Every Saturday until the end of the minor league season we will present you with the awards for the past weeks top pitcher and position player at each affiliate. We will include a capsule at the end of each list on an under the radar performer that has had a very good week. The stats will run from Friday through Thursday. The stats are a reflection of that weeks success.
WEEK 2 (April 13th – April 20th)
MEMPHIS (7-7) 1st Place: -22 Run Differential
Hitter Of The Week – Patrick Wisdom: 3B, Age 26 – 22 AB, 0 HR, 4 Doubles, 1 RBI, 318/348/500/848
The former 1st round pick has really seen his stock rise since the beginning of spring training. A once promising 3B prospect cast into mediocrity, Wisdom has adjusted his approach at the plate and it is paying off.
Paul DeJong and Carson Kelly both had solid weeks, and Tommy Pham is playing exactly like Tommy Pham should in Triple A, but Wisdom is now firmly planted in the middle of the lineup and the lineup and offense is moving around him. Much like last weeks’ top performer Luke Voit, I’d bet that he’d be on the short list of potential offensive sparks for the big league club if needed.
Pitcher Of The Week – Arturo Reyes, RHP, Age 25 – 3.1 IP, 1 H. 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Picking the Memphis pitcher of the week was a nightmare. There weren’t too many standout performances among the group and I didn’t want to give the award to Tyler Lyons. I’m giving the nod to Arturo Reyes over Sam Tuivailala, who had an identical line this week, because of the tough effort he gave coming in relief of Tyler Lyons. Had Daniel Poncedeleon made it through 5 innings and walked less than four, he would have walked away with the award this week. Right now, because of injuries to John Gant and Luke Weaver, the pitching depth at Memphis is bleak. Reyes will certainly be added back into the rotation now that Lyons is with the big club.
Springfield (8-5) 1st Place: -2 Run Differential
Hitter Of The Week – Adolis Garcia, OF: Age 24 – 25 AB, 9 H, 3 HR, 1 Double, 4 RBI, 375/407/792/1.199
The Hitter Of The Week in Springfield is the tightest race of the week, but I’ll give it to Adolis Garcia who just edges out Oscar Mercado. What can I say? I’m a sucker for power!
But that shouldn’t take away from the defense that Adolis Garcia has shown in the OF. His arm is better than I could have imagined and he has shown the speed to make up for route mistakes. He hit two absolute monster HR this week while also hitting a ton of line drives right at players. He is starting to assimilate to American baseball, and I don’t expect him to stay in Springfield for long. I’d like to see him develop a little bit more patience, but it doesn’t really matter when you are hammering the ball like Adolis has this week.
Pitcher Of The Week – Jack Flaherty: RHP, Age 21 – 1 Start, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 9 K, 83 Game Score
Jack Flaherty has completely dominated a rotation that was supposed to be a constant revolving door of top performers. Two weeks into the minor league season and Flaherty is easily the most impressively consistent SP of any prospect to take the mound.
It appears that Flaherty is getting better with every start. His start this week was the best of his career. He is striking out nearly a hitter per inning. He has only walked 2 batters in 21.2 innings. He’s throwing strikes and commanding four pitches in all quadrants of the strike zone. He’s good, folks. Somehow, he’s getting better, too.
PALM BEACH (9-6) Tied For 1st Place: +11 Run Differential
Hitter Of The Week – Casey Turgeon: UTIL, Age 24 – 20 AB, 7 H, 1 HR, 0 Doubles, 3 RBI, 350/458/500/958
First, Turgeon is way too old for the Palm Beach level. Second, Turgeon was an absolute nightmare for opposing pitchers this week.
A 5’10 utility player that has played primarily 3rd for PB since being added to the roster on April 14th because of injuries, Turgeon has walked and K’ed four times each. He is probably one of those names that will fade into Cardinals minor leagues-oblivion, but good for him and his dynamite first week at Palm Beach.
Pitcher Of The Week – Junior Fernandez: RHP, Age 20 – 1 Start, 8 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 6 K, 90 Game Score
What Fernandez did to the Yankees A+ minor league affiliate was nothing short of dominant. If you go by game score, Fernandez’ 90 GS was easily the best start of his career and the best start so far of the minor league season for any of the Cardinals affiliates. He started to struggle with his command in the 7th and 8th, and he received some outstanding defense from Arozarena and Darren Seferina, but he never lost his poise and controlled the pace from start to finish. He took a perfect game 6.1 innings in, and the only hit he allowed was a single. It’s going to be hard for any arm in the system to top this performance.
Peoria (6-7) Tied For 5th Place: -6 Run Differential
Hitter Of The Week – Tommy Edman: SS, Age 21 – 23 AB, 9 H, 4 Doubles, 2 Triples, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 391/391/739/1.130
The former Stanford product is riding a 7 game hitting streak and is setting the table for the Peoria Chiefs as their leadoff hitter. Edman might not stick at SS in the long run, but right now he is helping to strengthen an already strong position in the system.
Edman had an uncharacteristic power surge for State College in 2016 after being drafted, and I love to see that the gap power is translating at the full season level. Edman could be a fast riser if his defense can match the polish of his Stanford-reared bat.
Shout out to Stefan Trosclair who has anchored the middle of the Peoria lineup. He’ll be on this list eventually, I’d bet.
Pitcher Of The Week – Jordan Hicks: RHP, Age 20 – 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
Two week, two pitcher of the week awards for Jordan Hicks. It’s safe to bet that this won’t be his last, either.
Hicks edges out fellow rotation mate Bryan Dobzanski for this weeks award. This wasn’t exactly the most dominant effort from Hicks, but the stat line doesn’t tell the entire story.
If you take away the 2nd inning in which he allowed 5 hits and all 3 runs, Hicks had a masterful performance. He might have struggled to get through that 2nd, but he struck out the side in the third. That’s the kind of recovery you want to see out of a top pitching prospect. I suspect that we will being seeing Hicks name quite often as the pitcher of the week for Peoria.
***UNDER THE RADAR PERFORMER***
Mark Montgomery: RHP, Age 26 – 3 Appearances, 5 IP. 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
The Cardinals signed Montgomery as a minor league free agent what seems like just a few weeks ago. He was drafted by the Yankees, and has produced very well as a minor leaguer. He came close to being named my Memphis pitcher of the week, but I wanted to feature him here to give this newer member of the organization a little extra play. Montgomery sits mid-90’s with his fastball, and he also throws an intriguing slider and changeup. I’m going to keep an eye on Montgomery. You can never have enough arms capable of throwing out of the bullpen.
Randy Arozarena: OF, Age 22 – 25 AB, 6 H, 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 RBI, 240/240/400/640
I’m probably not going to do this every week, but I wanted to take a second to look at a player that is starting to put it together a little bit.
Don’t look at the stat line above and dismiss his week. I want you to concentrate on what he’s done over the last few games.
After starting the season 3-32, Arozarena has really rebounded these last couple of days. Over his last four games he is 6-14 with 2 doubles and triple while taking over the leadoff duties for the injured Mags Sierra. Randy has also been filling in for Sierra in CF and I have been very impressed with the little I’ve seen of him there. As a matter of fact, his defense is a key reason why Junior Fernandez was dominant during his start. It is encouraging to see both Arozarena and fellow Cuban signee Adolis Garcia turning it on just two weeks into the season.
Thanks for reading!