So far, Cardinals prospect Marco Gonzales is making the transition to Double-A look easy. Maybe it really has been easy, considering the way he's pitching.
Gonzales picked up his first Double-A win on Friday night, allowing two hits and striking out seven as he fired seven shutout innings in Double-A Springfield's 1-0 win over Midland. In two starts since his promotion from the Florida State League, the Cardinals' No. 4 prospect has allowed three runs (one earned) on eight hits and three walks while striking out 12 in 12 innings.
That came on the heels of Gonzales' strong start for Class A Advanced Palm Beach. The left-hander went 2-2 with a 1.43 ERA over 37 2/3 innings in six Florida State League starts this season, picking up right where he left off in 2013.
The 22-year-old Gonzales, picked 19th overall in the 2013 Draft, didn't give up a hit Friday against Midland until there were two outs in the sixth inning. He served up a ground-rule double to the leadoff batter in the seventh inning then recorded three straight outs, stranding him at second base.
Meanwhile, Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals' top prospect, kept on hitting for Triple-A Memphis. The Redbirds lost, 12-10, to the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Friday, but the second-ranked player on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list did his part, as usual.
Taveras, serving as Memphis' designated hitter, went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and his seventh homer, driving in three runs and scoring twice. It was Taveras' fourth straight multihit game, coming off a four-hit performance and a pair of three-hit outings.
Taveras is now hitting .326/.374/.543 with 38 RBIs this season.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.