Stock Up Stock Down for Cardinals' Top 10 Prospects for Week of June 10
The St. Louis Cardinals are not only dominating at the major league level, but down on the farm as well. As an organization, the Cardinals continue to develop top-notch talent through their rugged minor league feeders.
Here’s a look at how the Cardinals Top 10 prospects fared for the week of June 10.
Oscar Taveras: Outfielder
Stats: 21 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SO
As the organization’s most coveted prospect, the soon-to-be 21-year-old Taveras continues to knock the cover off the ball at Triple-A Memphis.
Last week, the power-hitting outfielder hit a healthy .285, with six extra-base hits and drove in five.
Taveras’ production will make it increasingly difficult for him not to be called up to the big leagues at some point this season.
Carlos Martinez: Pitcher
Stats: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 5 SO
Martinez, another fireballer, was sent down to Triple-A Memphis to log innings as a starter—something he wasn’t able to do with the Cardinals’ parent club due to an overcrowded rotation.
Nonetheless, Martinez work six innings in Memphis’ 9-3 victory against New Orleans on June 12. The right-hander fanned five, and of New Orleans’ 10 hits, seven were singles.
Though his pitch count was high (91 pitches), Martinez threw 61 strikes.
Kolten Wong: Second Base
Stats: 26 AB, 9 H, 5 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO
When it comes to Kolten Wong breaking into the big leagues, the question is “when,” not “if.” Wong is most certainly the future second baseman for the Cardinals, but he’s polishing his game at Triple-A Memphis.
Last week the 22-year-old hit .346 with four extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs.
Michael Wacha: Pitcher
Stats: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, HR, 3 BB, 4 SO
Michael Wacha notched his first career big league win in the Cardinals’ 9-2 thumping over the New York Mets on June 11. Wacha worked six strong innings, allowing just two earned runs on five hits, while recording four strikeouts.
There’s plenty of room for improvement for Wacha, and he will continue to get better with each start.
Tyrell Jenkins: Pitcher
Stats: N/A, Currently on DL
Tyrell Jenkins worked his shortest outing of the season on June 6, lasting just two innings, while allowing five earned runs on five hits, including a home run.
Jenkins was lifted from the start after suffering shoulder soreness, and was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 9.
According to MLB.com, farm director John Vuch said the move wasn’t because Jenkins’ shoulder soreness got worse, rather, with the Midwest League All-Star break coming up, the organization wanted to give Jenkins extra time to rest.
Carson Kelly: Third Base
Stats: N/A, Did not have an at-bat.
Carson Kelly’s struggles at the plate continue to spiral out of control. Two weeks ago, Kelly had just six at-bats and went hitless with three strikeouts, including a pair on June 9.
Moreover, over his last 10 games, Kelly is batting just .100, with a home run, three RBI and seven strikeouts.
Kelly needs to pull himself out of this slump and start tagging the ball.
John Gast: Pitcher
Stats: N/A, Currently on DL
Lefty John Gast strained his back on May 25, and has yet to begin throwing again. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold, Gast’s injury is expected to keep him sidelined for four weeks, possibly six.
“[My back] just wasn’t getting real loose in the bullpen,” Gast said, courtesy of MLB.com. “And then it got worse out there on the mound.”
Manager Mike Matheny said he could tell something was wrong with his left-handed starter by noticing a drop in his velocity.
“Something was wrong,” Matheny said, courtesy of MLB.com. “In between starts, I even watched him throw his ‘pen; he looked pretty good in San Diego. Sometimes these guys don’t feel good, they start pitching and figure it out or it loosens it up. He just had trouble getting it going.”
Michael Blazek: Pitcher
Stats: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, BB, 5 SO
Blazek received a no decision in Memphis’ 7-2 loss to New Orleans on June 10, despite not allowing a run and striking out five in his six innings of work.
Look for Blazek to continue pitching with finesse and effectiveness in his next few starts.
Maikel Cleto: Pitcher
Stats: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 7 ER, 8 BB, 2 SO
Maikel Cleto didn’t get the loss in Memphis’ 13-10 loss to Albuquerque on June 15, but he deserved it nonetheless.
Cleto lasted just three innings and allowed seven earned runs on just four hits. More alarming, Cleto issued eight walks to just two strikeouts. Of his 90 pitches, just 37 were strikes—a statistic that must improve from here on out.
Seth Blair: Pitcher
Stats: 6.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 6 SO
Blair had a strong outing in Springfield’s 8-4 win over Northwest Arkansas on June 14, allowing just two earned runs over six innings. Though he surrendered 10 hits, seven of them were singles. Blair also tallied six strikeouts in the outing.
Look for Blair to continue to improve as the season progresses.