You can see the St. Louis Cardinals' renewed commitment to player development in the Springfield Cardinals' roster, which includes 10 top prospects, some of them fresh draft picks moving quickly through the Minors. Just this month the Cardinals lost two of their best pitchers (Jaime Garcia and P.J. Walters) to Memphis, but unlike the Angels the Cardinals replaced them with top prospects Tyler Herron and Jess Todd, the strike-out king from the University of Arkansas. Already Springfield draws out the St. Louis fans in Central Arkansas when they come to town, hence perhaps fewer promotions during Cards visits, but this version of Springfield's roster has even added interest here with former Razorbacks Todd and Casey Rowlett. If the Travs' performance gets ugly with base runners being thrown out after unnecessarily being sent by B. Magallanes, I can see the crowd turning on them with so much to be interested in on the other side.
The Travs have only two of the Angels' top 30 prospects, and the team leader in batting average is the just-departed-to-Salt-Lake Adam Morrissey at .289 compared to Springfield's Shane Robinson who leads the Texas League with a whopping .434 average. Should be an interesting home stand to watch as the Travs and their recent roster additions sent by the all-knowing Angels brass who you don't challenge on the Internet battle the Cardinals' top prospects for the Walter Jocketty Trophy, a rivalry trophy named for the former Cards GM who was at odds with Bill Valentine and is partially to blame for the team landing in Springfield.
Here's a quick guide to the upcoming promotions and the players to watch...
Monday, May 12 - 7:10 p.m.
$3 discount coupons in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports section. 103.7 the Buzz night.
Tuesday, May 13 - 7:10 p.m.
$3 discount coupons available at Exxon. Members of Muscular Dystrophy Association get $3 off admission for ALS awareness night.
Wednesday, May 14 - 7:10 p.m.
$3 discount coupons where Reddy Ice is sold (Exxon and Shell). KSSN and the Wolf night.
Thursday, May 15 - 7:10 p.m.
First 2,000 fans get a Freddy Sandoval magnet (who is that, many people going through the gates will be asking). 40-inch HD television to be given away. $3 discount coupons in The Times of North Little Rock. Catholic High state champion basketball team honored before the game.
(The home stand continues May 16-19 against the NWA Naturals.)
(St. Louis Cardinals, Memphis Redbirds)
23 John Jay CF - Cardinals #11 prospect
5 Allen Craig 3B - Cardinals #15 prospect, '07 Baseball America High Class A all-star, '07 Florida State League all-star, leads team with 25 runs, 6 home runs, and 28 RBI
3 Jose Martinez SS - Cardinals #17 prospect
15 Mark Hamilton 1B - Cardinals #27 prospect
8 Tyler Greene SS - Cardinals #29 prospect, $1.1 million signing bonus, best infield arm in system, leads team with 35 strike outs, tied for team lead with 7 stolen bases
26 Matt Pagnozzi C - Nephew of Tom Pagnozzi
15 Mark Hamilton 1B - '07 Florida State League all-star, leads team with 19 walks
11 Casey Rowlett 2B - Played for Arkansas Razorbacks
4 Shane Robinson OF - Leads league with .434 batting average, leads team with 49 hits, .469 on-base percentage, .628 slugging percentage, and 1.027 OPS, tied for team lead with 7 stolen bases
30 Adam Ottavino SP - Cardinals #6 prospect, projected No. 4 starter in 2011 St. Louis rotation, Cardinals '06 top draft pick, '07 Florida State League all-star, leads team with 1 complete game
32 Clayton Mortenson SP - Cardinals #8 prospect, projected No. 5 starter in 2011 St. Louis rotation, has given up team-leading 37 hits and 22 runs
24 Tyler Herron SP - Cardinals #10 prospect
27 Jess Todd SP - Cardinals #12 prospect, set Arkansas Razorback record last season with 17 strike outs, '07 New York-Penn League all-star
21 Luke Gregerson RP - Cardinals #28 prospect, '07 Florida State League all-star, leads team with 1.17 ERA, 6 saves, and 0.72 WHIP
35 Rob Zimmerman RP - Former Traveler from fan-favorite '06 bullpen
39 Nick Webber RP - Leads team with 20 walks
38 Fernando Salas RP - Leads team with 33 strike outs and four holds
Arkansas Travelers (Los Angeles Angels, Salt Lake Bees)
14 Hainley Statia SS - Angels #11 prospect, '07 California League all-star
32 Jordan Czarniecki OF - '07 Texas League all-star, played college at Tennessee, leads team with 15 walks and .392 on-base percentage
15 Corey Smith DH-3B - Leads team with .451 slugging percentage and 9 errors, tied for team lead with 5 home runs
18 Michael Collins 1B - Leads team with 26 runs and 5 stolen bases
7 Ben Johnson C-RF - Leads team with 32 hits, 26 RBI, and 25 strike outs, tied for team lead with 5 home runs
24 Nate Sutton 2B - Has been caught stealing team-leading 6 times
38 Stephen Marek RP - Angels #6 prospect
32 Douglas Brandt RP - '07 Midwest League all-star
11 Brok Butcher SP - '07 California League all-star
28 Francisco Rodriguez RP - Leads team with 3 holds
17 Dan Denham SP - Indians '01 top draft pick, leads team with 1.80 ERA and 1.06 WHIP
20 Robert Mosebach SP - Leads team with 1 complete game, 26 strike outs, and 9 hit batters
23 Kevin Jepsen RP - Leads team with 5 saves
27 Fernando Rodriguez SP - Has given up team-leading 54 hits, 34 runs, and 6 home runs
33 Anthony Ortega SP - Leads team with 4 wins
Texas League leaders as of 5/12
.434 Shane Robinson, Springfield
.397 Max Ramirez, Frisco
.358 Jesus Guzman, Midland
.340 Drew Sutton, Corpus Christi
.333 Chad Huffman, San Antonio
10 Kila Kaaihue, NWA
9 Chris Davis, Frisco
8 Max Ramirez, Frisco
8 Jonathan Zeringue, Midland
7 Tommy Everidge, Midland
7 Jesus Guzman, Midland
1.20 Carlos Rosa, NWA
1.80 Dan Denham, Arkansas
1.85 William Inman, San Antonio
2.02 James Simmons, Midland
2.43 Vincent Mazzaro, Midland
Pitching strike outs
44 William Inman, San Antonio
43 Bud Norris, Corpus Christi
42 Carlos Rosa, NWA
40 Matthew Buschman, San Antonio
35 Ryan McKellar, Corpus Christi
35 Julio Pimentel, NWA