Cardinals Name Mendoza and Warner Top May Performers

photo: Evan Mendoza (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Wednesday) their selections for Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for May, with third baseman Evan Mendoza (Palm Beach-A/Springfield-AA) and left-handed pitcher Austin Warner (Palm Beach-A) taking the honors.

Mendoza, the Cardinals 11th round selection in the 2017 amateur draft out of North Carolina State University, batted a combined .369 with a .895 OPS in 28 games played between Palm Beach (A) and Springfield (AA) in May.  The 21-year-old Mendoza batted .400 (24-for-60) in 15 games for Palm Beach to begin the month, earning a Florida State League All-Star selection.  Following his promotion to double-A Springfield in mid-May, Mendoza compiled a .326 batting mark in 13 games for the Cardinals Texas League affiliate.

Evan Mendoza

“With Evan’s selection to the Florida State League All-Star Game while in Palm Beach, he earned a promotion to Springfield and managed an outstanding month both offensively and defensively at third base,” stated Cardinals Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque.

Mendoza is batting .335 (68-for-203) overall this season in 53 games with three home runs and 20 RBI.  His 68 hits rank 17th among all minor leaguers and his .335 batting average is currently ranked 27th among all MiLB players.

Warner, 23, went 2-0 with a 0.91 ERA in four starts for the Palm Beach Cardinals last month, including a three-hit shutout on May 21 at Lakeland when he struck out 10.   In his 29.2 innings of work in May, Warner fanned 35 and issued just one walk.  The 5-11, 185-pound lefty, who hails from Louisville, KY, was signed by the Cardinals in June of 2017 as a non-drafted free-agent out of Bellarmine (KY) University.

Austin Warner

“Highlighting Austin’s month of May was a complete game shutout during which he had 10 strikeouts and just one walk, earning Florida State League ‘Pitcher of the Week’ honors on his way to our selection as ‘Pitcher of the Month’ for May,” said LaRocque.

Warner is 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA in nine starts this season for Palm Beach, striking out 57 batters in his 57.1 innings pitched and he’s allowed just five walks and one home run.

Brian Walton’s take

Though not noted in the above article, Warner was also named a 2018 Florida State League All-Star, replacing promoted teammate Anthony Shew.

In The Cardinal Nation’s comparable May awards for the top players of the month, Warner and Memphis third baseman Patrick Wisdom were selected. While Mendoza had a higher batting average for the month and is a better prospect, Wisdom performed better across the board.

Speaking of which, Mendoza has earned his way up to #17 on TCN’s top 50 rankings, as one of the fasting moving prospects in the system.

You can reference TCN’s articles, which include the comparative May stats of a number of candidates, via these links.

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