photo: Yairo Muñoz (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images)
St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have traded outfielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league shortstop Yairo Muñoz and second baseman Max Schrock.
Muñoz, 22, was signed by the Athletics as a non-drafted free agent out of Nagua, Dominican Republic in January of 2012. The 6-foot-1, 165 lb., right-handed hitting infielder played shortstop, third base and center field between Midland (AA) and Nashville (AAA) during the 2017 season. He batted .300 with 13 home runs, 68 RBI and stole 22 bases in 112 games and is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League for the Toros del Este.
Over 504 career minor league games, Muñoz batted .265 with 41 home runs and 237 RBI and 63 stolen bases in 87 attempts. Muñoz was a 2015 Midwest League All-Star at Beloit and a 2014 New York-Penn League All-Star with Vermont.
Schrock, 23, was originally a 13th round draft pick by the Washington Nationals in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of South Carolina. Schrock was traded to the Athletics in 2016 in exchange for former Cardinals pitcher Marc Rzepczynski. He has batted .324 over his career with a .372 on-base percentage, 18 home runs and 131 RBI over 281 minor league games.
The 5-foot-8, 180 lb., left-handed hitting second baseman was a 2017 Mid-Season and Post-Season Texas League All-Star at Midland (AA) and 2016 South Atlantic League All-Star at Hagerstown (A) including earning the Top Star Honor for the SAL All-Star Game.
In 2017, Schrock ranked fourth in the Texas League with a .321 batting average while ranking third in onbase percentage (.379) and was the “Toughest to Strike Out in” the league registering 10.80 plate appearances per strikeout. Defensively, Schrock led all Texas League second basemen in games (101), total chances (436), put outs (173), assists (257) and double plays (83).
Piscotty, 26, was the Cardinals supplemental first round (33rd overall) draft pick out of Stanford University in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Piscotty batted .268 with 38 home runs and 163 RBI over 323 career Major League games. He signed a six-year contract extension with the Cardinals on April 3, 2017.
Muñoz has been placed on the Cardinals 40-man Major League roster and Schrock will be assigned to a minor league roster.
Derek Shore’s take
Less than a day after acquiring their impact hitter in Marcell Ozuna, the St. Louis Cardinals not only cleared up (slightly) their outfield logjam but made a move that was beyond baseball by trading Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics for two minor league prospects.
The trade became complete and official on Thursday morning after rumors of it swirled on Wednesday night.
Returning to the Bay Area, Piscotty will now be able to play closer to his home in Pleasanton, California where he will be nearby to his ill mother, Gretchen, who was diagnosed with ALS this past summer.
In exchange for Piscotty and his team-friendly contract, the Cardinals received shortstop Yairo Munoz and second baseman Max Schrock, who ranked among the A’s Top 20 prospects and fill an organizational hole up-the-middle. Both became expendable due to Oakland’s glut of quality infield prospects.
Munoz, 22, is on the Cardinals 40-man roster now and the club views him as a utility-option, who can hold down several positions (including shortstop) as an above-average defender, replacing Aledmys Diaz.
While he lacks plate discipline, Munoz has plenty of positional versatility and arm strength. He’s described by scouts as a dynamic athlete and could see time at every every position besides catcher with a 70 arm. He makes solid contact and the Athletics even gave him a shot in center field last summer.
He also enters 2018 with minor league options remaining.
“The scouting reports on him are very strong,” President of Baseball Ops John Mozeliak told the media today. “We think he’s a nice fit.”
Schrock, 23, is an offensive-first player through and through which is what drew the Cardinals to him in the first place. He immediately becomes the organization’s top second base prospect after Eliezer Alvarez was dealt to Philadelphia in September.
Scouts say Schrock just hits with everyone sold on his bat playing at the highest level of baseball, but question how much impact ability he has in his profile. He plays a solid second base, but can also handle third and first in the infield which may allow him to advance and earn a big league opportunity as early as next year.
“Schrock is someone that has that very excellent offensive profile for us,” Mozeliak said to the media. “Everywhere he’s been, he’s hit. He too gives you a lot of defensive flexibility. You can move him around. When you are looking at all the different things we are trying to do, it’s nice to be able to find a couple of players we can stick right into Class AA or Class AAA and know they are going to be productive.”
With Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, and Zac Gallen, who were ranked inside the TCN’s Top 15, now gone. Munoz and Schrock will slot in at two of those spots, but we have not determined what to do with the other ranking.
To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.
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