Cardinals invite 155 to minor league camp

The St. Louis Cardinals will be welcoming 155 players to 2014 minor league spring training camp, starting on March 3 in Jupiter, Florida.

The unofficial start of spring for St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers will be on February 21 when a group of 24 prospects who were previously invited to early spring training, STEP Camp, report to Jupiter, Florida.

They will be joined by other minor leaguers, tentatively numbering 131, when the official spring camp begins. Pitchers and catchers will arrive on Monday, March 3, with their first workout the next day. Position players will join them on Wednesday, March 5.

The 155 players will be competing for the roughly 100 jobs with one of the Cardinals' four full-season clubs coming out of camp:

Memphis Redbirds – Triple-A – Pacific Coast League
Springfield Cardinals – Double-A – Texas League
Palm Beach Cardinals – A-Advanced – Florida State League
Peoria Chiefs – Class A – Midwest League

Click on each highlighted team name to review rosters, currently listing end-of-2013 season player alignment. While there, explore the links to each player's profile page where there is a wealth of information, including photos, past articles, links to stats and much more.

Following are the 131 new names. As always, this is a tentative list, subject to change. (Link to the names of the 24 STEP Camp players they will join.)

Minor League Camp Minor League Camp Minor League Camp
Pitchers (70)    
Adamek, Brady Baez, Fernando Anderson, Will
Aldrete, Mike Bautista, Juan Capellan, Amauris
Baker, Corey Booden, Jacob Escudero, Jonathan
Barraclough, Kyle Brookshire, Chase* Farinaro, Steven
Cornelius, Jonathan* Cuda, Joe Foody, Max*
Corrigan, Chris De Leon, Victor Frey, Nick
Donofrio, Joe Freeman, Ben* Gallardo, Steven
Ferrara, Anthony* Garcia, Silfredo Gerdel, Anderson
Gast, John* Grana, Kyle Higgins, Blake
Greenwood, Nick* Hald, Kyle* Holback, Michael
Harris, Mitch Helisek, Kyle* Lomascolo, Nick*
Kiekhefer, Dean* Herget, Kevin Loraine, Zach
Lee, Thomas Jenkins, Tyrell Martinez, Dailyn
Lucas, Aidan Lee, Brandon* McKinney, Ian*
McGregor, Scott Lucas, Josh McKnight, Blake
Melling, Tyler* Paredes, Norge Nielsen, Trey
Miranda, Danny* Perry, Chris Perdomo, Luis
Nazario, Iden* Petree, Nick Perez, Dewin*
Polanco, Jhonny Pierce, Andrew Perez, Juan
Reyes, Arturo Rauh, Jeff Silva, Isaac*
Sabatino, Steve* Reed, Jimmy*  
Scanio, Joe Sherriff, Ryan*  
Shaban, Ronnie Webb, Kyle  
Stock, Robert    
Thomas, Chris    
Wright, Justin*    
Wyatt, Heath    
Catchers (12)    
Castillo, Juan De Leon, Alex Cruz, Luis
Ehrlich, Adam* Keener, Jonathan Godoy, Jose*
Rosenberg, Dante   Gomez, Jose
Velazco, Gerwuins   Rodriguez, Elier#
    Rodriguez, Frankie
    Neil, Charlie#
First basemen (8)    
Washington, David* Schaffer, Jeremy Ustariz, Jesus
Smith, Curt Garcia, Ronnierd  
Stone, Jake* Ringo, Justin*  
  Voit, Luke  
Infielders (20)    
Albitz, Vance Altobelli, J.J. Collymore, Malik
Curtis, Jermaine Caldwell, Bruce* Medina, Rafael
Valera, Cesar Katz, Mason Pina, Leobaldo
Vargas, Ildemaro Martin, Trevor Rivera, Chris
Walsh, Colin# Pedroza, Richie# Sosa, Edmundo
Williams, Matt Reyes, Robelys#  
  Schulze, Michael*  
  Stienstra, Danny  
  Wiley, Brett*  
Outfielders (21)    
Gil, Ronny# Bosco, Jimmy* Acevedo, Jhohan
Longmire, Nick Bryan, Vaughn# Asbury, DeAndre
Melker, Adam* Castillo, Ronald Bautista, Ricardo*
Perez, Luis Martini, Nick* Jeffries Jr., Lance
Popkins, David# Walton, Jordan* Lacy, Devante
Ramos, Steven Young, Matthew Ray, Anthony*
Rodriguez, Starlin   Wick, Rowan*
Swauger, Chris*     
* left-handed      
# switch-hitter      

