River Bandits at Busch

Praying all day that the weather would hold out for the River Bandits vs Cougars game tonight at Busch I was watching the weather every hour at work today! Got to the ball park tonight 30 mins before game time and enjoyed the very long concession lines…but at least all food and drink was half off. Now lets get to the game notes!

I watch from afar as Carlos Martinez warmed up in the pen prior to the game. Couldn’t tell much but I was quite excited to see one of the best prospects in our system. Finally the national anthem and then the River Bandits took the field. You could tell Martinez was a little jazzed up as he warmed up but held his composure quite well. As the game started and Martinez threw his first few pitches you could tell his FB was humming (the stadium radar gun was not clocking). His motion was a little whippy and he fell off to the first base side. I saw plenty of FB’s with an occasional CB thrown in the mix. His FB doesn’t has as much movement as I thought it would and he was actually quite hittable which was a big surprise to me. He had a few dynamite CB’s that either froze hitters or made a few look flat out silly. I would say it was a plus pitch tonight. I didn’t see too many CH so didn’t get a read on it. Overall you can see the immense potential and the raw tools he brought to the table…but at the same time he is definitely years away from the majors. Check out the amateur videos I posted on YouTube below (be nice as I was trying to do the best I could to keep my Droid still as I shot the video!). I also have a few pictures on Flickr with links below. Continue reading

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Cox promoted to Springfield

The Cards top pick from the 2010 MLB Draft, Zack Cox, was promoted from Palm Beach (High A) to Springfield (AA) today. In a corresponding move Niko Vasquez (2008 3rd Rdr) was demoted to Palm Beach.

This move shouldn’t come as any big surprise as we signed Cox to a ML deal with a reported $3.2M deal last August at the signing deadline. He was considered the most advanced hitter in the class that should be able to move quickly. The concerns with Cox is will he hit for enough power and will he play adequately at 3B. Early on in the year he was purely a singles hitter which was concerning for some people…not I. Pretty much his first exposure to professional baseball and he was put at High A in a pitcher friendly league. It takes time to adjust. Within the past few weeks he has shown he is getting comfortable and started hitting more doubles and a few HR’s. As of today he is hitting .325 AVG, 8 Doubles, 3 HR, .380 OBP and .819 OPS. Not bad for being in a pitcher friendly league. His defense has been at least adequate at 3B so there shouldn’t be any concerns there.

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Quad City River Bandits at Busch

Exciting news for prospect geeks like myself came out semi-recently that the Quad City River Bandits (Cards Low A affiliate) were playing Kane County Cougars (Royals Low A affiliate) at Busch Stadium on Thursday, May 26th. Tickets are all GA and are $10 and all concessions are half price. The more exciting news is Carlos Martinez is scheduled to pitch in that outing. That alone makes it worth paying $10 to get an early glimpse of the star to be in the Cards system. If you decide to go here are some key Cards prospects to keep an eye on:

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Cardinals Young Pups Report – April

After a little hiatus due to a busy schedule I am back to update you on what is going good in the Cardinals Farm System. I will make this a monthly post to keep everyone updated on the latest and greatest from our Young Pups! Let’s jump right in…

The Good

Eduardo Sanchez/Fernando Salas – It was about the time that these 2 guys got called up that our bullpen got much more stabilized. Coincendence? I don’t think so. These guys have been used in critical spots (men on, setup and closer situations). All they have done is come through just about every time. I will also say this once again (been saying it for a year and a half)…Eduardo Sanchez is our closer of the future and the future might not be that far away which is remarkable for a TLR run team. Sanchez has a dynamite FB that runs in the mid-90s with a wipeout SL. He definitely have a closer mentality as well…if you haven’t seen him on the mound make it a point to soon!

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Youngsters in Spring Training

As Spring Training Winds down and all the Cardinals’ fans are itching for Opening Day let’s take a look back at how our youngsters did in Spring Training. The future of the Cards will include many of these guys, so it’s always nice to know the names, what they bring to the table and how close to the majors they are.

Keep in mind it is a small sample size, but many of these players got exposure against legit major league players so that counts for something.

The Good:

1) Matt Carpenter (3B) – Unless you have been in a cave all of Spring Training you have heard the other “Carps” name quite a bit in ST. A guy I feel could be a productive 3B for a long time in the bigs. He only tore up his roughly 50 AB’s in ST and almost won a reserve spot on the big league roster. Though he got beat out by Descalso (who we will talk about below) you got to see a player who is very close to MLB ready. He needs to work on his defense and show consistency against the higher minors competition. I personally see Carpenter being the choice if Freese were to go down for an extended period of time. He brings a high OBP, solid average and good doubles power to the table.

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