MiLB.com released its St. Louis Cardinals Organization All-Stars on Monday, and nine players who saw action in Springfield in 2017 made the list.
Those nine were catcher Andrew Knizner, shortstop Alex Mejia, outfielders Nick Martini, Jose Adolis Garcia and Anthony Garcia, utility Andy Young, starting pitchers Austin Gomber and Jack Flaherty and relief pitcher Eric Carter.
This offseason, the MiLB.com staff has been taking a look at the most outstanding campaigns by players in each system across Minor League Baseball and honoring the players--regardless of age or prospect status--who had the best seasons in their organization.
For the complete story on the MiLB.com Cardinals Organization All-Stars, click here.
Catcher -- Andrew Knizner: The 2016 7th-round pick jumped all the way to Double-A in his first full season, spending 44 games with Single-A Peoria before debuting with Springfield in June. Knizner batted .324/.371/.462 with 13 doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs in Springfield. Behind the plate, he threw out 44 percent of would-be basestealers.
Shortstop -- Alex Mejia: The University of Arizona product was one of two Springfield Cardinals who made their MLB debuts in 2017. Mejia hit .251/.305/.366 over 55 games in Springfield before getting called up to the Memphis Redbirds in June--where he batted an impressive .335/.381/.466--and to St. Louis in September.
He finished his combined time in Springfield and Memphis with a career-best seven home runs, 57 RBIs and 30 walks.
Outfielders -- Nick Martini: Martini was nearly perfect in the outfield this year, committing just a single error over 121 combined games in Springfield and Memphis. The Kansas State product put up a .263/.336/.374 line in Springfield and finished 2017 batting a combined .294/.382/.423 after getting hot in Memphis. His .294 average, eight homers, 66 walks and 70 RBIs were all career highs.
Jose Adolis Garcia: Garcia's U.S. debut started in Springfield and ended in Memphis. And it was a memorable one. The 24-year-old Cuban native hit .290 with 15 bombs and 65 RBIs in 2017. The majority of those big numbers came in Springfield, where he batted .285/.339/.476 with 23 doubles, 12 homers and 55 RBIs in 84 games before playing his final 40 games as a Redbird.
Anthony Garcia: A third Springfield outfielder on this list, Garcia posted comparable numbers to his strong 2015 season, batting .294/.370/.487 in Springfield with 18 doubles, two triples, 15 dingers and 69 RBIs. His combined 72 RBIs ranked second in the Cardinals system. Mostly positioned in left field, he committed just two errors in 117 chances.
Utility -- Andy Young: The Fargo, N.D. native and Indiana State product saw time in two games for Springfield after a September call-up, recording a pair of hits in three at-bats in his first Double-A action. A 2016 37th-round pick, Young batted .278/.359/.471 over 117 combined games in Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria. He finished with 20 doubles, four triples and 17 home runs. Springfield fans should see more of Young in the near future.
Left-handed starting pitcher -- Austin Gomber: Gomber led all Cardinals lefties with 140 strikeouts in 143 innings in Springfield, finishing 10-7 and 1.17 WHIP. The 24-year-old was especially strong in the second half of his first full season in Double-A, lowering his ERA from 5.09 through 12 starts to 3.34 on the season and cutting his walk rate from 4.6 per nine innings to 2.4 in the second half.
Right-handed starting pitcher -- Jack Flaherty: The 2014 first-rounder brought home an April Texas League Player of the Month honor and closed out his 2017 in Springfield with a 1.42 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over 63.1 innings, striking out 62. That performance garnered a call to Memphis and later to the big leagues for the 22 year old, who was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Relief pitcher -- Eric Carter: Like Andy Young, Carter was promoted quickly through the system in his first full year with the Cardinals. The Louisiana-Lafayette product performed strongly in Palm Beach and Peoria, earning a late call-up to Springfield where he tossed 2.1 scoreless innings in three appearances. He combined for a 2.05 ERA with 67 strikeouts over 57.0 innings, converting 13 of 15 save opportunities.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.