Top two Cardinals prospects combine to produce seven hits, six RBIs
Teddy Cahill and Jenifer Langosch
Outfielder Oscar Taveras and second baseman Kolten Wong, the Cardinals' top two prospects, combined for seven hits and six RBIs on Tuesday, leading Triple-A Memphis to a 14-3 victory over Round Rock. Shortly after the outburst of offense, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak hinted at an imminent return to St. Louis for Wong.
Wong began the season as the Cardinals' starting second baseman, but he was sent to Memphis after hitting .225 in 20 games. He has found his stroke since being sent down, though, hitting .344 with an .866 OPS in 15 games.
"I think he's checking a lot of boxes right now," Mozeliak said. "Certainly, he had a big day today. I do think from a performance standpoint, he's done exactly what we had hoped he would do. From a defensive standpoint, I've heard nothing but positives. We may make a decision on that in the near future as well."
Taveras, who is ranked No. 2 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, finished the day 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and a walk. Wong, ranked No. 53, matched his career high with four hits. He went 4-for-5 with a home run, while scoring three runs.
In 35 games this season, Taveras is hitting .307 with an .866 OPS. He has played all three outfield positions, but he has mostly been used in left field. He started there again Tuesday, making his 16th appearance at the position.
Outfielders Stephen Piscotty, the Cardinals' No. 3 prospect and No. 91 overall, and Randal Grichuk, the club's No. 12 prospect, got into the slugfest as well. Grichuk went 3-for-5 and homered for the second time in three days. Piscotty added a hit and two runs.
In four games since being sent down by the Cardinals, Grichuk is 6-for-16 with two doubles and a home run.
Wong, Grichuk, Taveras and Piscotty -- the top four hitters in the Redbirds' lineup -- combined to go 11-for-18 with two doubles, two homers, 10 runs scored and nine RBIs on Tuesday.
"Not surprised at all," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "They're just talented players. They need to play. I think it's a great compliment to them, too, that they understood what they needed to do and they're doing it."