IVAN HERRERA & HANCEL RINCON NAMED CARDINALS TOP MINOR LEAGUERS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY
Herrera Led All Cardinals Minor Leaguers in AVG, OBP, and OPS; Rincón Twirled Three Straight Quality Starts Without Allowing An Earned Run
ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 5, 2023 – The St. Louis Cardinals today announced their selections for Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for May, with Memphis Redbirds (AAA) catcher Ivan Herrera and Palm Beach (A) right-handed starter Hancel Rincon taking home the honors.
Herrera, 23, led all qualified Cardinals minor leaguers with a .353 batting average, .494 on-base percentage, and a 1.126 OPS and ranked among the organizational leaders for the month with a .632 slugging percentage (2nd), 14 extra-base hits (T2nd), 18 walks (T3rd), 16 RBI (8th), and 43 total bases (T8th). During a torrid stretch from May 11-31, Herrera reached safely in all 12 games played, including a 11-game hitting streak, with a .432/.590/.727/1.317 slash line. It is Herrera’s first career Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month award win, becoming the first catcher to be recognized since Memphis’ Carson Kelly in May 2017.
“Iván’s month of May, highlighted by his 1.126 OPS, included hitting safely in 15 of the 18 games played,” said Cardinals Assistant GM & Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque.
The Panama native was signed as an international free agent in July 2016 and entered the year ranked as the club’s eighth-best prospect by Baseball America. He made his Major League debut last season with the Cardinals on May 24 vs. Toronto and recorded his first big-league hit on June 26, 2022 vs. the Chicago Cubs. This year, Herrera has a .932 OPS with 22 extra-base hits and 25 RBI in 37 games played, all at Triple-A Memphis.
Rincón, 21, posted a 2-1 record with a 1.82 ERA (5 ER/24.2 IP), 0.69 WHIP and a .159 average against across four starts in May. He notched three consecutive outings of at least 6.0 innings pitched without an earned run, including a career-high 8.0 innings with just three base runners allowed versus Daytona on May 5. The 6’2” native of the Dominican Republic continues Palm Beach’s run of Pitcher of the Month winners, joining former Beach Birds pitchers Inohan Paniagua (June & July 2022) and Andrew Marrero (August 2022) as recent award recipients.
“Hancel’s three quality starts led Palm Beach to a 17-9 record in May’,” stated LaRocque.
Signed as an international free agent in January 2019, Rincón got his first taste of full-season ball in 2022, making eight starts with Palm Beach while capturing the Florida State League’s Pitcher of the Month for September. Through nine starts at Single-A Palm Beach this season, Rincón owns a 5-2 record with a 3.20 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 31 strikeouts across 50.2 innings pitched.
— STL —