Tonight I’m going to start our reviews of the Cardinals seven affiliates, starting from the bottom up. We may as well get the low-lights out of the way first, as the GCL team fielded a horrific team. Not saying all the players on the team are horrific, there are some gems to be found, yet none managed to make Baseball America’s top 20 prospects for the league. We will get to the players but first, let’s look at the team’s performance.
The team finished with a 17-38 record. They scored 222 runs, and allowed an egregious amount of runs at 349. The finished dead last in the East Division of the GCL and their crumminess was surpassed only by the GCL Orioles, who went 14-41. Out of 16 total teams, they were 13th over all in runs scored per game with 4.04, and were by far the worst pitching team in the league, allowing a rather stank 6.35 runs per game, nearly two runs higher than the league average. Their defense played a part in the failure, as they were last in team DER with .610. So yeah…they were just all around bad.
One of the lone bright spots was the big Latin American signing and Cuban born Ryde Rodriguez, who has received notoriety for his buff physique and the friendship he has made with Albert Pujols. Bod-Rod was 19th in the league in runs created per game with 5.72 and 27th in OPS with .766. His overall line was .329/.374/.392. Not the power you’d expect to see from someone of his size, but the GCL is a definitely a pitcher’s league. Of his 47 hits, only 9 went for extra bases, and all were doubles. He stole seven bases and was caught stealing four times. It’s certainly not an overly impressive debut, a decent debut all the same considering his experience. Rodriguez is a switch-hitter and was signed for $460K.
- 19 year old OF Rainel Rosario led the team in OPS with .784. He hit only .243, but his OBP was a hundred points over his batting average, and his slugging was nearly two hundred points above, something you like to see.
- 18 year old catcher Juan Castillo hit .293/.384/.400 before getting popped for breaking the substance abuse policy.
- SS Yunier Castillo hit just .256/.285/.318, but drew praise from coaches for his speed, glove and overall athleticism.
As the numbers bear out, this was a poor pitching team, but if you are looking for a bright spot, look no further then 18 year old Anthony Ferrara. Despite a pedestrian 4.50 ERA, Ferrara doesn’t have pedestrian stuff and was fifth overall in the league in K/9 with 10.8. He has some issues with command, walking 4.2 per nine, but all in all I think the positives outweight the negatives. Ferrara throws in the low-nineties and possesses a sharp breaking ball.
- I don’t want to pick on Gary Daley any more than I already have, but when was the last time you’ve seen a 5/32 K/BB ratio? From a 22 year old in rookie ball? From a third round pick? That’s just…wow.
- Despite a not so hot strikeout rate, Eric Fornataro put up a 1.74 ERA and was promoted to JC.
- 36th rounder Chris Notti had a 3.07 ERA due to his ability to get groundballs, but doesn’t really miss a ton of bats.
Now that we got the bad out of the way, I promise these will get more fun as we move up the ladder. The GCL team was the only affiliate that didn’t post a winning record.