As the St. Louis Cardinals look ahead to the 2015 First-Year Player Draft and their three US-based short-season rosters, they continue to assess which players are competitive for spots and who have fallen behind. Two of the latter-type players who had been working in the organization’s extended spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida have been cut loose by the organization.
If it seems like Valera has been around forever, it is pretty much the case. The 23-year-old Venezuelan was a July 2nd signee back in 2008 for a reported $500,000 and was competing in his seventh season in the system.
In 2015, Valera opened on Palm Beach’s disabled list, but was promoted to Springfield as an injury fill-in for a few days in late April when Alex Mejia was called up to Memphis. When the latter returned to Double-A, Valera was transferred to extended spring training camp. In other words, the right-handed hitter had no official at-bats this season.
Valera finishes his Cardinals career with a line of .237/.304/.301 in 1,281 at-bats over 367 games, all played in the US. Primarily a shortstop, Valera played a bit of second and third base as well in his last two seasons.
A former Division III star at Whittier (CA) College, Barzilli joined the Cardinals via his selection in the 31st round of the last June’s draft. Stationed with the Gulf Coast League Cards, the 24-year-old did little with the bat in 2014, posting a line of .211/.314/.340/.644 in 147 at-bats over 46 games.
The right-handed batter also struck out 31.3 percent of the time, painting a grim picture for a third baseman, a position from whom offense is expected. At the hot corner, Barzilli committed 13 errors for a fielding percentage of .845.
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