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Minor-league report: Walker hits first Class AA homer; McGreevy has scoreless outing in 2022 debut

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Cardinal major-leaguers face minor-league pitchers for BP

Cardinal minor-league pitcher McGreevy throws for live batting practice on Sunday, March 13, 2022, facing major-league batters in Jupiter, Fla. Major-league players gear up one day before the official start of workouts for spring training. Ownership and the players union reached a deal on a labor contract to end the lockout. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

All four of the Cardinals’ minor-league affiliates were in action on Saturday and Sunday as the MiLB season got into full swing.

From Class AAA to Low-A, here are some of the notable performances over the weekend by Cardinals minor-leaguers:

Hits

Third baseman Jordan Walker: Since going hitless on Friday during his debut at the Double-A level, Walker has gone 3-for-8, driven in six runs, walked three times and connected on a two-run homer that had a 109 mph exit velocity. He also has struck out just once in his three games with Springfield. The 19-year-old’s first Double=A home run came on Sunday during Springfield’s 10-5 win over Northwest Arkansas. Walker sent the first pitch he saw from Northwest Arkansas lefty Angel Zerpa to left-center field to give the S-Cards an early lead.

Shortstop Masyn Winn: Winn has gone 4-for-7 in his last two games after he too went hitless in Class High-A Peoria’s season-opening game on Saturday. The speedy infielder singled four times in doubleheader action on Sunday and came around to score once. He is coming off a season where he hit .209 in 48 games with Peoria in 2021.

Right-handed pitcher Michael McGreevy: The former first-round pick and opening day starter for Peoria kept Wisconsin hitless through five scoreless innings during the Chiefs’ 7-6 loss on Saturday. He also fanned five batters, induced five ground ball outs, and walked just one on his 77 pitches — 52 of which were strikes. A product of University of California-Santa Barbara, McGreevy pitched just 7 2/3 innings in seven appearances when he was assigned to Low-A Palm Beach a season ago.

Infielder Nolan Gorman: After having the night off on Saturday, Gorman connected on two solo homers in the Redbirds’ 6-3 loss to the Stripers on Sunday. The showing at the plate was the ninth multi-homer performance for the infielder who belted a career-high 25 home runs a season ago. His last multi-homer game was on July 18, 2021. Gorman had gone hitless in his first nine at-bats to begin 2022, but since then he has gone 4-for-8 including Sunday’s multi-homer showing.

Catcher Pedro Pages: The 23-year-old backstop homered, doubled, and drove in two runs in Springfield’s win on Sunday. Just after Walker hit his two-run homer, Pages belted a solo home run to center for his first of the season. He added to his day with a line drive single in the second inning that plated designated hitter Malcom Nunez. Pages — who is making the leap from High-A to Double-A this year — batted .249 and had a .722 OPS in 80 games with Peoria last year.

Right-handed pitcher Gordon Graceffo: Labeled the “sensation” of minor-league camp during spring training, Graceffo threw five shutout innings and limited Wisconsin to two hits while striking out five batters in his season debut. Graceffo’s five strikeouts we’re all swinging, and he threw 69 pitches (50 strikes) in his season debut. A 2021 fifth-round draft pick, Graceffo made his pro debut last year with Low-A Palm Beach where he was used primarily as a reliever.

Outfielder Alec Burleson: The 23-year-old belted his second homer of the season during his 2-for-4, two-RBI effort on Saturday. With infielder Kramer Robertson on base, Burleson pulled a homer to right-center field to give Memphis some insurance runs in its 8-7 win over Gwinnett. Through his first four games of the season, Burleson has gone 5-for-14 (.357) with three RBIs and an .857 slugging percentage.

Outfielder Chase Pinder: During opening weekend, Pinder went 10-for-15 (.667) with two home runs, seven RBIs, and a double. His most productive showing was his five-hit, five-RBI performance on Saturday that included one of his two homers of 2022. The five-RBI night set a single-game career-high for Pinder. Since making his pro baseball debut in 2017, Pinder has slashed .251/.362/.353.

Catcher Aaron Antonini: Antonini matched a single-game best with his four-RBI night on Saturday during Peoria’s 7-6 loss to Wisconsin. The 23-year-old belted a two-run homer in his first at-bat and added to that total with a two-run single in the sixth inning. Antonini has batted .188 in 271 at-bats since making his pro debut in 2017.

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanielGuerrero on Twitter

dguerrerro@post-dispatch.com

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