The St. Louis Cardinals’ Arizona Fall League season has come to an end. How did the Cardinals’ prospects fair?
Aledmys Diaz – My oh my, has Diaz come a long way. Diaz finished the AFL season with another consistent and reliable week. He appeared in four games going 6-19 with two doubles and two RBI, striking out in just four of his 19 AB, and walking twice. Not a bad week for Diaz who finished his AFL season with some impressive numbers.
Diaz slashed .315/.370/.616 in the advanced prospect league, and had thirteen extra base-hits (eight doubles, four homers, one triple). Diaz may not have been “MVP” worthy for the league, but he was without a doubt the most impressive of any of the Cardinals’ prospects to participate in the league.
Charlie Tilson – Tilson had another week in which he struggled, going just 2-12 in three games this week, one of the two hits was a double, which is about the only bright spot one can take from the week. Overall, Tilson never got going in the AFL as the speedy OF had a slash of .203/.309/.254, with just three doubles, and only four stolen bases in the 15 games he appeared in. Not a good line for someone who is down on the organizational depth chart as it is.
Mike Ohlman – Ohlman had a true power hitter outcome this week, as his lone hit in the two games he appeared in was a home run. The contact continued to not be there for Ohlman in this weeks 1-8, to make matters worse in the seven hitless at bats, Ohlman struck out three times.
Ultimately, this was a lost AFL season for Ohlman, as he finished his third consecutive fall season with a slash of .205/.256/.410, with just four extra-base hits (two doubles and two homers), while striking out 14 times in 43 plate appearances. This is not good for Ohlman who will likely be transitioning on to AAA Memphis, and could find himself as a big league call up if he improves.
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Patrick Wisdom – If any week describes Wisdom more, I am not sure how. Wisdom went 4-22 with two homers and a double this week. It shows you just how frustrating yet promising the career of Patrick Wisdom has been. Wisdom seems to have the power in his bat, yet he just can’t get consistent contact to make that power play consistently.
Wisdom played in the most games out of all of the Cardinals’ position players, and had a disappointing fall to say the least. Wisdom slashed .237/.268/.452, with eleven extra-base hits (six doubles, four homers, one triple), and when you factor in his bad luck with the .250 BABIP, you see how close those numbers were to his regular season numbers with AA Springfield. I spoke at length on Wisdom last week, when I discussed why teams won’t take a chance on him in the upcoming Rule Five Draft.
Luke Weaver – Luke did not get into a game until the championship game on Saturday, and he did not look good. Weaver was leaving pitches out over the middle of the plate and was getting hit pretty hard for it, as he gave up three runs (one earned) in one full inning. Unfortunately, Weaver did not get a chance to redeem himself after this outing, and will likely head down to Jupiter in a few weeks to get ready for next season.
Weaver’s overall numbers are a lot like his overall ability to be a top of the line starter, not that great. He finished the fall 2-1, with a 3.72 ERA and a FIP of 4.67. Not very good for the top prospect, but Weaver is just in his second professional season and will be transitioning to his third next year, so time is there for Weaver to develop even further. Which is why he will continue to be a top prospect in my upcoming prospect rankings.
Dean Kiekhefer – Introducing the standout pitching performer of the Arizona Fall League for the Cardinals. Dean did give up one earned run in his performance on Wednesday, but he rebounded nicely by throwing two shutout innings in the championship game in relief of fellow Cardinals’ prospect Luke Weaver.
In his three innings this week, Kiekhefer totaled three strikeouts as well as issuing one free pass. He finished the fall with a very good 2.93 ERA (2.80 FIP) through nine outings. Watching him pitch on Saturday, was really nice. From what I could see, he is nasty versus lefties and has good movement and location on his pitches, and is very reliable out of the pen.
Robby Rowland – Rowland had a solid appearance on Thursday for the Saguaros, as he held his own to notch a two inning save, while not allowing a single baserunner against the Peoria Javelinas. Rowland had a mixed performance in the AFL this year, he was either lights out or bad, as he was 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA (4.03 FIP), through nine appearances. Which is about what you get with the right-hander who has a career ERA of 5.03.
Unfortunately, this wraps up the live professional baseball on american soil, until spring games start in March. This is a sad sad admission for this fan. However, I will remedy this by offering some updates on the guys in the Caribbean winter leagues from time to time. Also, later this week I will have a full prospect list out, detailing the top 30 prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization.