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Hudson’s command was way off early and he looked to be throwing batting practice pitches; little or no movement. But he got it together and gave us six solid innings. He may be the best starter we have now.
Good to see DeJong back in stride.
Just a quick peak at Springfield. 14 of their 40 losses to date were games where they were tied or ahead after 5 innings. Some really bad meltdowns by the pen.
I hope what I am going to say about Carpenter is all wrong by the end of the season. I said after last year that we should trade him to any team that thinks he will hit 36 home runs again. Apparently the Cardinals are the only team to believe that since we extended him.
I liked Carpenter better as a getting on base hitter than a home run hitter. Now he appears to be trying to be both. He is consistently taking fat pitches until he is behind 0-2. Then he strikes out on a pitch out of the zone or takes one in the zone for a called strike and complains about it. That is not doing him any favor with the umps. I suspect opposing pitchers see him as a guy that is easy to get two quick strikes.
He seems to be a very stubborn guy. Will not bat anywhere but leadoff. Once hit a lot of opposite field balls but now tries to drive the ball through the shift with the left side virtually wide open.
I don’t fault Shildt for sending him up there with the bases loaded because even with my complaints about him I have to admit he seems to get a number of what I consider pressure hits.
The latest list I am aware of is MLB Pipeline. They have Ivan Herrera at 18th in the Cardinal system, Junior Fernandez at 20th and Jake Woodford at 24th. All too low.
Baseball America had Woodford at 16, Herrera at 21 and Fernandez out of the top 30. In fairness Junior’s injury history was probably a factor.
One player who is beginning to intrigue me is shortstop Kramer Robertson. He seems to be improving as he moves up the organization. To me that is an indicator that he is good at making adjustments and has the talent to use those adjustments for better performance. He is on a pace to have 15-20 home runs after hitting only 5 total his first two pro seasons. Now at AAA Memphis in his third year.
I feel that this is somewhat of an off year but 25th or 30th is insane.
As those of you who happen to read some of my lengthy posts know that I do a fair number of studies of the draft and minor league systems.
I did a study of the 2007 major teams minor league systems based on performance by around 2013 at the major league level. Study was based on the cumulative positive WAR. I stopped updating the study in 2016.
The Cardinals system was ranked 23rd by Baseball America. Based on cumulative positive WAR (only players with a positive WAR were included) the Cardinals were closer to the top 10. What kept us from a higher performance was the lack of a premium performer like Kershaw, McCutcheon, and Braun, none of whom the Cardinals had a chance of drafting with our typical late first round choices. I believe that Rasmus, Ryan and Jaime Garcia were our top guys.
The Mets, Angles and Cubs were among the highly overrated teams with practically no players reaching the major leagues never mind performing at an elite level. Tampa Bay was ranked #1 with only Longoria and Wade Davis making any significant impact in the show.
I did another study of draft picks over a long period and the Cardinals were clearly top ten. This is in spite of rare top 10 picks in the draft. I believe that like this year at 19th pick we are almost always close to that number. The Red Sox and Blue Jays have had strong performances from their draft picks. I believe that the lack of early picks are a major factor in the at least percieved underranking of our system.
A final study compared the major league performance of The Cardinal Nation top 30 to that of Baseball America’s Cardinal top 30. Our top 30 has consistently outperformed the BA top 30 and the margin has been increasing over the last few years. The MLB top 30 is probably even weaker. I don’t have that data but I have noticed not only the good players they miss but maybe more important who they include.
Interesting DSL Red shortstop Bryan Matute. Age 17, 8-16 with one 2bh, 5 bb, 2 K’s and 2-2 stolen bases.
Checked how BA and MLB ranked our draftees.
We had 15 draftees who were ranked in Baseball America’s top 500 and 5 ranked in MLB’s top 200. 413 of the BA top 500 were drafted. The Cardinal’s 15 were 3.6% of players drafted vs a 3.3 average for all teams. 8 teams had more than 15 draftees ranked.
The Diamondbacks who had 5 first day picks ended up with a MLB leading 25. Followed by the Rangers (21) and Yankees (20).
Unfortunately 4 of the ranked players are high school seniors with minimal chance of signing (drafted after 24 rounds). The Cardinals will probably have to go above slot for Fletcher and maybe Thompson. So I suspect that there will be little money saved with the top 10 choices (one unranked) for the big splash to lure the four from college commitments.
Following is a list of ranked draftees with the overall selection rank followed by the BA ranking and MLB ranking if any.
Player – #selected – BA rank – MLB rank
Thompson – 19 – 11 – 14
Fletcher – 58 – 64 – 87
Locey – 96 – 196 – 105
Pallante – 125 – 157 – 135
Thomas – 155 – 360
Pages – 185 – 368
Ralston – 215 – 201
Gragg – 245 – 404
Lott – 275 – 352
Lunn – 335 – 306
Jew – 395 – 326
McFarlane – 755 – 186 – 115
Newell – 1115 – 85 – 96
Byrne – 1145 – 413
McKenzie – 1175 – 492
What is the reason Dallas and Kimbrel haven’t signed. Have they been selected to be poster kids for supposed owner collusion leading into the next negotiation.
