Double-A Springfield manager Johnny Rodriguez is elated to have Stefan Trosclair on his team because he's what he refers to as a "landscape player."
"He makes your team look good when he's out there," Rodriguez explained. "He makes your team look like they're ready to play."
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As it turns out, he can handle the bat pretty well, too.
In just his 12th game in the Texas League, the Cardinals prospect went 5-for-5 and scored twice as Springfield beat San Antonio, 11-6, on Saturday at Hammons Field.
It was the first career five-hit game for Trosclair, who had a pair of four-hit efforts, most recently on Aug. 14, 2017 when he singled, doubled and tripled over the final two innings to complete the cycle for Class A Peoria.
Trosclair found success to the pull side on Saturday, with the right-handed hitter sending all five of his singles to left field or the left side of the infield. The 2016 20th-round pick raised his average 93 points to .350 after batting .226/.353/.374 in 33 games with Class A Advanced Palm Beach.
Video: Cardinals' Trosclair collects fifth hit of night
"I was just looking for fastballs over the plate and trying to put a good swing on it," Trosclair said.
He said he received news he was being called up to Double-A while on the road in Clearwater, Florida. A celebration with his teammates preceded a gleeful phone call to his parents and fiancee.
There was an adjustment period, but he said he feels he's settling in.
"I was excited to get the call and I'm really glad to be here," Trosclair said. "It's a pretty big jump. The pitching, the defense, it's all crisper and more consistent. It's cool to be around talented guys that we have on this team every day and the coaching staff and learning from them."
While he totaled four hits in his first six Double-A games, Rodriguez was immediately impressed with Trosclair's professionalism -- the way he took batting practice, the fact he never takes a pitch off, the way he hustles on the bases, and it compelled him to write him in the two-hole in the lineup in his second game with Springfield.
"When he plays, you know what you got," Rodgiguez said. "You can pencil him in and he might go 0-for-4, but it's not because he's giving up. There's no fear in him the way he plays."
His positional versatility makes it easier for Trosclair's name to be written in the lineup, as he's got a strong enough arm to play left field and is a slick enough fielder to play second base, according to Rodriguez. He played first base on Saturday.
"He's a pretty good first baseman, he's going to handle his own there," Rodriguez said, "but he's got enough arm to play left field. First, second or left, he can handle his own there."
Lane Thomas went yard twice in a game for the first time in his Minor League career and drove in four runs for Springfield. He was close to a third with a lineout to left field in the sixth, according to his manager.
"He just didn't elevate it ... but if the left fielder wasn't there, it would've probably made a hole in the scoreboard," Rodriguez said. "He barreled it."
Cardinals No. 22 prospect Tommy Edman was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Victor Roache doubled and launched his league-leading 15th homer for the Cards, who totaled 17 hits.
Perennial Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina played his first Minor League rehab game with Springfield on Saturday, going 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly. His impact on the Cardinals' Double-A affiliate was less about his performance but imparting his knowledge to the younger players.
"He is a professional, one of the most humble people I've met in baseball," Rodriguez said. "He was very engaged with my team and he enjoyed it."
Padres No. 28 prospect Michael Gettys went 2-for-4 with a homer for San Antonio.