This week the Cardinals have made a few moves I’ll talk about in short after the jump.
Cardinals signed 4th rounder SS Kenny Peoples-Walls and assigned him to the GCL.
Here’s our post-draft writeup on Peoples-Walls. He is about as raw as they come as a high schooler and the Cardinals will have their chance to mold him into a major league middle infielder. GCL is the right level for him to start and I would not be surprised if he is following Samuel Tuivailala’s path, possibly staying in the GCL next year even to work on his skills.
Cardinals signed undrafted free agent SS Garrett Wittels and assigned him to Batavia.
Wittels gained some notoriety for a 56-game hit streak while in college at Florida International and then for being accused of rape while on vacation in the Bahamas. The charges were eventually dropped and discovered to be potential extortion, but the pending case by all accounts seemed to have an effect on Wittels. His 2010 AVG, OBP and SLG all dropped by at least 60 points to 2011. Obviously, 56 game hit streak and .412 AVG in 2010 is not his true talent level, but he certainly has hitting ability. Wittels is a better player than usually picked up in the UDFA period. Jeff (not me) in the comments of the DFR has an insider’s look at why the charges prevented Wittels from being drafted and what kind of player he is and why he chose the Cardinals. Thanks other Jeff!
Cardinals promoted RHP Joe Kelly to Springfield.
Joe Kelly’s K rate dropped slightly this year and his BB rate rose slightly, but he got a little luckier on balls in play and stranded runners. His FIP was 3.41 after a 3.31 in 2010 at QC, it was just done in a slightly different way. But, one thing will not change with Kelly, he continues to force an uncanny 61+% ground balls. If you are a believer of Statcorner’s tRA+ which is league adjusted and assigns numbers based on expected results of the type of balls in play allowed (LD, GB, FB, etc), Joe Kelly put up 117 tRA+ (100 is average for the league) after a 115 tRA+ last season. The promotion is well earned and Kelly will love pitching in front of Ryan Jackson again with all those ground balls.