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PCL notes: Piscotty thrives on competition
Top Cardinals prospect finds way to stand out amidst throng of talent
08/18/2014 10:00 AM ET
Stephen Piscotty reached Triple-A in only his second full season in the Minors. (Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

Stephen Piscotty is fully aware the numbers are not necessarily in his favor.

The Cardinals' No. 1 prospect has a crowded outfield in front of him, a crowded outfield around him and even more outfield talent coming up behind him.

Yet the former first-round pick out of Stanford chooses not to look at that as an obstacle, but as a opportunity.

"It's actually kind of a blessing to play with some of the guys," Piscotty said. "They're a great resource to talk to and learn from. I'm really happy with that situation because I feel like it's made me a better ballplayer.

"I've learned stuff in the outfield and hitting. We push each other. We're competitive. I think that makes you a better baseball player. I'm really thankful for that."

The effects of that competitive environment have shown in Piscotty's play for Memphis. He's hitting .292 with eight home runs and 63 RBIs. He has hit .375 (15-for-40) over his last 10 contests, including an 8-for-13 outburst in three games at Albuquerque this past week.

Piscotty does not have as much power as teams traditionally want in a corner outfielder, but neither he nor the Cardinals are overly concerned.

"The Cardinals haven't said anything to me," he said. "I have a style of game that I like to play. I like to put the ball in play, (hit) hard line drives, hopefully they'll find the gap and the ones I miss are the ones I should get out and get a little bit under them. I like to stay with that approach."

But that doesn't mean Piscotty wants to keep his home run totals in the single digits.

"I'm hoping that as I get a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger the home runs will come," he said. "But I think it's a dangerous thing to try to start hitting home runs and getting away from my style of game. So I'm just going to stick with that. Hopefully, it comes and I can continue to have good at-bats."

Piscotty has reached Triple-A in just his second full season in the Minors, an impressively quick ascension for any player.

"I don't know if I could call it a blur or not," he said. "I've had a great experience at each level I've been at. There's such great guys on each team, I've had a great time wherever I've been. I'm just kind of taking in the experience for what it is.

"I've really had a fun season. We have a great clubhouse, a great atmosphere in there. That makes it so much more enjoyable in these later months when it becomes a bit of a grind and you want to finish strong."

In brief

Closing in on history: Albuquerque's Joc Pederson stole his 28th base of the season Saturday night as he inches closer to becoming the first PCL player to reach 30 homers and 30 steals in a season since 1934. Pederson has 29 home runs and 28 steals with 14 games to play as he looks to become the first 30-30 player in the PCL's modern era.

Late to the Chase(rs): The Royals added another prospect to Omaha's ranks late in the season with the promotion of third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert from Double-A. So far, so good for Cuthbert as he has hit .310 (13-for-42) with one homer and eight RBIs in his first 11 games.

In the zone: Cory Mazzoni is the latest Mets pitching prospect who does not seem too fazed by the tough conditions in Las Vegas and the rest of the PCL. The right-hander has gone 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts, striking out 28 batters in 32 innings.

Chris Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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