One challenge in camps, such as the St. Louis Cardinals instructional league, is identifying multiple players wearing the same number. Here we have twin number 31s, third baseman Starlin Balbuena and pitcher John Kilichowski. At least during games, they wear regular jerseys with their name included.
Kilichowski had his 15 minutes of fame after allowing Tim Tebow’s first professional home run in this instructional league game.
Speaking of which, the former Heisman Trophy winner drew a lot of attention in Florida. Tebow is now playing in the Arizona Fall League, against more advanced pitching.
Allen Cordoba has quietly won two batting titles in two years and plays a premium defensive position, shortstop.
Peoria’s Jose Martinez is another talented shortstop, in his first year in the system, having joined the Cardinals in the Tony Cruz trade with Kansas City last winter.
Outfielder Dylan Carlson was the Cardinals’ compensation pick for the loss of John Lackey as a free agent.
In mid-July, J.D. Murders was the last signee from the draft. Though taken in the 31st round, the infielder received seventh-round money to turn professional, rather than play college ball.
20-year old outfielder Brian Sanchez was the Dominican Summer League’s Most Valuable Player.
Lefty Jacob Schlesener is trying to get back on track after a rough 2016 in the Gulf Coast League.
Catcher Dennis Ortega was our 2016 GCL Player of the Year, beating out bigger names.
Outfielder Walker Robbins was St. Louis’ fifth-round pick this June.
Cuban Johan Oviedo is physically imposing at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, but has a ready smile.
What is next
Check back for more staff interviews from St. Louis Cardinals instructional league camp.
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