Sanchez and Kozma were both Spring Training non-roster invitees last year. Sanchez, Reifer, Kopp and Chambers were all selected to the Texas League All-Star team while playing for Springfield (AA) this past season.
Sanchez (non-drafted free agent, 2005), 21, appeared in 50 games between Springfield and Memphis (AAA), nailing down 14 saves in 16 opportunities. The Maracay, Venezuela, native was a combined 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA between the two clubs and struck out 58 batters in 53.0 innings. Prior to the 2010 season, Sanchez was ranked #8 on our annual top 40 Cardinals prospect ranking.
Reifer (11th round, 2007 draft), 24, made 51 appearances posting a 3-1 record with a 3.00 ERA at Springfield, before getting called up to Memphis to finish the season with a win and joined the team for the Pacific Coast League playoffs. The hard throwing right-hander out of the University of California-Riverside, ranked T-2nd in the Texas League with 17 saves in 19 opportunities and ranked T-3rd among Cardinals minor league relievers in saves. Prior to the 2010 season, Reifer was ranked #20 on our annual top 40 Cardinals prospect ranking.
Kopp (2nd round, 2007), 25, was 12-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 21 starts at Springfield, and was called up to Memphis to make five more starts in June and July. He ranked second in the Texas League in wins and fourth in ERA. The right-handed ground ball specialist out of Clemson University induced 20 double plays, ranking T-2nd in the Texas League. Prior to the 2010 season, Kopp was unranked in our annual top 40 Cardinals prospect ranking, due to injuries that ruined his 2009.
Kozma (1st round, 2007), 22, played in 132 games starting all at shortstop for Springfield, batting .243 while posting career-high numbers with 13 home runs, 72 RBI and 13 stolen bases. The Owasso, Okla., native turned 100 double plays this past season, more than any other shortstop in Double-A ball. Prior to the 2010 season, Kozma was ranked #14 on our annual top 40 Cardinals prospect ranking.
Chambers (38th round, 2007), 24, played in 112 games between Springfield and Memphis, batting .283 with six home runs, 35 RBI and 14 stolen bases. The Pensacola, Fla., native led all of professional baseball with 16 triples during the 2009 season and has tallied 20 outfield assists over the past two seasons. Chambers currently ranks second in the Arizona Fall League with 10 stolen bases and has hit safely in 14-of-18 games (.333, 22-66) for the Surprise Rafters. Prior to the 2010 season, Chambers was ranked #29 on our annual top 40 Cardinals prospect ranking.
The Cardinals 40-man Major League roster currently stands at 38 including the signing of pitcher Jake Westbrook on Tuesday.
Almost as important as which players were added to the 40-man roster are those who were not.
Among Cardinals farmhands who will be left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft next month are four players currently competing in the Arizona Fall League, pitchers Brian Broderick, Blake King, Ramon Delgado and catcher Tony Cruz. Other top Cardinals players now draft-eligible include pitcher Brandon Dickson, infielders Andrew Brown and Donovan Solano and outfielders Tyler Henley and Tommy Pham.
For The Cardinal Nation subscribers, I had earlier correctly predicted all five players added, but missed on Cruz, my projected sixth protected player. The Cardinals already have three catchers on the 40-man roster and may add a fourth depending on who they sign to replace Jason LaRue.
Remember to click on any highlighted player name to be taken to his The Cardinal Nation player profile, where biographical information, photos, videos, links to stats, previous articles and much more can be found. Much of this information is available nowhere else.
In addition, to see the entire Cardinals system in one graphical view, check out the Roster Matrix, kept updated at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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