Flaherty, Sierra among prospects assigned to Peoria

Two players ranked by Baseball America among the top 10 St. Louis Cardinals prospects are assigned to the Peoria Chiefs for the start of the season, according to the Journal Star.

Neither the Cardinals nor the Chiefs have publicly released the roster as of this writing, but the Peoria newspaper posted it on its website late Saturday night.

The top prospect assigned to Peoria is RHP Jack Flaherty, ranked sixth in the organization by Baseball America. The 34th overall pick in the 2014 draft, he pitched only 23 innings in rookie league last year. That’s a small sample size, but an impressive one (1.59 ERA, 28 strikeouts, four walks). BA says he throws four pitches: a 90-92 mph fastball, a changeup, a slider and a curveball.

The top-ranked position player assigned to the Chiefs is OF Magneuris Sierra. Ranked 10th in the organization by Baseball America, Sierra was named the Cardinals’ minor-league player of the year after leading the rookie-level Gulf Coast League with a .386 batting average in 52 games last year. BA says he “uses all fields and figures to maintain that high-average ability as he develops an approach that could belong at the top of the order.” The speedster turns 19 on Tuesday.

One other ranked prospect is on the team, and is a familiar face. Catcher Steve Bean (ranked No. 23) returns to Peoria after batting .235 with 2 HR and 30 RBI in 78 games with the Chiefs last year.

Other players returning from the 2014 team include infielders Justin Ringo and Richy Pedroza, and pitchers Zach Loraine, Jhonny Polanco and Blake McKnight.

Justin Ringo bats for the Chiefs during a game at Peoria’s Dozer Park last August. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

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