Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/17/17

We are now into day two of 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 notebook includes eyewitness commentary for the Palm Beach and Peoria contests based on my arrival in camp on Friday. Even more specific spring training reports will be available Friday evening to members of The Cardinal Nation.

Following are the highlights from the Cardinals games on Friday at Port St. Lucie (Memphis and Springfield) and on the George Kissell Quad in Jupiter, Florida (Palm Beach and Peoria).

Each organization went 1-1 at each location. Springfield (1-1) and Palm Beach (2-0) notched wins, while Memphis (1-1) and Peoria took defeats.

Once again this spring, Cardinals Baseball Operations Coordinator for Player Development Tony Ferreira is 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.

As luck would have it, the best performances of the day were both at Port St. Lucie. Though I was in Jupiter, instead, I will give credit where credit is due.

Friday’s Pitcher of the Day: Chris Ellis, Memphis

One might look at Dakota Hudson’s impressive strikeout count and expect him to receive the nod, but when all is said and done, a pitcher’s primary job is run prevention. In that category, Ellis stands out, with three scoreless frames.

The former Atlanta Braves prospect was dropped into a very competitive system in terms of pitching, especially at the high end. So Ellis may need to continue to stand out to lock down a spot in the Memphis rotation.

Brodbeck-ab-200_1781Friday’s Hitter of the Day: Andrew Brodbeck, Springfield

I saw Jonatan Machado’s and Stefan Trosclair’s home runs, and both were impressive, but like the Hudson-Ellis comparison above, Brodbeck produced more, adding a double to his home run and plating four.

Brodbeck opened and closed 2016 at Palm Beach, but drove in just 15 runs in 124 at-bats between PB and Johnson City. His batting average for the season was just .218.

There seems more middle candidates for full-season infield jobs than spots to fill, so Brodbeck could really help his cause with a hot bat in camp.

For more, The Cardinal Nation members can check out the complete list of minor league spring training attendees (to be updated this weekend) and full minor league spring training game schedules.

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.

Las Vegas 3, Memphis (1-1) 1

Memphis pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Chris Ellis 3 1 1 Came with Gant/Dykstra from ATL in Garcia trade Alex Mejia SS 1 1 1 1 Valuable utility infielder spent part of 2016 at AA

Springfield (1-1) 4 at Binghamton 2

Springfield pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Dakota Hudson #6 3 1 1 6 Many forget 2016 1st rounder finished 2016 at AA Andrew Brodbeck 2B 2 1 2 4 1 1 In 2016, 9 transactions incl. promos and DL moves

Palm Beach (2-0) 7, St. Lucie 4

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
Connor Jones #24 3 4 1 1 2nd rounder ended 2016 in State College bullpen Stefan Trosclair 1B 2 1 1 2 1 Thursday’s Hitter of the Day makes another bid
Starlin Balbuena 3B 2 1 2 Led title-winning GCL Cards with 23 RBI in 45 games

Columbia 11 at Peoria (0-2) 4

Peoria pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
No highlights Jonatan Machado CF #27 3 1 1 2 1 Cuban received $2.35 MM signing bonus
Luis Flores 2B 3 1 3 1 Respectable .263 average in 2016part-time GCL duty

Friday’s games:  Just like for the major league club, the Mets are the Saturday opponent again, with the locations simply reversed. St. Louis, Memphis and Springfield games will be held at Jupiter, where I will be. The Class-A teams will hop the bus to Port St. Lucie.