The purpose of this article is simple enough – present the list of the St. Louis Cardinals’ invitees to 2017 minor league spring training camp now underway in Jupiter, Florida. The timing is right, with all of them taking the fields together for the first time on Thursday, March 9th.
Pitchers and catchers reported on Monday, March 6, with their first workout the next day. Position players joined them on Wednesday, March 8.
The challenge for all 157 – plus the up to 40 players remaining to be cut from Major League camp as St. Louis eventually drops down to 25 – will be to secure one of 100 jobs to open the regular season – 25 each on the organization’s four full-season clubs in Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria.
The 157 players named below include 76 pitchers and 81 position players. 125 of them arrived in camp this week, with 30 being holdovers from early minor league camp (STEP Camp, denoted with “S”). The final two were already cut from big-league camp. Pitchers Junior Fernandez and Jake Woodford were originally-announced as STEP campers, but were temporarily added to major league camp to provide pitching depth before being returned to minor league camp earlier this week.
|Minors camp (157)|
|Aikin, Craig||Gonzalez Yariel||Rivera, Chris|
|Almonte, Max||Gonzalez, Noel||Rivera, Jonathan|
|Alvarez, Juan||Gordon, Robbie||Robbins, Walker|
|Anderson, Will||Grayson, Casey||Rodriguez, Carlos|
|Arias, Estarlin||Harrison, Luke||Rodriguez, Elier|
|Arozarena, Randy||S||Hawkins, Chandler||Rodriguez, Julio|
|Asbury-Heath, DeAndre||Hawkins, Joey||Rosendo, Sanel|
|Balbuena, Starlin||Heesch, Michael||Rowland, Champ|
|Bandes, Luis||Helsley, Ryan||Salazar, Paul|
|Bard, Daniel||Hergert, Kevin||Schlereth, Daniel|
|Bautista, Ricardo||Herrera, Juan||Schlesener, Jacob|
|Beck, Landon||Heyer, Kurt||Schumacher, Cody|
|Billings, Shane||Hicks, Jordan||S||Seijas, Alvaro|
|Bowen, Brady||Hudson, Dakota||S||Sexton, Austin|
|Bray, Tyler||Hudzina, Danny||Shaban, Ronnie|
|Brebbia, John||Jackson, Vince||S||Shew, Anthony|
|Brodbeck, Andrew||Jenner, Jesse||S||Siomkin, Keaton|
|Bryan, Vaughn||Jones, Connor||S||Sohn, Andrew|
|Caldwell, Bruce||Katz, Mason||Soto, Carlos|
|Calvano, Robert||Kilichowski, John||Spitz, Thomas|
|Carlson, Dylan||S||Lancaster, Tyler||Staton, Allen|
|Carter, Eric||Lankford, Cole||Talavera, Carlos|
|Casadilla, Franyel||Lee, Thomas||Thomson, Colton|
|Castano, Daniel||Leitao, Brennan||Thon, Dickie Joe||S|
|Changarotty, Will||Lopes, Caleb||Tice, Dylan|
|Chinea, Chris||S||Lopez, Joshua||Tilley, Leland|
|Ciavarella, Anthony||Machado, Jonathan||Tomchick, Greg|
|Cross, Carson||Martin, Daniel||Trayner, Spencer|
|Cruz, Luis||S||Martinez, Dailyn||Trosclair, Stefan|
|Davis, J.R.||Martinez, Jose||Turgeon, Casey|
|Davis, Matt||Martini, Nick||S||Vance, Ross|
|De La Cruz, Steven||MaVorhis, Levi||Voit, Luke||S|
|DeLorenzo, Jordan||McCarvel, Ryan||S||Walter, John|
|Dennard, R.J.||McElroy, Jr. C.J.||Ward, Davis|
|Denton, Bryce||S||McKinney, Ian||Whalen, Brady|
|Diekroeger, Danny||McKnight, Blake||Wheatley, Bob|
|Dobzanski, Bryan||Medina, Yeison||Williams, Ronnie||S|
|Drake, Blake||S||Mejia, Alex||S||Wilson, Austin||S|
|Dykstra, Luke||S||Mercado, