Cheap Seats

Down on the Farm: Memphis Redbirds OFs battle for playing time, promotion

St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras is off to a slow start in Class AAA Memphis.

He's batting .211 with one home run and five strike outs in 19 at-bats. Meanwhile he's walked once for a .250 on-base percentage.

On the bright side, his number of at-bats is tied for second on the Cardinals' top farm team. So, hopefully, his ankle issues are finally behind him. After all, it's not the young outfielder's abilities we doubt. It's his ability to get and stay healthy.

The Cardinals are going to be a much better team when Taveras is in the picture. The one thing the offense obviously lacks is a second place hitter. And Taveras' blend of line drive power and high average (he hit .306 in Class AAA last season and .321 the year before at Class AA) with at least decent speed makes him an ideal candidate for that slot.

Fellow outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who impressed in spring training this year, has continued his hot hitting in his first season at Class AAA. Through 15 at-bats, Piscotty is hitting .400 with a pair of doubles. He's struck out twice and walked twice.

The third outfield prospect at Memphis, Randal Grichuk, is batting .286 with a double and homer in a team-leading 21 at-bats.

Joey Butler is hitting .500 in only 10 at bats with two doubles. But he's going to find a tough time getting on the field consistently until one of the three starters gets promoted -- or injured.