Nunez homers twice in one inning, including a grand slam

June 29th, 2022

Cardinals top prospects: Rankings | Stats | Box scores

Welcome to the Cardinals prospect update, where you’ll find news, promotions and standout performances, all year long.

Nunez showcases power, has multihomer eighth inning (June 28)
Malcom Nunez
came up grand for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals’ No. 11 prospect had been hot of late, having multihit performances in two of his last three games. Nunez stayed hot, going 3-for-5 with two homers including a game-winning grand slam -- both in the eighth inning -- in Double-A Springfield's 12-8 win over Wichita.

The 21-year-old saved his best for last, leading off the eighth inning with a long ball to left field. In that same inning, he crushed a grand slam to left-center field that turned out to be the winner.

The third baseman's power surge brought his HR tally to 11 on the season. -- Edwin Perez

Jake Walsh receives platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow, shut down for six weeks (June 24)
Walsh, the No. 27-ranked prospect in the Cardinals farm system, has been shut down from pitching for six weeks following an evaluation of his troublesome right elbow, Cardinals president John Mozeliak said Friday. Mozeliak said Walsh recently received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow and the right-hander will likely need another six weeks to build his arm back up following his time away from the mound.

Walsh, a 16th-round pick in 2017, has been up with the Cardinals for two stints this season. He is 0-1 in three MLB games, while allowing four runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings pitched. Prior to the elbow injury, Walsh -- a native of Melbourne, Fla. -- was 1-0 with six saves in 13 games with Triple-A Memphis. The Triple-A opposition hit just .196 against him in 15 1/3 innings this season. -- John Denton

Graceffo continues to impress (June 20)
Hard-throwing righty Gordon Graceffo, who turned heads among the Cardinals' MLB staff and hitters in Spring Training, was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. The 22-year-old, a Villanova product, had two seven-inning starts last week while going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA. In those 14 innings, Graceffo allowed just six hits and two runs while striking out 12 and walking none. He limited hitters to a .130 average over those two starts.

Graceffo, who was a fifth-round selection (151st overall) in the 2021 Draft, is the No. 20-ranked prospect among Cardinals Minor Leaguers, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, Graceffo was 3-2 with a 0.99 ERA at High-A Peoria before getting promoted to Double-A Springfield, where he has gone 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA. In those two stops, he has 78 strikeouts across 75 1/3 innings. -- John Denton

Trio combines on Single-A no-hitter (June 15)
After a tough May, Single-A Palm Beach is turning things around in June, going 7-3 to start the month. Against visiting Clearwater, the club was given the perfect opportunity to recognize their efforts -- a no-hitter.

A day after Cardinals’ starting pitcher Miles Mikolas missed throwing the franchise’s first MLB no-hitter in almost 21 years -- and the first in St. Louis in almost 39 years -- Cardinals prospects Tink Hence (St. Louis' No. 11), Jose Moreno and Roy Garcia each pitched three hitless innings to combine for Palm Beach's first no-hitter in 10 years as the team blanked Clearwater, 5-0.

Hence threw 42 pitches -- 25 of them strikes. That allowed him to strike out five batters.

Moreno, a native of Venezuela, struck out two to pick up his first victory of the season. Garcia, one of nine members in the first graduating class at the Cardinals' Dominican Academy, notched his third save after striking out four.

"It was a big celebration. I mean, it was a day game, it was 100 degrees and we're on the road and the club's been playing good, and we pushed across a couple of late runs," manager Gary Kendall said. "So there was a lot of celebration. The team continues to play a little better than we had in the last month. We've started to turn the corner a little bit and compete better.

"So there was a lot of celebration due to that and the fact that, you know, we threw a no-hitter, and everybody was happy for our pitching staff. I was very happy for Gio [Carrara], our pitching coach." Full story »

Walker posts second career multihomer game (June 3)
Jordan Walker
’s sophomore season just keeps on getting sweeter.

Facing No. 6 Mariners prospect Levi Stoudt, the Cardinals' top prospect notched his second career two-homer game as part of a three-hit, three-RBI day in Double-A Springfield’s 16-5 loss to Arkansas.

"[Arkansas] has really good pitchers, so my approach was just to attack whatever I felt like I could hit early, because getting late into a count is going to make it a difficult at-bat," Walker said. "I wanted to try and attack so I wouldn't get behind early." Full story »

Herrera fills up box score in four-hit performance (June 1)
Having experienced his first taste of life as a big leaguer, Iván Herrera did his best to get back there as soon as possible. The No. 4 Cardinals prospect hit a three-run homer as part of a season-high four-hit performance to lead Triple-A Memphis past Charlotte, 14-0, at Truist Field.

Since returning from a three-day stint in the Majors, Herrera has gone 6-for-14 to improve his slash line to .329/.414/.518 with nine extra-base hits, three homers and 16 RBIs in 23 games with the Redbirds.