What are their demands and how reasonable are they.
I thought both Nunez and Torres were adjusting to the Peoria level but it certainly doesn’t hurt to back them off. The good news is that if they stay on the Johnson City roster I will have 6 opportunities to see them in action when they play nearby.
Thompson was the highest ranked player available when we got our first pick. When you pick 19th there are probably few low risk choices available. After the first 10 picks it was all over the board.
Fletcher was ranked 64th by BA. We picked him with the 58th pick. We seem to like those cold weather guys. Wonder if Fletcher is Andy Van Slyke or Nick Plummer.
How would we like 109th ranked Ryan Jansen for our first pick. The Cubs seemed to like him.
Thompson ranked 14th and Fletcher 87th by MLB.
The reason I think Torres and Nunez will stick is that in watching their plate appearances they seem to have gained the confidence necessary to perform at that level.
The next two weeks are critical for them. Torres also has made some good defensive plays. Has a good arm.
My biggest complaint with the umpire was his inconsistency. This guy was all over the place. That is one of the reasons that the score was so low. The hitters become disoriented with that kind of inconsistency.
Ozuna was called out on a pitch at least 6 inches inside and then a pitch much closer to the zone was called a ball. I’m not sure how accurate the square is but the ump can’t have both sides. Some miss a lot of low pitches and it is pretty clear that they call a lot of curve balls wrong.
The full seasons ended today’s play 20 games under .500. Recently they were 5 games over. Big drop off.
Peoria still a fun team to watch with Perez, Gorman, Herrera, Nunez and Torres. Still striking out on bad pitches too much but appears to be loads of potential there. Nunez and Torres still below the Mendoza Line but they both look like they have a good chance to stay there. Got off to a terrible start.
The deterioration of the Memphis team is shocking. They were supposed to have a dominating team. The Brewers’ San Antonio team has dominated them. A lot of the Memphis woes is the bullpen as is the case in Springfield and Peoria as well.
Hicks appears to be overthrowing and sometimes just doesn’t get back in sync. Also he seems to move away from the slider. He destroyed Baez with it and I kept waiting for him to use it more.
I think Martinez will be the closer. The Hicks Hiccup tonight is probably another step in that direction.
Looks like the pitching is settling a bit. Hudson, Flaherty and Mikolas appear to be settling in and we have Martinez, Hicks, Gant, Brebbia and maybe Gallegos to give us quality innings.
Hoped to see Knizner get his first hit tonight. Looks like he was pressing. He usually doesn’t chase out of the zone that much.
I like performance as well but today the successful starters seem to be 92-96 on their fastballs and relievers 95-100. Some exceptions, but how many are top line performers.
We just released O’Reilly and Pearce who had great low minor years with the great location and offspeed stuff.
I remember a guy, Sal Campisi who blew even AAA hitters with great location and offspeed stuff. When he arrived at the majors the hitters ignored his fastball and torched his great offspeed stuff.
Would love to see a list of major league pitchers ranked on average fastball velocity. That could give us insight on how important velocity is. But one thing is certain; velocity without command, movement and an effective offspeed offering also doesn’t get it done.
Many would claim that Tommy John did not have a great fastball. But he did before his injury. It seems that most of the effective offspeed guys have been those who had a good fastball but had to adjust after an injury. Wainwright somewhat of an exception.
As an aside, my wife was a hair dresser in Terre Haue, Indiana. One of her customers was Tommy John’s mother. Another was the mother of Evan Baye and the wife of former Governor Birch Baye.
Another interesting guy at Peoria is right handed pitcher Sebastian Tabata. 6-5, 210
Had a dominating year at the DCL in his first pro season. 24.2 innings 1.09 ERA 0.77 WHIP 10 BB, 36 K’s.
Came from EST directly to Peoria. A couple of rough outings but looks to have a good arm. Wonder where he has been. Age 21
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by SoonerinNC.
I believe tha Nunez will stick at Peoria. I watch almost all of the Peoria games on the net and he seems to done a nice job of adjusting. He is making a lot of contact but mostly on the ground or line drives. I expect the power to come as he hits some really hard balls. He still chases the low outside soft stuff at times but not too often.
Torres has still not made the adjustment to make more contact. He seems to have a pretty good eye at the plate but is not making solid contact. If they don’t send him back to EST he will have another 3-4 weeks to adjust.
Gorman making progress at making contact but probably by sacrificing a little power. That is not a concern to me. The young man seems to be very good at making adjustments. You can see opposing pitchers beginning to pitch around him a bit. A good sign.
Herrera may be the most advanced of the young prospects. Really solid on D and at the plate. Quite impressive and in the long run may be that Molina replacement. Knizner will probably be a good major league hitter but possibly at another position.
Perez seems to have emerged as a leadoff hitter. Still no power but is makiing quite a bit of sharp contact.
