Cardinals System Player News: September 11

News on St. Louis Cardinals farmhands, including demotions, all-star berths and an MVP.

Cardinals Lead GCL All-Stars

Not only did the Gulf Coast League Cardinals gain three spots on the 13-man league All-Star Team for 2014, outfielder Magneuris Sierra was also named the 16-team rookie circuit’s Most Valuable Player. Other Cardinals on the team are outfielder Michael Pritchard and second baseman Malik Collymore.

Sierra, the GCL batting champion with a .386 average, was also tops in hits (78), on-base percentage (.434), runs scored (42) and total bases (102). The 18-year-old was earlier named as the GCL Player of the Month for July and was promoted to Johnson City at the conclusion of the GCL schedule.

Repeating the GCL in 2014, Collymore improved substantially. The Ontario native finished third in the batting race at .333 and tied for the league lead in triples with eight. In 54 games, the 19-year-old drove in 34, stole nine bases and logged a .403 on-base percentage.

Pritchard, a free agent from the Big 10 (Nebraska), is the third Cardinal in the top four in the league in batting average at .330 and was third in hits (60). The 22-year-old joined Sierra with Johnson City to close the season.

The Cardinals won their division with a 37-23 record, just one game off the best record in the league, but lost their lone playoff contest.

The three selections are a major contrast to 2013, when the Cardinals were shut out of the GCL All-Star squad.

DFAs Turn to Outrights

Announced as designated for assignment on Monday, outfielder Rafael Ortega and catcher Audry Perez cleared waivers and have been outrighted to the minor leagues. Both finished the season with Triple-A Memphis.

The two had been removed from the St. Louis Cardinals’ 40-man roster to make room for pitcher Sam Tuivailala and outfielder Tommy Pham.

This was Ortega’s second time through the waiver process, as the 23-year-old was claimed by the Cardinals from Texas in January. He was promoted from Springfield to Memphis for the final week of the regular season and playoffs. In 110 games overall in 2014, the left-handed hitter batted .246 and was 19-for-29 in stolen base attempts.

Perez, 25, batted .292 this season, but drew just four walks all season long, in 236 at-bats. The backstop hit six home runs and plated 33 in 62 games.

New DSL recruit

According to the International Prospect League, the Cardinals have signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Elehuris Montero to a $300,000 bonus. The Santo Domingo native is a right-handed batter standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 180 pounds.

Though Montero only turned 16 on August 17, there had been rumors of the Cardinals interest in him prior. If the report is accurate, Montero would be the Cardinals’ second-largest signing of this year’s class, following Junior Fernandez’ $400,000 deal. With the smallest bonus pool in MLB this year, the Cards must spend their international dollars wisely.

As the signing has not yet been announced by the Cardinals, it is likely the deal is pending the usual approvals.

Check Out the Roster Matrix

To see the Cardinals’ entire system by level and position, along with every transaction affecting the organization, 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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