Cardinals invite 37 to instructional league

The St. Louis Cardinals hand-picked 16 pitchers and 21 position players for a special fall developmental camp.

For the second consecutive season, the St. Louis Cardinals will be holding a fall instructional league camp in Jupiter, Fla. during September and October. The focus is on individualized developmental coaching for a specially-chosen group of players.

37 players have been invited, including 16 pitchers and 21 position players. That compares to 16 and 23, respectively, last fall. Though most competed in short-season ball this past summer, several have reached as far as A-Advanced Palm Beach.

Here is the breakdown by current level of play:

Level Club #
A-Advanced Palm Beach 2
Class-A Peoria 5
Short-season A State College 4
Rookie Johnson City 8
Rookie Gulf Coast 14
Rookie Dominican  4
  Total 37

Among the players invited are three first-round draft picks: Pitchers Marco Gonzales and Rob Kaminsky (2013) and catcher Steve Bean (2012). Second-rounders from each of the last three years will also be present: shortstop Oscar Mercado (2013), third baseman Carson Kelly (2012) and outfielder Charlie Tilson (2011).

Among the 37 are a dozen members of the Cardinals' 2013 draft class plus highly-touted free agent pitching signee Alex Reyes. Other invitees selected in the first 11 rounds this June are infielder Mason Katz (4th), left-hander Ian McKinney (5th), shortstop Chris Rivera (7th), second baseman Malik Collymore (10th) and right-hander Steven Farinaro (11th). Collymore is scheduled to complete his current stint with Canada's 18U junior national team on September 9.

Among the standouts from the 2013 season scheduled to participate are pitcher Cory Jones, infielder Kenny Peoples-Walls and outfielder-catcher Rowan Wick. 11 of the 37 are repeaters from 2012 instructs, including Peoples-Walls, Wick, shortstop-turned pitcher Sam Tuivailala, Kelly, Tilson and outfielder C.J. McElroy.

Seven players are currently in full-season ball, led by Gonzales and Tilson from Palm Beach. The others, all with Peoria, are pitchers Jones, Tuivailala and Brady Adamek, recently-acquired shortstop Juan Herrera and McElroy.

At the lowest end of the experience spectrum, four players are coming to the US for the first time from the Dominican Summer League. They are right-handers Frederis Parra and Ramon Santos plus shortstop Edmundo Sosa and outfielder Bladimil Franco. They will be joined by Robelys Reyes, who played most of the season in the DSL. The infielder recently secured his US visa and joined Johnson City last week.

Here is the breakdown by individual:

Pitchers POS Club   Player POS Club
Adamek, Brady RHP Peo   Bean, Steve C JC
Baez, Fernando RHP JC   Cruz, Luis C GCL
Bautista, Juan RHP SC   Godoy, Jose C GCL
Farinaro, Steven RHP GCL   Rodriguez, Elier GCL
Gallardo, Steven RHP GCL   Voit, Luke SC
Gonzales, Marco LHP PB        
Jones, Cory RHP Peo   Collymore, Malik 2B GCL
Kaminsky, Rob LHP GCL   Herrera, Juan SS  Peo
McKinney, Ian LHP GCL   Katz, Mason 1B SC
Parra, Frederis RHP DSL   Kelly, Carson 3B SC
Perdomo, Luis RHP JC   Mercado, Oscar SS  GCL
Perez, Dewin LHP GCL   Peoples-Walls, Kenny SS JC
Perez, Juan RHP GCL   Pina, Leobaldo SS  GCL
Reyes, Alex RHP JC   Reyes, Robelys IF JC
Santos, Ramon RHP DSL   Rivera, Chris SS  GCL
Tuivailala, Sam RHP Peo   Sosa, Edmundo SS  DSL
        Asbury, DeAndre OF GCL
        Bryan, Vaughn OF JC
        Franco, Bladimil OF DSL
        McElroy, CJ OF Peo
        Tilson, Charlie OF PB
        Wick, Rowan OF/C JC

The calendar

The players are scheduled to arrive on Monday, September 16. Daily 1 p.m. games begin on the 24th on an every-three day rotating schedule of a camp day, then games against the nearby Mets and Marlins, respectively. The final contests will be played on Thursday, October 10.

The staff

A number of Cardinals minor league coaches will participate in some or all of instructs, led by camp coordinator Mark DeJohn. The field manager for games will be State College skipper Oliver Marmol. The systems' three coordinators will also be present – Derrick May (hitting), Brent Strom (pitching) and Luis Aguayo (infield).

Bonus participants

In addition to the 37 regular invitees, the Cardinals' Arizona Fall League contingent of seven players will again be present. They will prepare for their time in the desert by participating in Instructional League during the week of September 24. Along with manager Mike Shildt, the AFL players will report to the Salt River Rafters in Scottsdale, Ariz. on October 2.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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