Cardinals invite 127 to minor league camp

The St. Louis Cardinals will be welcoming 127 players to their 2012 minor league spring training camp, starting on March 5 in Jupiter, Florida.

The unofficial start of spring for St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers will be on February 24 when a group of 24 prospects who were previously invited to early spring camp report to Jupiter, Florida.

SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Blazek Wright (L) A Perez Scruggs G Garcia Gil Conley 
DeLeon Klein S Rodriguez Peoples-Walls  Longmire 
Ferrara (L)  B Valera Taveras 
Fornataro Jeffries 
H Hernamdez (L) McElroy
Hooker Tilson
Lyons (L)
C Martinez 
Paulino 

They will be joined by 127 other minor leaguers when the official spring camp begins. Pitchers and catchers will report on Monday, March 5, with their first workout the next day. Position players will join them on Wednesday, March 7.

They will be competing for the roughly 100 jobs open with one of the Cardinals' four full-season clubs:

Memphis Redbirds – Triple-A – Pacific Coast League
Springfield Cardinals – Double-A – Texas League
Palm Beach Cardinals – A-Advanced – Florida State League
Quad Cities River Bandits – Class A – Midwest League

Click on each highlighted team name to review their 2012 rosters, currently listing end-of-2011 season player alignment. While there, explore the links to each player's free profile page where there is a wealth of information, including photos, past articles, links to stats and much more.

Without further ado, here are the 127 names. As always, they are subject to change.

Memphis (10)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Additon (L) Derba Cazana 
Broderick
Hunt
Browning (L)
Rauschenbrgr
Parise 
Todd
Kopp
Springfield (14)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Thomas Tartamella Jo Garcia Curtis Pham 
Gorgen Swauger
McGregor  Luna 
Delgado 
Samuel
Schneider
Rada 
Rondon
P Beach (11)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Ri Castillo Obregon N Vasquez Melker 
Ahmady R Rosario
Corrigan 
Reid
Butler
Calhoun (L)
Simpson
Qd Cities (23)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Russell Espinoza V Sanchez  Lu Mateo  Elkins  J Rodriguez  Edmondson
Whiting Teran  Bergman  Swinson 
Bibona (L) Keener Walsh
Blair
Copeland (L)
Benes
Lucas
Kiekhefer (L)
Maness 
De Jesus
Nazario (L)
Edwards (L)
Batavia (31+2)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Y Castillo Rasmus  D Medina Stienstra  Wittels  Patton  Martini
Almarante  J Castillo R Ruiz C Valera Rbto Reyes 
Daugherty (L)  Lewis (TO) Cerreto Albitz V Hill
R Martinez O'Neill
Mijares (L) Williams (SL)
S Watson (L)
Miranda (L)
Cole
T Miller
Cornelius (L)
McInnis 
Baker 
Bileckyj (L)
Sherriff (L)
Jacob 
Gaviglio 
Springer
Jhnsn City (27)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Pasen Byrd Washington Rahmatulla  M Williams R DeLaCruz Apelian 
Santana Montero Pritchard  Bergin 
Canache An Garcia
Nuernberg  S Ramos
E Hiraldo
J Lucas
Revesz (L)
Nadeau (L) 
Mills
Hald (L)
Gillung (L)
Billbrough
Creath 
Wyatt 
Costantino
Melling (L)
Gulf Coast (8)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
S Lopez  Velazco Tuivailala 
Villanueva (L)  L Perez
Ulacio Ehrlich 
B Watson
DSL (1)
P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Rblys Reyes

The minor league camp invitee list includes every active player who ended the season with Johnson City of the Appalachian League or higher except five. That is the exact same situation as one year ago. The five are left-handed pitchers Ben Freeman and Matt Rein, right-hander Juan Bautista, infielder Trevor Martin and outfielder Ronald Castillo. They are among those not viewed as being competitive at this time to at least make Quad Cities out of camp.

Nine players who finished last season at the Gulf Coast League and lower are invited to minor league spring training, up from six last year. To even be considered for a full season club would require eight of the nine to jump two levels of play, Batavia and Johnson City, and the other to also hop over a third stop, the Gulf Coast League.

Whereas three players from the Dominican Summer League were brought to spring training last year to vie to make their US debut in Quad Cites, only one such player is invited this year. In fact, that player, Robelys Reyes, was also invited last year, but instead had to repeat the DSL due to a visa problem that kept him from traveling to the States.

Other players graduating from the Dominican academy will be invited to participate in extended spring training, which will begin in early April. Those names will be disclosed later.

The Cardinals total of 127 spring training invitees is down from 145 players last year. However, the total number of players who will eventually be available in Jupiter to fill those four full-season minor league rosters could still be as many as 184. That includes the players in major league camp that will not make St. Louis' roster plus the early minor league camp invitees.

2012 2011
40-man minus 25 14 14
NRI 19 21
Early camp 24 19
Minors camp 127 145
Total 184 199

In addition to the team rosters here on the main TheCardinalNation.com site, I maintain a year-round pictorial view of all of these rosters together on a single page along with a detailed listing of transactions on my blog, TheCardinalNationBlog.com. The vehicle is something I call the Roster Matrix. Its base view looks similar to what you see above, but includes the nearly 300 players under contract to the Cardinals organization.

Refer to the Roster Matrix to view the 58 players invited to major league camp – the 39 members of the 40-man roster plus 19 non-roster invitees (NRIs). If past years are any indication, some of these players will be cut from the big-league Cardinals by the time the minor leaguers report.

The remainder of the minor league group - those that do not make one of the four full-season clubs, the injured and those not released - will remain behind in extended spring training camp. By mid-June, the survivors will be slotted into the short season clubs in Batavia or Johnson City, or be ready to join a full-season club at any time when the inevitable injuries hit.

Daily 1:00 P.M. (ET) minor league spring camp games will begin on Wednesday, March 14 and run through Sunday, April 1. Here is the link to the full state of games. The opponent will be one of three: themselves on camp days, the Miami Marlins, with whom they share the Jupiter, Florida facility, or the nearby New York Mets.

Note: The group of NRIs increased to 20 with Monday's signing of infielder Alex Cora.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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