Wadye Ynfante (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals welcomed a group of new additions to extended spring training and are now playing two games daily

The St. Louis Cardinals welcomed a group of new additions to extended spring training and are now playing two games daily in Florida.

Earlier this month, we looked into the first wave of 57 players invited to the St. Louis Cardinals extended spring training camp. This article will provide an update to that earlier report, so if you missed it, please go back and read it now.

As mentioned previously would occur a couple of weeks into camp, a group of nine players have arrived in Jupiter, Florida from the Cardinals Dominican Republic academy. They are considered to be ready to compete for jobs on one of the short-season US clubs, which will open play during the second half of June.

Here are the new arrivals, four of whom are Venezuelans, while the other five call the Dominican home. All except one are either 18 or 19 years of age.

Pitchers Home B T H W Age Notes
Juan Alvarez DR R R 6-4 180 19 2.68 ERA 9th in system in 2015
Franyel Casadilla VZ R R 6-3 175 19 Org top 10: ERA/OBA/WHIP/K/9
Will Changarotty VZ R R 6-0 165 20 8 scoreless apps to open 2015
First base Home B T H W Age Notes
Carlos Rodriguez VZ R R 6-2 215 19 Led DSL Cards with .497 SLG
Second base Home B T H W Age Notes
Luis Flores DR S R 6-0 190 19 T5th in system w/6 triples 2015
Shortstop Home B T H W Age Notes
Starlin Balbuena DR R R 6-2 175 18 Four 4-hit games in 2015
Edwin Figuera VZ R R 5-10 160 18 Led DSL Cards SB(14), HBP(13)
Outfield Home B T H W Age Notes
Sanel Rosendo DR R R 6-2 205 18 4 2015 games with 2 doubles
Wadye Ynfante DR R R 6-0 160 18 21-gm hit, 24-gm OBP streaks

The nine include The Cardinal Nation’s 2015 Dominican Summer League Cardinals Player of the Year, center fielder Wadye Ynfante (pronounced “wah-dee-A”) and Starting Pitcher of the Year, Franyel Casadilla. Casadilla, a right-hander, led DSL Cards starters with a 2.16 ERA over 14 starts last summer and had an excellent strikeout to walk ratio of 5.7 to 1.


Former infielder Ynfante and first baseman Carlos Rodriguez co-led the 2015 DSL Cards with .311 batting averages, the only hitters on the club above .273. The pair were DSL All-Stars last summer and are the only two of the nine to have been invited to instructional league camp in the US last fall.


These new arrivals created enough critical mass to create two extended spring training teams, with the more experienced players primarily on the “White” squad, and the younger players on the “Red” team. The former group includes the top prospect in the system, suspended pitcher Alex Reyes, and the latter includes all nine new academy additions to camp.  


Three other international players who also have yet to play in formal games in the US have remained in EST after participating in minor league spring training last month. They are pitcher Alvaro Seijas and catchers Dennis Ortega and Irving Wilson. Seijas, the youngest player in camp at 17, was signed last July 2nd to a 2016 contract for a signing bonus of $762,500.  


The two backstops – Ortega and Wilson - competed in the 2015 DSL after participating in extended spring training, illustrating the point that some of the new nine may head back to the academy for DSL play this summer.

In 2015, left-hander David Oca moved even more. He pitched in EST, then returned to the DSL to make four starts, joined the Gulf Coast League Cards, where he appeared in 11 games, before finishing the season with State College.

With the two squads came two daily games in EST, which began this past Monday, April 25 and will continue through Saturday, June 4. The 2016 DSL season will also get underway on June 4.

Here are the two full EST rosters.

White       Red    
Pitchers 2015 Club Age   Pitchers 2015 Age
Max Almonte State College 24   Juan Alvarez DSL  19
Estarlin Arias GCL  21   Brady Bowen GCL  23
Carson Cross State College 24   Franyel Casadilla DSL  19
Jonathan Escudero GCL/JC/SC/PB 22   Will Changarotty DSL  20
Steven Farinaro JC/GCL 20   Jordan DeLorenzo GCL  23
Harley Holt PMB/JC 24   Bryan Dobzanski JC 20
Dailyn Martinez State College 22   Jordan Hicks GCL  19
Julio Mateo Johnson City 20   Ronald Medrano DSL/GCL 20
Yeison Medina GCL  23   Ian Oxnevad GCL  19
David Oca GCL/DSL/SC 20   Frederis Parra GCL/JC 21
Dewin Perez Peoria  21   Alvaro Seijas New 17
Juan Perez State College 20   Jacob Schlesener GCL  19
Alex Reyes GCL/PB/SPR 21   Greg Tomchick SC 23
Jorge Rodriguez State College 22   Gerwuins Velazco GCL/SC 24
Ramon Santos Johnson City 21   Bob Wheatley TOR SS-A 24
        Ronnie Williams JC 20
Catchers 2015 Club Age   Catchers 2015 Age
Riley Drongesen GCL/JC/SC 23   Erik Garcia JC 23
Joshua Lopez GCL  20   Dennis Ortega DSL  18
Ryan McCarvel GCL/JC 21   Frankie Rodriguez GCL  20
Chris Rivera State College 21   Irving Wilson DSL  19
        Stephen Zavala GCL  22
Infield 2015 Club Age   Infield 2015 Age  
Joey Hawkins Johnson City 23   Starlin Balbuena DSL  18
Cole Lankford State College 23   Allen Cordoba GCL  20
Danny Martin State College 21   Bryce Denton GCL  19
Jose Martinez Johnson City 17   Edwin Figuera DSL  18
Josh Swirchak Peoria 23   Luis Flores DSL  19
Dylan Tice GCL  23   Carlos Rodriguez DSL  19
        Elier Rodriguez SC 21
        Champ Rowland SC 24
Outfield 2015 Club Age   Outfield 2015 Age
Jhohan Acevedo State College 23   Anthony Ray JC 20
DeAndre Asbury-Heath Johnson City 20   Jonathan Rivera GCL  18
Luis Bandes GCL  19   Sanel Rosendo DSL  18
Ricardo Bautista Johnson City 20   Carlos Torres GCL  23
Bladimil Franco Johnson City 22   Wadye Ynfante DSL  18
Carlos Talavera GCL  19        


In addition to full-season players rehabbing injuries in Jupiter, at least five EST players are apparently among the rehabbers, not listed on either the Red or White rosters. They are pitchers Paul Salazar, Davis Ward, Silas Bohannan, first baseman Hunter Newman and outfielder Nick Plummer. The latter was St. Louis’ first-round draft pick last June.


What is Next

As is customary, I will file reports from Cardinals extended spring training late next week, so look for the first-hand news you can find only at The Cardinal Nation!

For roster and player information

The team rosters here at The Cardinal Nation are as up-to-date for St. Louis and all four full-season clubs. All EST players remain on one of the short-season clubs based on where they ended 2015. To access these team rosters, click on the words “PROSPECTS” > “MiLB Rosters/Player Pages” underneath The Cardinal Nation site logo.

To see the Cardinals’ entire system by level and position on one page along with every player transaction for every club all year long, check out the newly-refreshed Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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

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