The Cardinals minor league system is just starting the second half, so let’s see which prospects are hot and also look at those who need to pick it up.
The Cardinals are off to a good start at the major league level, but it’s also important to keep up with the happenings in the minor league system as well. The Peoria Chiefs started hot in 2016 and finished the first half ten games over .500, at 40-30. The Springfield Cardinals are stumbling out of the gates in the second half, but posted a 41-29 record in the first half of the season and claimed first place in their division. Finally, the Memphis Redbirds stumbled in the beginning of the season and are still yet to recover, as they currently have a 34-40 record.
Magneuris Sierra, CF for the Peoria Chiefs
Magneuris Sierra, the fourth best prospect in the Cardinals organization according to MLB.com, is off to a torrid start in 2016. The young outfielder has been making plays at the plate and in the outfield, showcasing his speed and ability to make contact and put hits on the board.
In the first half of the Midwest League season, Sierra posted a .291 batting average, .315 on base percentage, and .365 on base percentage. He also collected twelve doubles, three triples, one home run, 15 stolen bases, and 82 hits. These numbers, along with some great defensive play, helped him become a Midwest League All-Star.
— Arch City Sports (@ArchCitySports) June 16, 2016
Only 20 years old, Sierra remains ahead of the curve as far as his track to the major leagues. If Sierra continues to produce in Peoria, he could find himself on the AA Springfield roster before the 2016 season ends. The Cardinals are not in need of Sierra’s services at the moment, but it is certainly a good sign to see a young prospect with a bright future thriving in Peoria.
Alex Reyes, SP for the Memphis Redbirds
Cardinals fans have very high expectations for their #1 prospect, but unfortunately Alex Reyes has not yet been able to find his groove in Memphis thus far. So far in his career, Reyes has been able to adjust to hitters at each minor league level and find success. After serving a 50-game suspension for marijuana to start the season, it might just be taking him a bit longer this time.
In his short season, Reyes has a 2-0 record with a 4.35 ERA, 27 hits allowed, three home runs allowed, 17 walks allowed, and 1.42 WHIP in 31.0 innings pitched. While he does have 48 strikeouts, Reyes’ command is absolutely destroying his production at AAA.
Front Page Cardinals poll question: Would you be willing to offer Alex Reyes in a deal for Chris Sale? #STLCards
— Brenden Schaeffer (@bschaeffer12) June 22, 2016
In order for the Cardinals to trust Reyes at the major league level, he will have to work harder to find the strike zone and stop walking hitters. The Cardinals have a solidified starting rotation for now, but we all know that there are struggles in the bullpen. It might not be that long before Reyes makes it to St. Louis, but he probably will not be a starter at first. Either way, Reyes will have to produce in AAA before the Cardinals become confident enough to give him the call.
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