Lot of fun watching Peoria these days.May 18, 2019 at 11:09 am in reply to: FOX selling regional sports networks to Disney to Sinclair #91077
A number of people that I respect have gone to Sinclair, but I know very litte about them. Don’t know much about them but the key will be whether they keep a firm line between sports and politics. ESPN hasn’t done that and are paying a price.
Prices may go up. Apparently Fox didn’t see much future in the sports network or they would not have dumped it. So the challenge will be to keep viewership and too much increase in price will defeat that purpose.
It seems that MLB is getting such a huge price for broadcast rights that it will be hard for any network to make much money off the broadcasts.
Is suspect that some will turn away because Sinclair is somewhat conservative. But politics will never determine what sports broadcasts I watch.
It appears that Ozuna is having a good enough year that he will turn down a qualifying offer from the Cardinals. They could still try to extend him but I don’t expect that to happen. I could see him going as a rental at the trade deadline if we could get enough quality prospects for him. Of course we would have to be out of the playoff picture.
I don’t see the Cardinals giving up on O’Neill because he is a potential 40 homer guy. Also he seemed to be making some progress with the strikeouts until his final game in St. Louis where he got the golden sombrero.
I also expect them to give Garcia a lot of looks before they give up on him. He hit his 11th homer last night but still hitting in the .230’s. But he is the best athlete among the prospects and has the best throwing arm. If he ever gets control over the strike zone he could emerge very quickly.
I suspect that a lot of American League teams are kicking themselves for not grabbing Martinez in the off-season. The Cardinals would probably have let him go for a reasonable offer then but now it would take some serious prospects to land him. He may still go at the trade deadline but again it will depend on where the Cardinals are in the race and how desperate teams are for a better DH for the stretch drive.
Fowler is still the fly in the ointment. He is having a better year but he, Martinez and Ozuna in the outfield is a little grim defensively. I do have to admit that JMart is better and Ozuna has played pretty well after his swan dive off the left field wall but we are light years better on defense with Bader in center field.May 18, 2019 at 10:36 am in reply to: What is wrong with Carpenter and what should be done? #91075
The thing I have noticed about Carpenter’s swing is that he hits no line drives to left field. Most every time he hits the ball that way it is in the air and most often foul. Possible because he has adjusted his swing to try to loft the ball to hit more homers. When he goes to left field he seems to drop his back shoulder and everything is in the air.
I also believe that he has a reputation with the umpires of being a whiner. He complains about a lot of called strikes that appear to clearly be strikes. It also appears that he is wrung up on a lot of balls out of the zone. Umpires don’t like to be questioned.
It appears that his fielding has improved quite a bit. Just wish he would start slashing more balls to left field. A lot of doubles waiting for him out there. Meanwhile he hits a lot of balls right into the shift.
Seems to be a good guy but maybe a little hard headed.
Watch every Peoria game I can and fortunately most are televised. with Gorman, Perez, Herrera, Torres and Nunez we could be looking at a lot of the Cardinals long term future.
Looks like Nunez is getting enough control over the strike zone to have a shot to remain in Peoria. Torres a way to go. Seems to be coming along but still not enough contact.
Like the improvement at the plate by Perez but Gorman seems to really have made some significant adjustments. A Rays scout told me that projecting how well a prospect would adjust is the hardest thing about scouting. It appears that Gorman has cut down his swing a bit in order to have more bat control. Next he has to identify the pitches he can really drive and look for it while still controlling the strike zone.
Cardinal system has had a strange season. Memphis projected to run away with another championship in a struggle to stay above .500, Springfield’s 0-7 start. Coming along. Like recent performances by Carlson and Junior Fernandez. Palm Beach playing very well without impact players, but possible emerging prospect in Toerner. Bilardello likely a major factor there. Peoria up and down. Poor relief pitching other than at Palm Beach probably a major factor in the up and down performances.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by SoonerinNC.
Like Ed Sullivan use to say “He is a really good Shew.”April 30, 2019 at 11:53 am in reply to: Less and less demand for traditional sports writers #89291
The internet has clearly damaged traditional reporting. It provides quicker access.
However, it also allows everyone to be an editor, even the mean spirited and corrupt. And, unfortunately sensationalism abounds. Peoples lives are damaged by some who use technology to create false impressions. Not sure how it will turn out.
Seems to me also that with all of the turmoil quality has suffered. Maybe only my impression because I turn down the sound a lot. With Vin Scully gone even moreso. I still have my favorites but much fewer than in the days of Mel Allen, Scully, Red Barber and others.
Not that character assasination is new. I remember when Cardinal outfielder George Hendrick was painted a sullen nasty guy by the media. Much to my suprise when I went to spring training I saw a funny upbeat guy who was having a great time. In those days you could almost wander at will among the players. Seems George was so unhappy about his coverage that he just stopped talking to the press and they piled on big time.
And too many get into the murky world of politics. Don’t see that on this site. For that I am very thankful.
Still too early to say Gyorko can’t hit off the bench. We will also probably have some dings later and need him to play.
One of the neat things in the Milwaukee series was that we kept “Darth” Hader on the bench.
5-5 vs Brewers
2-0 vs Pirates
4-0 vs Dodgers