Cardinals Name Koperniak and Marrero Top August Minor Leaguers

photo: Andrew Marrero (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Springfield Cardinals outfielder Matt Koperniak and Palm Beach reliever Andrew Marrero are the St. Louis Cardinals organization’s selections as August Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Sunday, September 4) their selections for Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for August, with Springfield Cardinals (AA) outfielder Matt Koperniak and Palm Beach Cardinals (A) right-handed reliever Andrew Marrero receiving the honors.

Matt Koperniak

Koperniak, 24, led all qualified Cardinals minor leaguers with a .371 average (33-for-89), a 1.091 OPS and ranked first for the month in hits, home runs (6), RBI (22), extra-base hits (13) and total bases (60) across 22 games.  He became the third player in Springfield’s history to hit for the cycle, while tying a career-high with four RBI on August 9 at Amarillo.  He is the fourth different Springfield player to earn Player of the Month honors this season.

“Matt’s strong play in August was highlighted by his productive OPS, including his selection as Texas League Player of the Week for August 8-14,” said Cardinals Assistant GM & Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque.

The 6’0”, left-handed hitter was signed by the organization as a non-drafted free agent in June 2020 after playing four years of collegiate baseball at Trinity College (CT).  He was selected as an organizational All-Star by in 2021 after ranking in the Top 10 among all Cardinals minor leaguers in average, on-base percentage, OPS and hits.  For the season, Koperniak is slashing .292/.366/.451/.816 with 12 doubles, 14 HR, 58 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 102 games for Springfield (100) and Memphis (2).

Andrew Marrero

Marrero, 22, led all Cardinals minor leaguer pitchers with 0.63 WHIP and ranked third with 0.71 ERA (minimum 10.0 IP), while striking out 24 of 47 batters faced.  He also tallied six saves in August, the most by a Cardinals minor leaguer in a single month this season.  The 5’10” right-hander limited opponents to a .119 average and .358 OPS over 12 relief appearances (12.2 IP), allowing just five hits (one extra-base hit) and three walks.

“Andrew’s outstanding month of August has helped Palm Beach compete for a Florida State League playoff berth,” stated LaRocque.

Selected by the Cardinals in the 18th round of the 2021 Draft out of the University of Connecticut, the New Haven, Conn. native ranks first among Cardinals minor league pitchers with a 1.36 ERA with a minimum of 30.0 IP.  His 10 saves are second-most in the Cardinals minor league system this season as well.  He has struck out 52 batters across 33.0 innings this season, averaging 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings.  This is Marrero’s first career Pitcher of the Month award and first for a Palm Beach reliever since Luke Gregerson in August 2007.

Related articles

Earlier, The Cardinal Nation selected Koperniak and Marrero as our Player and Pitcher of the Month, as well. Read these articles for details on both the winners as well as other top candidates across the system.

The Cardinal Nation’s August Player of the Month – Matt Koperniak

The Cardinal Nation’s August Pitcher of the Month – Andrew Marrero

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