As I mentioned in the Starting Pitcher of the Month article yesterday, the month of June with short-season ball having a partial month schedule only can lead to a challenge in selecting these awards.
That is not the case in identifying the top hitter in the St. Louis Cardinals system this past month, however. Though he appeared in just 17 games for State College and had only 54 at-bats, outfielder Rowan Wick still led the entire system in production.
Among all players, the 21-year-old had the most home runs with 10 and RBI with 21 and tied for the organization lead in walks with 14. Only one other hitter had as many as six long balls during June.
Furthermore, Wick topped everyone in rate stats, too, No one in the system with at least 50 at-bats approached his batting average of .407, his on-base percentage of .536 or his slugging percentage of 1.019.
It goes without saying that Wick's OPS of 1.555 was best in the Cardinals organization. In fact, it was over 50 percent higher than the next-closest hitter.
Put it all together and the selection of Rowan Wick as The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month for June was a no-brainer. On Wednesday afternoon, the Cardinals organization added their seal of approval, also making Wick their Player of the Month.
|Rowan Wick||SC||0.407||0.375||54||Rowan Wick||SC||1.555|
|Stephen Piscotty||MEM||0.364||0.388||88||Bruce Caldwell||PB||1.005|
|Tommy Pham||MEM||0.343||0.377||67||Stephen Piscotty||MEM||0.967|
|Charlie Tilson||PB||0.333||0.388||111||Tommy Pham||MEM||0.966|
|Jonathan Rivera||DSL||0.333||0.446||93||Charlie Tilson||PB||0.896|
|Bruce Caldwell||PB||0.329||0.382||79||Mason Katz||PEO||0.894|
|C.J. McElroy||PEO||0.322||0.373||87||Xavier Scruggs||MEM||0.884|
|Breyvic Valera||SPR||0.319||0.337||91||David Washington||PB||0.865|
|Ed Easley||MEM||0.314||0.375||51||Cody Stanley||SPR||0.863|
|Rowan Wick||SC||10||Rowan Wick||SC||21|
|Mason Katz||PEO||6||Xavier Scruggs||MEM||20|
|Bruce Caldwell||PB||5||Bruce Caldwell||PB||19|
|Luis Bandes||DSL||5||Scott Moore||MEM||17|
|Patrick Wisdom||SPR||5||Jonathan Rodriguez||SPR||16|
|Scott Moore||MEM||5||Stephen Piscotty||MEM||16|
|David Washington||PB||4||Jonathan Rivera||DSL||15|
|Charlie Tilson||PB||4||Alex Mejia||PB||15|
|Alex De Leon||SC||4|
|Charlie Tilson||PB||20||Carlos Talavera||DSL||8|
|Xavier Scruggs||MEM||18||C.J. McElroy||PEO||7|
|C.J. McElroy||PEO||18||Jhohan Acevedo||SC||6|
|Carlos Talavera||DSL||17||Allen Cordoba||DSL||5|
|Greg Garcia||MEM||17||Oscar Mercado||JC||5|
|Rowan Wick||SC||15||Greg Garcia||MEM||4|
|Luke Voit||PB||15||Vaughn Bryan||PEO||4|
|Ildemaro Vargas||PB||15||Luis Flores||DSL||4|
Honorable Mentions – Full Season
With all the Oscar Taveras attention recently, Stephen Piscotty quietly put together a very impressive .364 batting average during June, second among 15 .300 hitters across the system. He also drove in 16 and his .967 OPS was third-highest.
The "other" Memphis outfielder, Tommy Pham, had his second strong month in a row, with batting average and OPS very close to Piscotty's.
Palm Beach outfielder Charlie Tilson also had a standout June. The Class A-Advanced leadoff man ranked fourth in average, fifth in OPS and first in runs scored. Perhaps the most surprising was his four home runs.
The surprise entrant in this month's competition is Tilson's teammate Bruce Caldwell. The infielder not only batted .329, but his June OPS was the only one in the system over 1.000 except for Wick. The production seemed to come from nowhere. In the same number of games prior to June as he logged during last month, Caldwell had no home runs and three RBI, compared to five and 19, respectively, during his June to remember.
Peoria centerfielder C.J. McElroy had a strong June, as well, batting .322 while placing second in the system in steals with seven and tying for second in runs scored at 18.
Honorable Mentions – Short-Season
It is easy to forget about the younger players about whom much less is known, especially those in the Dominican Summer League. Three such players, the DSL Cardinals outfield, stood out during June.
Jonathan Rivera batted .333 and drove in 15 in 93 at-bats, Luis Bandes blasted five home runs, second-most in the DSL, and centerfielder Carlos Talavera led the entire system with eight steals and tied for fourth with 17 runs scored. Rivera and Talavera are both 17 years of age, with Bandes the "old man," having turned 18 six weeks ago.
May's Winner in June
How did Randal Grichuk, the consensus Player of the Month for May, fare in June?
The answer is, not well.
The 22-year-old appeared in eight games for St. Louis, including four starts. In 21 plate appearances, he singled, walked and homered, driving in two. Grichuk also fanned six times. His slash line was a painful .105/.150/.263.
Returned to Memphis, the left-handed hitter continued to struggle, posting a line of .169/.222/.305 in 59 at-bats over 13 Pacific Coast League contests last month.
|Pitcher of Month||Pitcher of Month||Starter of Month||Reliever of Month|
|2014||The Cardinal Nation||Cards organization||The Cardinal Nation||The Cardinal Nation||2014|
|April||Tim Cooney||Nick Petree||Justin Wright||April|
|May||Chris Perry||Chris Perry||(none)||(Perry)||May|
|June||Rob Kaminsky||Rob Kaminsky||June|
|Player of Month|
|2014||The Cardinal Nation||Cards organization||2014|
|April||James Ramsey||Jonathan Rodriguez||April|
|May||Randal Grichuk||Randal Grichuk||May|
|June||Rowan Wick||Rowan Wick||June|
The Cardinal Nation's June Relief Pitcher of the Month will be announced next. In addition, our third monthly update to the Cardinals top 40 prospect rankings is coming soon, exclusively for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation, and the first to incorporate those taken in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
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