The Cardinal Nation June Player of the Month

Despite playing in just 17 games, State College outfielder Rowan Wick put up impressive numbers against all comers.

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.

Name Tm AVG BABIP AB   Name Tm OPS
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
Juan Herrera PEO 0.311 0.333 61        
Justin Ringo PEO 0.308 0.341 52        
David Washington PB 0.301 0.400 73        
Curt Smith SPR 0.301 0.317 73        
Michael Schulze PEO 0.300 0.333 50        
Jimmy Bosco PB 0.300 0.357 50        

Name Tm HR   Name Tm RBI
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
Xavier Scruggs MEM 4        
Cody Stanley SPR 4        
Alex De Leon SC 4        
             
Name Tm R   Name Tm SB
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
        Jonathan Rodriguez SPR 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.

Prior Winners

  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
July         July
Aug         Aug
           
  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
July         July
Aug         Aug

Coming soon

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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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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