Palm Beach has always seemed like the geographical ugly stepchild of the farm clubs to me. I’ve never been down to see them in Florida but I can think of worse places to play baseball — despite being so far away from the big league club.
As of Thursday April 30th, Palm Beach was in 5th (out of 6) place in their division, 3 games back with a .450 winning percentage.
Pete Kozma, Lance Lynn
Hit Me Baby One More Time – Shane Peterson and Adron Chambers are both rapping out a ridiculous number of hits. Their averages are .370 & .375 with a touch of power added. Chambers’ speed has played a factor as he’s laced 5(!) triples this season.
The Flying Dutchman – At 5’10″ and 210lbs, Curt Smith is undersized for your traditional first baseman. If he keeps hitting the way he is, that won’t matter much. With a .329/.361/.526 line, Smith has hit 4 HRs in nearly 80 ABs.
Holey Glovework, Batman – The primaries on the left side of the infield have racked up 17 errors. Pete Kozma (9) and Jermaine Curtis (8) need to check their gloves at the door and just try bare handing stuff for a while. Can’t get much worse.
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing – Seems like every year we wait for Tommy Pham to breakout. Here we come 2010! Things aren’t going well this season with a .495 OPS through 65 ABs this season.
It’s All Relative – The Palm Beach hitting looks weak at a glance but the league as a whole is a pitcher’s league. There is one player with an OPS over 1.000 and Chambers is second in the league with his .967 mark. The .706 OPS mark for Palm Beach as a team is 3rd in the league.
Third Verse, Same as the Second – Guess who leads the league in walks? It’s a tricky one. OK, not so much. Once again the Cardinals outpace the league (by 14 walks).
No Soup For You! – The saving grace for the Cardinals staff has been their incredible stinginess when it comes to HRs. Over their ~180 innings, they’ve allowed just 3 HRs.
Command & Conquer – Lance Lynn has been impressive thus far exhibiting excellent command. In addition to his above average groundball rates, he’s struck out 17 batters in 15.2 IP while walking just 3. The grain of salt is that the stupid piggyback rotation makes the numbers more unreliable but it’s still a superb start.
My Name is Inigo Montoya – Eduardo Sanchez is making a case for a promotion. He’s been dominant thus far in relief tossing 14 innings with a 0.64 ERA, i.e. 1 ER. The 13 strikouts against 4 walks goes to prove it’s not all smoke and mirrors.
Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful Not Living Up To Your Expectations – Richard Castillo came into the season with a significant degree of hype. A young arm that was ticketed as projectable combined with a dominant 2008 has turned into a struggling prospect. He’s struck out 3 batters in 15 innings while walking 9. In 2008, he struck out 88 in 95 IP.
The Palm Beach Cardinals are a middle of the pack team. They lack much in the way of dominant pitching or hitting but they keep plugging along. The walks are surprising both from the standpoint of the individuals and the systematic problem the Cardinal clubs are having with their control. It’s a worrisome development that I suspect has caught the eye of Dyar Miller as the pitching coordinator for the minors. There’s no standout names on the team though Kozma and Lynn are the most recognizable prospect names.