St. Louis Cardinals Minor-League Roundup: Charlie Tilson, Carson Kelly Have Nights to Remember

Feb 25, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Carson Kelly (82) during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Carson Kelly (82) during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cardinals’ presumptive catcher of the future had himself a big-time debut at Triple-A Memphis.

It’s hard to say that the story of the night in the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor-league system wasn’t the Peoria Chiefs managing to win a game in which they were no-hit. Thanks to a lot of luck and some shaky minor-league fundamentals, the Chiefs were able to score with a station-to-station rally in the sixth inning of a seven-inning doubleheader game.

In other news, catcher Carson Kelly had a debut to remember at Triple-A Memphis, while prospect Charlie Tilson continued to position himself for a big-league call-up later this summer.

Triple-A Memphis lost 12-8 to Albuquerque

  • Righty Corey Baker, making his third start at Memphis, gave up nine earned runs on 11 hits (including four homers) and two walks through 3 2/3 innings. Reliever John Brebbia gave up two runs, while Pedro Echemendia gave up another. Interestingly, every pitcher who threw on Thursday night–those three plus Corey Littrell–has pitched at both Memphis and Double-A Springfield this year.
  • Center fielder Charlie Tilson was the offensive star of the night for the Redbirds, going 4-for-6 with a double and two runs batted in. He also threw out Albuquerque’s Jeff Bianchi at second base.
  • In his Triple-A debut, star catching prospect Carson Kelly went 3-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Third baseman Jacob Wilson went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.

Double-A Springfield lost 3-0 to Northwest Arkansas

  • Shortstop Juan Herrera had the only multi-hit night for the Cardinals, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. That was pretty much equivalent to taking a glass of water out of the ocean as it pertains to turning Herrera’s 2016 campaign around, though. Those two hits raised his batting average and on-base percentage to .129 and .146, respectively, through 104 plate appearances. Herrera also stole his first base of the season and was thrown out trying to steal second on another occasion.
  • Righty Daniel Poncedeleon continued his disappointing month of July, allowing three earned runs on five hits and two walks over five innings. On the bright side, he did strike out seven of the 22 batters that he faced.

High-A Palm Beach lost 8-6 to Clearwater

  • Palm Beach starter Ian McKinney had a rough night, giving up seven earned runs on 12 hits and a walk over six innings.
  • First baseman Casey Grayson was the Cardinals’ most valuable offensive performer on Thursday, going 2-for-4 with a double.

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Class A Peoria beat Lansing 3-2 in Game 1 of their doubleheader

  • Chiefs starter Sandy Alcantara nearly lasted for the seven-inning complete game, being pulled with just one out left to get. Alcantara allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings.
  • The two standout hitters for Peoria in the Game 1 win were the two top prospects on the roster, center fielder Magneuris Sierra and shortstop Edmundo Sosa. Sierra went 2-for-4 with a double, while Sosa went 2-for-3 with a triple.

Class A Peoria got no-hit by Lansing–but won 1-0!–in Game 2 of their doubleheader

  • Peoria starter Jake Woodford was fantastic over four innings, allowing two hits and walking one while striking out three. Gerwuins Velazco and Tyler Bray followed him and threw three more innings of scoreless relief.
  • If a Chiefs hitter could be considered “valuable” in this game, it was Craig Aikin, who took two walks. One of his walks led to the lone run that the Chiefs scored in the sixth. A Mangeuris Sierra sac bunt, a productive Leobaldo Pina groundout, and an Eliezer Alvarez sac fly allowed Aikin to score.

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Class A Short Season State College lost 7-4 to Mahoning Valley

  • 20-year-old right fielder Ricardo Bautista, who’s having a breakout season thus far, and this year’s fourth-rounder, catcher Jeremy Martinez, were the offensive stars of the day for State College. Bautista went 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and two RBI, while Martinez went 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run batted in.
  • This year’s 11th rounder, John Kilichowski, surrendered a run for the first time in 15 professional innings. Kilichowski gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks in five innings. Reliever Greg Tomchick fell apart, giving up five earned runs on two hits, three walks, and a hit batter over 1 2/3 innings, and he prevented the Spikes from having a chance at winning on Thursday.

Johnson City (Advanced Rookie) lost 5-4 to Burlington

  • DH Joshua Lopez hit a solo homer and walked once.
  • Johnson City’s starter, Jordan Hicks, was very mediocre, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks in six innings.

GCL Cardinals won 14-3 over GCL Marlins

  • First-rounder Delvin Perez continued his total dominance of the Gulf Coast League, going 3-for-5 with a double and a walk. He now has a .358/.413/.448 slash line through his first 17 pro games.
  • 20th-rounder Stefan Trosclair went 4-for-6, while third-year player Carlos Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a walk.
  • In his professional debut, 31st-rounder J.D. Murders served as the DH and went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.
  • Triple-A starter Jeremy Hefner, who’s rehabbing from a shoulder injury, threw two innings, allowing two hits while striking out three and walking none.

Next: Great All-Star Performances by Cardinals

DSL Cardinals lost 4-3 to DSL Brewers

  • 17-year-old catcher Carlos Soto, a recent signee, went 2-for-4 with a walk and hit his first professional homer, raising his batting average to .385 in his first seven pro games.
  • Cardinals starter Noel De Jesus was lucky to limit the damage, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out two in five innings.