On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers once again took on the Marlins minor leaguers in back field action. There were 5 games on the slate and the Cards went 1-4 with Springfield the lone winner. There were several pitching prospects on the mound, including Jordan Hicks.
Here are the highlights plus some thoughts at the end.
Bruce Caldwell (3B), Mem – 1-for-2, 2 BB
Todd Cunningham (LF), Mem – 2-for-3, 1 BB
Mason Katz (3B), Sgf – 1-for-1, HR, R, 2 RBI
Thomas Spitz (LF), Sgf – 1-for-2, 3B, R, RBI, BB
Edmundo Sosa (SS), PB – 3-for-5, R, RBI
Nick Plummer, PB – 2-for-3, RBI, BB
Jonatan Machado (CF), EXT – 2-for-3, R
Daniel Poncedeleon, Mem – 4 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Zac Gallen, Sgf – 3 IP, H, 3 BB, 4 K
Junior Fernandez, PB – 3.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K
Jordan Hicks, Peo – 4 IP, H, BB, 6 K
Anthony Ciavarella, EXT – 1.2 IP, 3 K
Jordan Hicks is the name that sticks out for me from this report. He is likely to start the season at Low-A Peoria and has already risen up the prospect rankings this winter. A strong 2017 season would put him in the top 10,in my opinion.
Junior Fernandez and Daniel Poncedeleon have taken different paths to where they are now, but their futures may look a lot alike. Both pitchers could end up in the bullpen, but they could become dominating relievers. Poncedeleon’s starting spot is likely up in the air between Springfield and Peoria, while Fernandez will likely be starting the year in the starting rotation of the Palm Beach Cardinals.
It’s nice to see Nick Plummer’s name back in these highlights after missing the entire 2016 season. Although he is playing spring games with Palm Beach, that may not be his final starting spot. I have a hard time thinking the club would push him past Peoria after missing a complete season. I would guess he beings the year with the Low-A Peoria Chiefs, which would put him closer to home.
Edmundo Sosa may seem like the forgotten shortstop prospect now that Delvin Perez has taken a step forward. As I mentioned, in Sosa’s prospect post, many people probably unfairly ranked him too high at the end of 2016. He saw a short stint with Palm Beach at the end of 2016 and I would think he would begin 2017 there.
Zac Gallen is a name to watch. The former UNC product is not very exciting (in that he doesn’t throw 100 MPH), but he is a very consistent pitcher. I am not sure where to place him to start the season. My first thought is he will begin in the Palm Beach rotation, but would probably be ok in Springfield.