The 22-year-old singled in two of his first three plate appearances and helped break the game open with his three-run homer in the sixth. He added a third single to notch his fifth career game with four or more hits. His personal best is five, established in 2019 with what was then Class A Peoria. -- Michael Avallone

Winn goes big fly at Double-A (May 31)
Masyn Winn may have topped his homer from last week on May 26 vs. Tulane. But it depends on what fans think is more impressive, an inside the parker or a homer that lands in the stands?

St. Louis' No. 5 prospect has both already in 2022, including a blast in Double-A Springfield's 9-4 loss to Arkansas. 

The 20-year-old led off the game with a double, and the shortstop hit a solo shot to left-center field in the seventh. MLB Pipeline's No. 25 overall prospect Jordan Walker had three hits, including a triple in the ninth.

Winn's long ball was his second since being called up to play with the Cardinals on May 24. 

The 2020 No. 54 overall pick is 8-for-26 since joining the squad with three multihit games. -- Ethan Sands

Pair of prospects show out in Double-A (May 29)
It was a good day for a pair of Cardinals top prospects.

With Double-A Springfield, No. 1 Jordan Walker and No. 5 Masyn Winn both posted multihit games in the Cardinals’ 11-4 win. Walker had the biggest day, going 2-for-3 with a steal, two RBIs, two runs scored and three walks, while Winn went 3-for-5 with a walk, steal and two runs scored.

The 20-year-old Winn got things started in the first frame with a double to left on the second pitch of the game. A steal -- Winn’s 16th of the year and first in Double-A -- and two batters later, fellow 20-year-old Walker drove him in with a single and swiped a bag of his own for his 11th steal. Winn added another double and a single to his day, while Walker lived up to his name by drawing walks in the second, fourth and ninth frames while adding an RBI double in the eighth. 

Both prospects are in the midst of strong sophomore seasons. Winn is batting .340 with a .965 OPS, 23 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 16 walks in 39 games across two levels, while Walker is batting .305 with a .898 OPS, 18 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs and 25 walks in 40 games for Springfield.
-- Stephanie Sheehan

Burleson caps three-hit game with walk-off homer (May 26)
Alec Burleson
saved his best for last. Already with a multihit effort and two RBIs under his belt, the No. 10 St. Louis prospect sent Triple-A Memphis home a winner with a walk-off, two-run homer in the 10th inning of a 7-5 win over Iowa. Burleson's 10th long ball was his fourth in his last eight games.

The 23-year-old had gone 14 games without leaving the yard prior to his power surge. He added a two-run double in the fifth inning that knotted the score, 3-3.

Despite going hitless in nine at-bats in his previous two games, Burleson has been one of the Minors' hottest hitters in May. His three-hit performance improved his slash line this month to .338/.369/.588 in 20 games. Overall, the 70th overall selection in the 2020 Draft is hitting .313 with a .947 OPS, 20 extra-base hits and 34 RBIs in 38 contests. -- Michael Avallone

Nootbaar's slam highlights three-homer game (May 22)
It was a day to remember for Lars Nootbaar. Playing in just his 11th game since returning from the Majors, Nootbaar drove in seven runs to drive Triple-A Memphis past Gwinnett, 10-4. The 24-year-kicked off the scoring with a solo shot to right in the first, added a two-run jack to center in his next at-bat in the third and completed his first homer trifecta with a grand slam to center in the fourth.

It was the third multihomer game of Nootbaar's career and his seven RBIs equaled a career high established in his first pro season in 2018. Despite struggling in his Major League stint to begin 2022, Nootbaar improved his slash line to .275/.400/.650 with seven extra-base hits, four homers and 11 RBIs in 40 at-bats. Full story »

Star prospects Gorman, Liberatore to join Cards (May 19)
Second baseman Nolan Gorman and left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore are not only best friends, but the pair has leaned on one another throughout their journey in the Cardinals’ system.

Now, they are coming to the Majors together. Gorman, the club’s No. 2 prospect and the No. 29 prospect overall according to MLB Pipeline, will be in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Pirates, which you can watch free on Apple TV+. Liberatore, St. Louis’ No. 3 prospect, will start Saturday’s game.

In corresponding moves, outfielder Tyler O’Neill was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement and Jack Flaherty was transferred to the 60-day IL. Full story »

Top two prospects show out on the farm (May 18)
A day after posting a three-hit game, Nolan Gorman did it again in Triple-A Memphis’ 4-3 loss to Gwinnett. 

The No. 2 prospect laced three hard-hit singles to finish his day 3-for-4 with a run scored. Gorman singled twice to right-center and once to left-center, all off Stripers righty Bryce Elder (ATL 5). Coming off a game where he finished a triple shy of the cycle, MLB’s No. 30 prospect increased his average to .308 through 34 games.

With Double-A Springfield, top prospect Jordan Walker rocketed a two-run game-tying homer, his fourth long ball of the season. He added a walk and an RBI GIDP in the Cardinals’ 7-6 loss, and the 19-year-old is raking in his sophomore season with a .311 average and a .915 OPS in 32 games. -- Stephanie Sheehan