It’s cold in the Midwest and New England, and probably a lot of places that it shouldn’t be on April 16th. It’s hard to tell by the look of things outside but we are in fact about a month into Spring. The old saying goes April showers bring May flowers; I wonder what April snow brings? Regardless of the weather, some of the Cardinal 9 Alumni are heating up.
Colby Fitch crushed a grand slam, and Nick Solak was named to the first 2018 MLB Pipeline Team of the week as he continues to garner attention in the Rays system. A pair of 1st rounders have been tearing it up at the plate and a Mets prospect has gotten on base every game so far this year. On the mound, Josh Rogers is continuing to carve up AAA hitters striking out 10 in his lone start this week, while a couple of AA relievers have yet to give up a run this year.
Adam Duvall: In the last week Duvall has begun to turn things around collecting 5 hits including a home run with 2 RBI’s. He was able to bring up his season batting average more than 50 points to .160 and his On Base Percentage up almost 100 points to .218 for a season slash total of .160/.218/.598.
Adam Engel: The cold weather has not been kind to Engel as he has struck out 8 times and collected 1 hit in the last week. He is slashing .138/.278/.450 on the young season. Even though Engel is struggling he is in a great situation playing for the White Sox who are working on developing guys for the future.
Chad Green: New York has been one of the few teams that have had multiple games postponed due to the unseasonable weather this spring. Because of the postponed games Green only threw 2.1 innings in the last week while collecting a couple more strikeouts to bring his season totals to 13 strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched, and an ERA of 2.45 with a WHIP of 0.95.
Kyle McGrath: The Padre’s 36th round pick in 2014 has added 1 more outing to his total for the season so far going 2 innings against the Giants, striking out two while allowing 1 hit. He has also slashed his ERA from 18.00 to 6.00 since his last outing.
Nick Burdi: The Pirates have placed Nick on the 60-day Disabled List to start the season
Matt Koch: Since being optioned down to the Reno Aces, the bearded right-hander has 1 start going 6 strong innings, allowing 3 hits, striking out 1, and not allowing a single run to score.
Chris Dominguez: What a difference a week can make. After only 2 hits in the first few games, Dominguez hit .400 this week, with 8 hits, 1 home run, and a stolen base. He has raised his batting average over 100 points and is now slashing .303/.333/.879.
Josh Rogers: After a strong 1st start, Rogers absolutely dominated in his second start, going 7 innings, striking out 10 and only giving up 1 earned run. He has an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 1.00 to start the year.
Zack Burdi: The Burdi brothers are starting this season on the Disabled List as they recover from Tommy John Surgery.
Dean Kiekhefer: After 4 outings this year, 3 this past week, Kiekhefer still hasn’t given up a run while adding 2 more strikeouts, bringing his total to 4 on the season.
Derek Self: In 1.2 innings pitched this week, the Cave City native has picked up a save and three strikeouts as Self is continuing to start strong for the Senators.
Jeff Thompson: Big Jeff appears to have found a home in the bullpen for the SeaWolves early on this year. This past week, he has two appearances that went 2.2 innings, striking out 4. On an even more impressive note, he still hasn’t given up a run.
Grant Kay: Due to an injury Kay is starting the season on the 7 day DL.
Joe Filomeno: It hasn’t been the best of weeks for Filomeno who has been roughed up a bit for 8 hits and 5 earned runs, but he has been getting batters to strike out bringing his season total to 5 in 4.1 innings.
Cole Sturgeon: One of the hottest Red Sox hitters in spring training just keeps getting hotter. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the call up to AAA soon. In the last week, he has 7 hits, 2 home runs, and is now slashing .344/.405/.999 for the season.
Kyle Funkhouser: In his second start with the SeaWolves, Funk stretched it out a bit farther than his first outing going into the 5th inning and striking out 7. His season ERA is down to 3.68 with a WHIP of 1.77.
Nick Solak: The first MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week for the 2018 season included Solak at 2nd base after he has continued to demolish the pitching in AA. He has 6 hits including a double and a triple. To this point he has 4 extra base hits, 5 RBI’s, 3 stolen bases and is slashing .429/.538/1.146.
Will Smith: There is a reason the Dodger’s drafted Smith in the 1st round in 2016, he’s an athlete who just quietly goes about his business. In the last week, he has 6 more hits, a pair of doubles and a home run. For the season Smith is slashing .300/.382/.882.
Corey Ray: Ray is on fire collecting 10 hits with 2 doubles a triple and 5 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases for the Shuckers this week. His season averages are up to .333/.378/.973.
Jeff Arnold: In four games this week Arnold has 3 hits, 1 double, and 1 RBI bringing his season totals to .261/.320/.668.
Jared Ruxer: The Righty from Indy had two appearances out of the pen this week for the Blue Rocks striking out 5 in 4.1 innings pitched. His second outing of the week was much better than the first. Ruxer dominated through 2.2 innings giving up no hits or runs and striking out 4 dropping his season ERA to 5.40 and his WHIP of 0.90.
Drew Ellis: After a strong start, Ellis has hit a bit of a rough patch. He did start the week with a three-game hit streak that included 2 home runs but has been unable to hit safely in the last three games. On a strong baseball note, he is currently on an 8 game on-base streak. For the season he is slashing .184/.262/.709.
Blake Tiberi: Through nine games this year the Mets prospect has reached base in every contest he has played in and is continuing to crush baseballs. In the past week, he has 6 hits, a double with 1 RBI and is now slashing .400/.462/1.004 for the season.
Drew Harrington: The burly left-hander has one appearance this week working 3.1 innings and giving up 2 earned runs. He has posted an ERA of 6.75 to start the season.
Kade McClure: 7 appears to be the magic number for McClure in the early going. In his second start of the season for the Intimidators, McClure struck out 7 again in 5 innings of work, while only allowing 1 earned run. After another strong start, he has brought his season ERA to a solid 3.27 with a WHIP of 1.36.
Lincoln Henzman: The 2017 NCBWA Stopper of the Year winner has been used as a starting pitcher this season and in his second start he went 6.1 innings and struck out 6 but did give up 4 earned runs. So far this year he has 10 strikeouts to just 1 walk to go along with an ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 1.17.
Colby Fitch: In two games this week, Fitch has 3 hits, one being a grand slam, and is now slashing .250/.308/.808 early on.
Brendan McKay: At the plate, the two-way superstar continues to look impressive collecting a couple more hits and an RBI to keep his batting average at a stellar .438. A more impressive stat than his batting average is the number of walks he has, 11, to go along with 1 intentional walk to move his On Base Percentage to .667. On the bump his second start was also strong, striking out 4 batters in 3 innings pitched and surrendering 2 earned runs. McKay is posting an ERA of 3.60 with a WHIP of 0.60 to this point.
Devin Hairston: The Brewers are starting Hairston this year with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers but he has yet to play in any games.
Logan Taylor: The White Sox have assigned Logan Taylor to start the season at Rookie Level but he has not played in any games to this point.