The Cardinals are quietly building up some good 1B depth in the minors and another one of those players, David Medina is playing well in Batavia.
The Cardinals signed David Medina out of the Dominican Republic in 2006 as a 17 year old kid and he made his debut with the Dominican Summer League team there that year. He then repeated the league in his age 18 season. He didn’t put up very good numbers either year with a high number of strikeouts. The DSL league numbers mean very little in the grand scheme of things and the Cardinals brought Medina up to the States and he played the next two seasons in the Gulf Coast League.
His two seasons in the Gulf Coast League were one very bad season and one good season. The second season was as good as his first was bad. He went from wRC+ of 79 to a wRC+ of 121 in his second season. His numbers were not eye-popping with a .745 OPS, but with league and park adjustment, he was significantly above average. But, yet again, the GCL is the GCL and isn’t more than instructional scrimmages with someone keeping score.
The next year, age 21, Medina was promoted to rookie level Johnson City, but he played only 20 games as he was out for around a month with an injury. But, those 20 games were glorious. He OPS’ed 1.072 for a 196 wRC+. However, Medina did walk less, but if you are tearing the cover off the ball like that, why walk? This year in Batavia, Medina has fallen back down to Earth but is still playing well with a 130 wRC+.
Putting together these four seasons, I think we can start to put together an idea of what sort of player Medina is. He is going to take a walk about 10-11% of the time while striking out 25-28% of the time and I’ll very roughly aim his slash line at 270/370/450. That’s a very good skill set, despite the huge strikeout numbers. I hate comps, but I’ll throw one out there now as those estimated David Medina numbers are a lot like Carlos Pena’s career numbers. And conveniently, they both hit left handed. At this point in his career, I would consider that a ceiling for Medina’s potential, but let’s see what he does in full season ball going forward. Medina also still hasn’t really filled out, listed at 6’3” and 162 lbs everywhere, so it is very possible he could add more power to his frame.