling short in stolen bases.

With the top OPS in the system as well as strong performance in both scoring runs and driving them in, Valera is officially named The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Month for August.

Last month’s winners

TCN’s July Player of the Month honors also went to Valera, who despite his good play is completing his second season since competing in the Arizona Fall League and first on the 40-man roster without a promotion to St. Louis.

Given his exceptionally strong second half, it seems surprising Valera’s hold on his 40-man spot could be tenuous.

To be specific, in the second half, Valera’s slash line is an impressive .370/.431/.580/1.011.

Harrison Bader (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals organization instead named Valera’s Memphis teammate Harrison Bader as their July Player of the Month.

Over the prior 31 days, the outfield prospect had just one extra-base hit, slashing .222/.320/.259/.579 for the Redbirds. Bader did appear among the August steals leaders noted above, but was caught one-third of the time.

September began with Bader’s return to the majors, with a home run in his first game back.

What’s Next

Look for TCN’s Cardinals Pitcher of the Month as well the Cardinals organization’s announcement of their choices as the top pitching and hitting performers from August.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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