Welcome back to our ninth year of providing results and much more from St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games here at The Cardinal Nation Blog. This year, I am joined in these recaps by TCN writer Derek Shore.
Our notebooks will include additional eyewitness commentary following my arrival in camp on Friday. Even more specific spring training reports will be available to members of The Cardinal Nation.
Following are the highlights from the Cardinals first minor league games of 2017, held on Thursday on the George Kissell Quad in Jupiter, Florida. The Cardinals opened action with a camp day, with Memphis taking on Springfield and Palm Beach and Peoria facing off.
The Cardinals’ higher-level clubs in each contest took the victory with Memphis winning 3-2 over Springfield and Palm Beach taking a 3-1 victory over Peoria.
Once again this spring, Cardinals Baseball Operations Coordinator for Player Development Tony Ferreira will be sharing highlights from minor league spring training contests.
The raw data is his, but the comments and awards are mine. However, be aware that only minimal pitching and hitting results are being shared – what you see here. So to find those struggling, you will have to look for names missing or make some guesses.
Remember these working team assignments are fluid by the day. In addition, another 30 players have yet to be cut from Major League camp.
When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 50 Prospect List for 2017, their rankings are noted.
Overshadowed by younger parallel-traveling pitching stars Sandy Alcantara and Junior Fernandez, Gonzalez is a fine prospect in his own right. Possessing an upper 90’s fastball, the now-22-year-old logged a 2.39 ERA in 15 Peoria starts to open 2016 before moving up to Palm Beach. At High-A for his final four outings, Gonzalez was even better, with a 1.46 ERA.
On Thursday, Gonzalez handled the advanced hitters in camp smoothly, logging three strikeouts and allowing no baserunners in two innings.
Thursday’s Hitter of the Day: Stefan Trosclair, Palm Beach
At 22 years of age and drafted in the 20th round last June from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Trosclair was not heralded coming in and served as the elder statesman among the position players on the title-winning Gulf Coast League Cardinals.
The first baseman was a key contributor, leading the team in home runs with six, the last serving as the exclamation point in the Cardinals’ semifinal win over the Red Sox. Trosclair seemed to gain confidence as the season wore on, posting a .310/.397/.517 slash line with a .961 OPS in 19 August games after a slower start – .246/.333/.328 with a .661 OPS in 18 July contests.
In Thursday’s Palm Beach win, Trosclair doubled and homered in two at-bats.
Also exclusively for TCN members is my annual pre-camp series in which I predict the opening rosters for all four full-season minor league affiliates and explain why. St. Louis was posted Wednesday, with the others to follow. The St. Louis roster prediction article is free for all readers.
If you are not yet a member of The Cardinal Nation, seven-day free trials are always available.
The entire system view by level and position as last season ended is available via the Roster Matrix, always free, right here at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Memphis (1-0) 3 vs. Springfield (0-1) 2
|Memphis pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Memphis hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||SB||BB||K||Notes|
|Derian Gonzalez||#33||2||3||Same jumps from GCL as Alcantara, Fernandez||Blake Drake||CF||1||1||1||Underrated OF was STEP camp invitee.|
Springfield (0-1) 2 vs. Memphis (1-0) 3
|Springfield pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Springfield hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||SB||BB||K||Notes|
|John Brebbia||1||2||From AZ in 2015 Rule 5. Split 2016 bet Mem/Spr.||Danny Diekroeger||3B||2||1||2||In AA battle after parts of last 2 seasons at PB|
Palm Beach (1-0) 3 vs. Peoria (0-1) 1
|Palm Beach pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Palm Beach hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||SB||BB||K||Notes|
|Johan Oviedo||#18||2||2||1||1||$1.9 MM signing bonus for Cuban right-hander||Stefan Trosclair||1B||2||1||2||2||1||1||College hitter ready for more after GCL debut|
Peoria (0-1) 1 vs. Palm Beach (0-1) 3
|Peoria pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Peoria hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||SB||BB||K||Notes|
|Estarlin Arias||1||1||TCN’s 2016 Johnson City Reliever of the Year||Delvin Perez||SS||#3||2||1||1||1||1||1||1||Is 1st rounder ready for Peoria? My guess is yes.|
Friday’s games: The Mets are the Friday opponent, with Memphis and Springfield games to be held at Port St. Lucie. I will cover the two Class-A games at the George Kissell Quad in Jupiter.