Cardinals Farm Report

Tyrell Jenkins
Starting Pitcher
RK-Johnson City
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 180 lbs
Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round (50th) of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Just like every Saturday here on i70baseball, the Cardinal Farm Report spotlights one of the prized Cardinal minor leaguers. This week, it is Tyrell Jenkins, the 18-year-old pitcher that has upside written all over him.

The Cardinals organization has made it very clear that the club plans on taking baby steps when it comes to their supplemental first-rounder Tyrell Jenkins, and one of those steps was made Monday night in Johnson City.

Jenkins is a 18-year-old right-hander out of Henderson HS in Texas. He’s 6’4″, a very tall, lengthy kid with tremendous upside. He was taken 50th overall by the Cardinals but some scouts had him in the top-25.

Jenkins was also a football and track star in high school, and was considered by some to be the most athletic pitcher in the draft. The young fireballer was actually set to attend Baylor where he would probably start as their quarterback after Robert Griffin was through with his stint with the Bears.

The delivery certainly needs refined. That is the only major flaw I can identify. Like most young pitchers, his follow-through and foot placement after the pitch are different from pitch to pitch. It’s not a glaring problem or a red flag of any kind, because it can easily be fixed, but it is noteworthy. The other thing I noticed when looking at video was the length of his arm. He’s 6’4″ so of course he has long arms, but it’s the way he “whips” his right arm while throwing that caught my eye. He is very raw and has a few small mechanical issues, but that should be taking care of quickly now that he has the right coaches.

His fastball hovers around 90-92, but he has hit 96-97 several times over the summer. Jenkins also has a curve that he throws in the mid-70’s, a slider in the low-80’s, and an average changeup in his repertoire. Again, he is about as raw as they come, but certainly has all the tools. Jenkins will continue to improve his secondary stuff (much like Shelby Miller has done this season), and when that happens look for him to start making his way toward the big leagues.

The other thing to think about when evaluating Tyrell is that he has always had to make time for three different sports. What’s going to happen now that baseball is his only focus?

The newest Cardinal prospect to make my top-20 made his first professional start last Thursday. The Cardinals have him on a very strict pitch count, so he only pitched one inning. Let’s just say they are using this time to ”get his feet wet”. In that scoreless inning Jenkins struck out one and walked none.

Last night, in Tyrell’s second professional start, he seemed to be just as good as advertised. In his two innings of work Jenkins struck out one, allowed no runs, two hits, and two walks. His control was a bit off (26 pitches/13 strikes), but a lot of that could have been nerves. His control was the main concern on Monday, and it had been before that start. But at 17-years-old, I’ll take the control problems. He has plenty of time to figure the flaws out. This was a GREAT selection by the Cardinals, and Jenkins will prove that to everyone in the years to come.

AAA-Memphis Redbirds
Record to date: 80-61, second place in the PCL American North, 1 game behind Iowa This past week: 5-2, including a sweep of Round Rock and a 3-1 series win over New Orleans Transactions: St. Louis Cardinals recalled RF Nick Stavinoha from Memphis Redbirds, St. Louis Cardinals recalled C Matt Pagnozzi from Memphis Redbirds, Tony Cruz assigned to Memphis Redbirds from Springfield Cardinals, St. Louis Cardinals optioned Allen Craig to Memphis Redbirds Coming up: The Redbirds will play a division-winner-deciding four-game series against Iowa.
AA-Springfield Cardinals
Record to date: 37-30 in the second half (75-62 overall), third place in the TEX North, 4 games behind NW Arkansas This past week: 4-3, including a sweep of Arkansas Transactions: Luis De La Cruz assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals, Geoffrey Klein assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Batavia Muckdogs,Springfield Cardinals placed C Charles Cutler on the 7-Day disabled list,Springfield Cardinals activated C Nick Derba from the temporarily inactive list, Tony Cruz assigned to Memphis Redbirds from Springfield Cardinals Coming up: The Cardinals will put an end to the season with a three-game set against Arkansas.
A-Palm Beach
Record to date: 34-33 in the second half (74-64 overall), fourth place in the FSL South, 3.5 games behind Bradenton This past week: 1-4, so I guess St. Louis isn’t the only team in the middle of a meltdown Transactions: C Geoffrey Klein assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Batavia Muckdogs, Luis De La Cruz assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals Coming up: The Baby Birds will finish up the season with two games against Jupiter on Saturday and Sunday.
Mark Hamilton, 1B, Memphis
.391 AVG (9-for-23), .440 OBP, .913 SLG, 1.353 OPS, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 8 RBI, 2 walks
The average isn’t mind-boggling, but the rest of that line is. I thought the calculator was broken. On the season, Mark is hitting .291/.387/.560 with 50 runs, 18 home runs, and 59 RBI in 268 at bats.
P.J. Walters, SP, Memphis
W, 8 innings pitched, 5 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts
It’s too bad Walters can’t figure things out in the Majors, because he sure does have some brilliant performances in AAA. In 18 starts at Memphis this season, Walters is 8-5 with a 3.79 ERA and 105 SO in 107 innings.

Justin Hulsey covers the Cardinals for i70baseball and his blogs, Cardinals Front Office and Rising Redbirds, that are also dedicated to Cardinals baseball and their minor league system.You may follow him on Twitter @JayHulsey by clicking here.

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