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Former first-round picks making noise in Cards' system

ST. LOUIS -- Former first-round Draft choices are making a huge impact on the farm these days, nobody as much as outfielder Randal Grichuk.

Grichuk, a first-round Draft choice in 2009 by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, is tearing up the Pacific Coast League. He hit yet another home run Friday in a 4-0 Memphis victory over Omaha. That gives the outfielder four home runs in his last three games. In his last six games, Grichuk is hitting .520 (13-for-25) with five home runs and 10 runs scored.

Scott Moore hit a pair of solo homers for the other Memphis runs and Nick Greenwood, Justin Wright and Jose Almarante each pitched three scoreless innings in the shutout. The trio combined for eight strikeouts and did not walk a batter.

James Ramsey, a first-round pick by the Cardinals in 2012, hit another home run in Springfield's 11-9 loss to Arkansas Friday night.

It was the 11th home run of the season for the former Florida State standout and his fifth in the last 11 games. Ramsey is currently hitting .305. His homer in a five-run sixth inning helped Springfield come back to tie the game 9-9, but Lee Stoppelman gave up a pair of runs in the ninth inning and got the loss.

Marco Gonzales, the first-round pick for the Cardinals in 2013, will get his first start in Double-A tonight in Springfield. The southpaw was the 19th overall pick out of Gonzaga. He has shined in Class A in Palm Beach with a 2-2 record and a 1.43 ERA.

Gonzales had six starts with Palm Beach before moving up and allowed more than one run in only one of them.

Bill Hester is a contributor to
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