2014 Cardinals early minor league rosters

The Cardinals full-season rosters are coming into focus, but could still change before Thursday.

For St. Louis Cardinals minor league aficionados, this time of the year is as exciting as the NCAA March Madness brackets being announced are to millions of sports fans.

By definition, the time each year when minor league camps break also signals that season-opening rosters become clearer. The initial 25 men making up each of the Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria clubs are packing their bags and traveling north (and west) on Monday.

Though The Cardinal Nation has preliminary rosters, changes can occur up until the first pitches on Thursday. I will make updates as further news becomes available. Pitchers are listed first, with position players following.

MEMPHIS SPRINGFIELD PALM BEACH PEORIA
Aardsma, David Billbrough, Logan Baker, Corey Barraclough, Kyle
Almarante, Jose Blair, Seth Cuda, Joe Brookshire, Chase*
Castro, Angel Cornelius, Jonathan* Gonzales, Marco* Garcia, Silfredo
Cooney, Tim* Donofrio, Joe Hald, Kyle* Herget, Kevin
Fornataro, Eric Ferrara, Anthony* Helisek, Kyle* Loraine, Zach
Freeman, Sam* Gaviglio, Sam Jones, Cory McKnight, Blake
Greenwood, Nick* Heyer, Kurt Lee, Thomas Perry, Chris
Lyons, Tyler* Kiekhefer, Dean* Llorens, Dixon Petree, Nick
McGregor, Scott Miranda, Danny* Lucas, Aidan Reed, Jimmy*
Rondon, Jorge Petrick, Zach Mayers, Mike Reyes, Alex
Stoppleman, Lee* Shaban, Ronnie Nazario, Iden* Reyes, Arturo
Whiting, Boone Sherriff, Ryan* Stock, Robert Scanio, Joe
Wyatt, Heath Wright, Justin* Tuivailala, Sam Thomas, Chris
       
       
Butler, Joey Diaz, Aledmys Garcia, Anthony* Bean, Steve*
Curtis, Jermaine Miclat, Greg Martini, Nick* Bosco, Jimmy*
Easley, Ed O'Neill, Mike* Mejia, Alex Castillo, Ronald
Garcia, Greg* Ortega, Rafael Montero, Jesus Herrera, Juan
Grichuk, Randal Popkins, David# Ramos, Steven Katz, Mason
Mateo, Luis Ramsey, James* Rasmus, Casey# Kelly, Carson
Moore, Scott Rodriguez, Jonathan Rodriguez, Starlin McElroy, C.J.
Perez, Audry Smith, Curt Tilson, Charlie* Peoples-Walls, K.
Pham, Tommy Stanley, Cody* Valera, Breyvic# Schulze, Michael*
Piscotty, Stephen Tartamella, Travis Vargas, Ildemaro Stone, Jake*
Scruggs, Xavier Williams, Matt Washington, David* Valera, Cesar
Taveras, Oscar* Wisdom, Patrick Wilson, Jacob Young, Matthew
# switch-hitter      
* left-handed      

Let's look into highlights for each of the four clubs.

Memphis

The main challenge in setting the Redbirds' roster may have been with the outfield. Because of the sheer numbers of quality players, there is no room for three flycatchers with prior Triple-A experience - Mike O'Neill, James Ramsey and Chris Swauger.

Top prospect outfielders Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty will be making their Triple-A debuts. On the pitching side, Tim Cooney is the only hurler on the opening staff to step up from Double-A. In other words, it is an experienced roster.

Pete Kozma breaking with St. Louis meant one extra infielder was able to remain at each level, starting with Memphis. New signee David Aardsma took one roster spot that may have gone to a prospect.

Springfield

Two top prospects and members of the 2013 Palm Beach rotation move up one level in Sam Gaviglio and Kurt Heyer. Anthony Ferrara has shifted to the pen, same as Ryan Sherriff, who was in Palm Beach's rotation the last two years.

Reliever Joe Donofrio makes the jump all the way from Peoria. In an oddity, he is just one of three right-handers in the pen. The other five are lefties.

Among catchers, Travis Tartamella is back from Memphis, pushing Casey Rasmus out. Jonathan Rodriguez and Patrick Wisdom hold down the corners, up from Palm Beach. Rule 5'er Greg Miclat has considerable Triple-A experience and is penciled in at second base alongside celebrated Cuban signee Aledmys Diaz. Outfielder David Popkins earned a promotion from the Florida State League.

Palm Beach

Cory Jones is back to anchor a rotation that includes two top picks from the 2013 draft in Marco Gonzales and Mike Mayers. Dixon Llorens and Sam Tuivailala should anchor the pen.

Anthony Garcia and Charlie Tilson will be back in the outfield, joined by 2013 NY-Penn League batting champion Steven Ramos. Key infielders include returnees Alex Mejia and Jacob Wilson plus Ildemaro Vargas and Breyvic Valera, up from Peoria.

Peoria

As one would expect, the 2014 Chiefs will feature many of the leaders of last year's State College and Palm Beach clubs. At the head of the line is 19-year-old right-hander Alex Reyes, The Cardinal Nation's seventh-ranked prospect.

In fact, only six of the 25 Chiefs ended last season at the level. One is down from Palm Beach with 13 up from State College plus four from Johnson City (including Reyes) and one all the way from the Gulf Coast League, first baseman Jake Stone.

Catchers include Carson Kelly and former second-rounder Steve Bean. The Chiefs outfield should be strong with returnee C.J. McElroy joined by Ronald Castillo, Jimmy Bosco and Kenny Peoples-Walls. Mason Katz and Juan Herrera should anchor the infield up the middle.

Coming up

Hopefully by the end of the day on Monday, the rosters for these four full-season clubs on the official team pages here on the site will all be updated. A new Roster Matrix on The Cardinal Nation blog will probably not appear until Wednesday or Thursday.

There are a number of players whose status remains unclear, whether injury, assignment to extended spring training or other changes. Keep checking back here at The Cardinal Nation for updates.



Remember, to see the entire system by position and level on one page, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.



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

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