Who is out

The minor league camp invitee list includes every active player (not in major league camp) that ended the season at Johnson City or above - with the exception of two players. They are left-hander Ismael Brito and outfielder Brian Vigo.

Indicating an increased level of competition across the system, the 138 players invited last spring included all 2012 Johnson City players from the year before as well as every Gulf Coast League players with the exception of four. This spring, eight GCL players from 2013 are not invited.

In all fairness, for a GCL player to even be considered for a full season club would require him to jump two levels of play, State College and Johnson City. Only in a handful of cases, perhaps if a draftees' workload was being managed last season, would such a leap be considered feasible.

Brito, Vigo, the eight GCL non-invitees plus a handful of Dominican Summer League graduates will be invited to extended spring training camp. That group will arrive the same day full-season ball begins, on Thursday, April 3.

First-year invitees

Not surprisingly, all signed members of the 2013 draft class are invited to their initial spring training camp as professional players.

Only one player that finished 2013 in the Dominican Summer League is being brought to spring training to vie to make his US debut in Peoria. That is 17-year-old shortstop Edmundo Sosa, ranked 32nd in The Cardinal Nation top 40 for 2014. That compares to four such players invited last year.

One of those four was Robelys Reyes, but he was again unable to attend. The visa issue for the second baseman was finally resolved late last summer after three years of trying. As a result, the 23-year-old was able to get in five games at Johnson City as the 2013 regular season drew to its close.

Sosa and Reyes were able to participate in fall instructional league, but 2014 will mark their first spring training camp in Florida.

Another 10-12 players graduating from the Dominican academy are typically invited to participate in extended spring training. Those names will be disclosed later.

The numbers game

The Cardinals total of 155 minor league spring training invitees is down slightly from 162 last year. The organization explains the variance as simply a camp size management consideration.

The total number of players eventually available in Jupiter to fill those four full-season minor league rosters could grow to as many as 187. That includes the 32 players in major league camp that will not make St. Louis' roster to open the season. Unless a non-roster invitee makes the team, it will be the 18 NRIs plus 14 40-man roster players.

In the following table, you can see the distribution from the prior three years for comparison.

Projected minors total 2014 2013 2012 2011
40-man minus 25 14 15 14 14
Non-roster invitees 18 17 19 21
Early (STEP) camp 24 24 24 19
Regular minors camp 131 138 127 145
Total 187 194 184 199

In addition to the team rosters here on the main 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, The vehicle is the Roster Matrix. Its base view looks similar to what you see above, but includes the roughly 270 players under contract to the Cardinals organization.

Refer to the Roster Matrix to view the 57 players invited to major league camp – the 39 members of the 40-man roster plus 18 non-roster invitees. If past years are any indication, a couple of the catchers and perhaps a few more of these players will be cut from the big-league Cardinals around the time the regular minor league campers 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. The most advanced will be ready to join a full-season club at any time when the inevitable injuries hit. In mid-June, the remaining survivors will be slotted into the short-season clubs in State College or Johnson City.

Other related resources

STEP Camp roster.

Non-roster invitees to Major League camp.

Link to the Roster Matrix, listing all players in the Cardinals system by position and level as they ended the 2013 season, as well as every player transaction, all year long.

Link to Cardinals major league spring training schedule, including television and radio coverage details. Games start February 28.

Link to Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A minor league spring training schedules for 2014.

Link to a series of position changes and signings across the Cardinals system in preparation for the upcoming minor league season.

Coming soon

We will look at our top 40 fared in their spring training camp invitations and lay out all the spring dates you need to know. Look for our popular annual pre-camp features in which we predict the season-opening rosters for all four full-season clubs - and St. Louis as well.

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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