Rodriguez on Cards' winter ball placements

St. Louis director of international operations Moises Rodriguez explains how players are placed on various overseas winter ball clubs.

There are many ways for baseball players to continue to hone their craft during the US off-season. The highest level of play is the four major winter leagues in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Native sons from those lands are often the recipients of extra pressure to play at home in winter ball.

In addition, there are minor leagues, with the most notable being the Liga Paralela or Parallel League in Venezuela, which feeds the main Venezuelan League. For the youngest players, the St. Louis Cardinals run a fall instructional league at their Dominican academy. It is also used to evaluate potential signees in a live setting.

And all of these venues do not even include two domestic leagues, the recently-completed instructional league held in Jupiter, Florida and the Arizona Fall League.

The man responsible for sorting out who plays where overseas each winter is Cardinals director of international operations Moises Rodriguez. The winter rights to roughly two dozen organizational farmhands are controlled by clubs in one of the four major leagues. These young men may or may not end up suiting up, however.

In the following exclusive interview, Rodriguez explains how players and teams are matched up and why teams set high expectations but exhibit little patience.


In subsequent articles, we will look in on how the various Cardinals prospects playing around the world are doing statistically this winter.

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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