The St. Louis Cardinals are already down one outfielder. If they were to lose another, there is one prospect at AAA Memphis who should get the call.
What the title should read is that the St. Louis Cardinals stud young outfielder, Randy Arozarena, should be the next next man up. This is of course because the Cardinals slugger Marcell Ozuna is out with a couple of broken fingers. In the meantime, the Cardinals called up Lane Thomas and Tyler O’Neill to join Harrison Bader, Jose Martinez and Dexter Fowler in the MLB outfield.
In the case of another injury to any of the five outfielders currently at the Majors, Arozarena is the clear pick to be brought up next.
I wrote a while ago that Arozarena was on the rise when he got called back up to Memphis about a month ago after starting the year at Springfield. I noted that this was a very important shot for the 24-year-old because this was his second time around at Memphis after a bit of a challenging second half of last year.
In his last turn, Arozarena hit just .232 with a .676 OPS over 89 games. This time is going a completely different direction.
So far over his first 22 games with Memphis, Arozarena has been on fire with a .400 average with10 XBH and an OPS of 1.047. It could just be a hot month, but there’s no reason not to be excited about great performance for Arozarena.
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Again, the biggest problem here is that Arozarena still projects as more or less of a fourth outfielder, an archetype the Cardinals have a lot of right now. The team sent back down their fifth outfielder, Lane Thomas, on Friday for Rangel Rovelo, so it would seem Arozarena is even farther down the depth chart.
The Cardinals are really good about getting young players who perform at the upper levels of the Minors a shot in the Majors so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arozarena leapfrog over Thomas for at least one stint if another outfielder is needed before Marcell Ozuna returns.
As a major-league-ready outfielder, Arozarena is another player that could be traded in a move to go get bigger MLB talent or in a deal like the Cardinals pulled last year when they shipped Oscar Mercado to Cleveland for two younger prospects.
Many people bash that trade as Mercado is doing well for the Indians currently, but one of the young outfielders we got back, Jhon Torres, is the #5 prospect for the Cards currently, and if we are all being honest, not many people would’ve picked Mercado to play above any of our current outfielders or been able to predict his current production.
Overall, it’s great to see Arozarena performing great at the highest level of the Minors. Whether or not he is traded or called up, Rrrrrrrrandy is making good on the Cardinals investment of him which is all any of us can ask for.