Cards Welcome 154 to 2016 Minors Spring Camp

The St. Louis Cardinals opened their 2016 minor league spring training camp with 154 players on hand.

The purpose of this article is simple enough – present the list of the St. Louis Cardinals’ invitees to 2016 minor league spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida. The timing is right, with all of them taking the fields together for the first time on Thursday, March 10th.

Pitchers and catchers reported on Monday, March 7, with their first workout the next day. Position players joined them on Wednesday, March 9.

The challenge for all 154 of them – plus the approximately 33 players remaining to be cut from Major League camp as St. Louis eventually drops down to 25 – will be to secure one of for 100 jobs – 25 each on the organization’s four full-season clubs in Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria.

The 154 players include 80 pitchers and 74 position players. 128 of them arrived in camp this week, with the other 26 holdovers from early minor league camp (STEP Camp, denoted with “S”). They include reliever Robby Rowland, an original non-roster invitee who had surgery just before camp opened and who is now among the minor league rehabbers.

Pitchers (80)    
Alcantara, Sandy S Heesch, Michael Perry, Chris
Alexander, Kevin Helsley, Ryan Reed, Jimmy
Almonte, Max Herget, Kevin Reyes, Alex S
Anderson, Will Heyer, Kurt Reyes, Arturo S
Arias, Estarlin Hicks, Jordan Rodriguez, Jorge
Baker, Corey Higgins, Blake Rowland, Robby rehab
Beck, Landon Holt, Harley Santos, Ramon
Bohannon, Silas Kuebel, Sacha Schelesener, Jacob
Bowen, Brady Lee, Thomas Schumacher, Cody
Bray, Tyler Leitao, Brennan Seijas, Alvaro
Brebbia, John S Llorens, Dixon Shaban, Ronnie
Church, John Lomascolo, Nick Sherriff, Ryan
Cross, Carson Lucas, Josh S Stoppelman, Lee
De La Cruz, Steven Martinez, Dailyn Then, Jery
DeLorenzo, Jordan Mayers, Mike S Thomas, Chris
Dobzanski, Bryan McKinney, Ian Tomchick, Greg
Donofrio, Joe McKnight, Blake Velazco, Gerwuins
Echemendia, Pedro Medina, Yeison Ward, Davis
Escudero, Jhonathan Melling, Tyler Wheatley, Bob
Evans, Jacob Morales, Andrew Wick, Rowan S
Farinaro, Steven Oca, David Williams, Ronnie
Fernandez, Junior S Oxnevad, Ian Wirsu, Josh
Flaherty, Jack S Parra, Frederis Woodford, Jake S
Frey, Nick Pearce, Matt Wright, Justin
Gallardo, Steven Perez, Dewin Wyatt, Heath
Gonzalez, Derian S Perez, Juan  
Grana, Kyle    
Harrison, Luke    
Hawkins, Chandler    
Catchers (13) Infielders (29) Outfielders (24)
Chinea, Chris Alvarez, Eliezer S Acevedo, Jhohan
Drongesen, Riley Becker, Dylan Aikin, Craig
Garcia, Erik Brodbeck, Andrew Asbury-Heath, DeAndre
Godoy, Jose Caldwell, Bruce Bader, Harrison S
Jenner, Jesse Cordoba, Allen Bandes, Luis
Lopez, Joshua DeJong, Paul S Bautista, Ricardo
McCarvel, Ryan Denton, Bryce Bryan, Vaughn
O'Keefe, Brian Diekroeger, Danny Drake, Blake
Ortega, Dennis Gronsky, Jake Franco, Bladimil
Rivera, Chris Hawkins, Joey Gibson, Derek
Rodriguez, Frankie Katz, Mason Martini, Nick
Wilson, Irving Lankford, Cole McElroy Jr., C.J. S
Zavala, Stephen Martin, Danny Olivera, Orlando
  Martinez, Jose Peoples-Walls, Kenny
First basemen (8) Mejia, Alex Plummer, Nick S
De Leon, Alex Mercado, Oscar S Pritchard, Michael
Dennard, R.J. Pina, Leobaldo Radack, Collin
Garcia, Ronnierd Reynolds, Mikey Ray, Anthony
Grayson, Casey Rowland, Champ Rivera, Jonathan
Jacobs, Chris S Seferina, Darren S Sierra, Magneuris S
Newman, Hunter Sohn, Andrew Spitz, Thomas
Rodriguez, Elier Sosa, Edmundo S Talavera, Carlos
Voit, Luke Staton, Allen Thompson, Nick
  Swirchak, Josh Torres, Carlos
  Tice, Dylan  
  Turgeon, Casey  
  Valera, Breyvic  
  Wiley, Brett  
  Williams, Matt  

Rather than break them all down by 2015 level of play, it is much simpler to note there are only five players missing still under contract with the organization and who finished last season on any of the USA affiliates – from Memphis all the way down to – and including - the Gulf Coast League.

One, infielder Luke Doyle, is under a 50-game suspension that does not begin until Johnson City opens play in mid-June. In other words, his first official game on the field won’t be until July. No hurry.

Another, Juan Herrera, is a curious case. The shortstop was injured last season, but among the original STEP Camp invitees announced in January. I was told that Herrera is rehabbing once again, but apparently not in Jupiter. One has to assume there was a setback.

The final three are pitchers from the 2015 Johnson City and Gulf Coast League clubs apparently deemed not yet competitive enough to make Peoria or above out of spring training. They will be invited to extended spring training camp, which follows regular spring training in April until June. The three are Julio Mateo, Ronald Medrano and Paul Salazar.

Among the 154 players in minor league spring training camp are three international players who have yet to appear in an official game in the US. Two catchers finished the 2015 season in the Dominican Summer League. Dennis Ortega is back in the US for the second spring and is joined this time by another backstop, Irving Wilson. One or both may return to the DSL for the opening of their 2016 season.

The final DSL player is right-handed pitcher Alvaro Seijas, who has yet to make his official professional debut. My guess is the highly-regarded 17-year-old prospect will open his career in the US this summer, bypassing the DSL completely. If so, it would mirror Alex Reyes’ path in 2013.

One other notable player in camp whose professional stats ledger is blank is former Texas high school right-hander Jordan Hicks. The compensation third-rounder last June, taken 105th overall, was held out of action after signing with St. Louis in a ceremony at Busch Stadium.

What is next?

The healthy majority of the 154 players will begin games Thursday, March 17, with the first official contests against external competition the next day. Here is a link to the Cardinals full minor league spring training game schedule.

Organization willing, once games begin, look for nightly summary reports from these contests - back for another spring at The Cardinal Nation Blog. Also when games begin, I hope to share early version of the Cardinals working rosters by level from minor league camp.

For the healthy players who are not among the 100 to open the season with Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach or Peoria plus rehabbers, extended spring training will begin in early April. Those players will be joined by many of the Cardinals’ yet-to-be-determined Class of 2016 on the State College, Johnson City and GCL rosters in mid-June.

Bookmark the Roster Matrix

To see the full 2015 season-ending rosters by level and position for the entire Cardinals system on one page, along with every transaction all season long, check out the Roster Matrix, always up-to-date and free at The Cardinal Nation blog. A new spring version is just a few days away.

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

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