In what proved to be a very, very competitive field of candidates, Quad Cities River Bandits outfielder Rainel Rosario has received the nod as The Cardinal Nation’s Minor League Player of the Month for August.
The 21-year-old Dominican, up from Batavia in late July, didn’t take long to get acclimated to full-season ball. Rosario posted a smooth line of .300/.443/.678/1.121 in 90 at-bats over 27 August games. The right-handed batter hit seven home runs and drove in 20 for the playoff-bound River Bandits.
Rosario may not be as well known as some of the other contenders for the award, but is most deserving. After competing in extended spring training, he had joined Batavia when its season began in June. In 78 at-bats over 25 games, Rosario had a solid .321/.386/.449 line with the Muckdogs. He joined Quad Cities on July 21, taking the spot of promoted Ryde Rodriguez.
The right-handed hitter was signed as a free agent in April 2006 and batted just .218 in the Dominican Summer League that year. He spent his age 18 and 19 seasons with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, showing improvement as the offensive leader of the club in 2008 after a dismal 2007. Last season, Rosario posted a .272/.350/.408 line in 140 plate appearances over 36 games with Johnson City.
Congratulations to Rainel Rosario, The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month for August.
Jonathan Rodriguez, third base, Batavia. The Puerto Rican native turned 21 last month and celebrated with a .320/.414/.620/1.034 line. 15 of Rodriguez’ 32 hits went for extra bases including one game in which he hit for the cycle. The right-handed hitter launched six home runs and knocked in 19 in 100 at-bats over 29 games.
Nick Stavinoha, outfield, Memphis. In between multiple call-ups and send-downs by St. Louis, Stavi played in just 18 Triple-A games during August. The 28-year-old still plated an amazing 25 runs and included six long balls, too, all in just 81 at-bats. His Memphis line last month: .395/.419/.704/1.122.
Cody Stanley, catcher, Johnson City. The 21-year-old, taken in the fourth round of this June’s draft, hasn’t received as much attention as the highly-touted picks ahead of him, yet he has played very well in the Appalachian League. Named the league’s all-star catcher, Stanley delivered a .312/.393/.473/.866 line and collected 13 RBI in 23 games. He also was 6-for-7 in stolen base attempts.
Amaury Cazana, outfield, Memphis. Celebrating his 36th birthday on September 2nd, the Cuban native is hardly a prospect in the traditional sense, but he continues to carry a potent bat. During August, Cazana played in 27 games and received 94 at-bats. The right-handed hitter launched eight home runs and plated 22. His line was .319/.396/.596/.992.
Aaron Luna, outfield, Springfield. All the 23-year-old does is get on base. Luna’s August line of .291/.486/.532/1.018 includes an impressive 26:22 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In a bonus, the right-handed hitter whacked four home runs and picked up 14 RBI.
Adron Chambers, outfield, Memphis. Again, only because of a stint on the disabled list due a facial injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch, is the 23-year-old not seriously contending for the award. In the 31 at-bats over the 18 August games in which he played, Chambers’ line was .452/.486/.613/1.099.
Tommy Pham, outfield, Springfield. Unfortunately, the 22-year-old, promoted from Palm Beach in early July, suffered an injury on August 15, a fractured bone in his arm that may have ended his season. In August’s first 14 games, Pham was impressive. His line was .391/.451/.717/1.168. It would have been great to see a full month of production.
Matt Adams, first base, Quad Cities. The injury theme is an unfortunate trend as Adams suffered a season-ending injury of his own, a fractured elbow. Adams, who turned 22 on the final day of August, played in 26 games and had 106 at-bats with a .340/.357/.623/.979 line. The left-handed hitting slugger blasted seven home runs and collected 26 RBI.
Previous winners: Click on the highlighted links to be taken to earlier articles about the monthly selections by both The Cardinal Nation and the Cardinals organization.
Coming up: Look for the Cardinals organizational selections for the August Player and Pitcher of the Month to be announced by Friday.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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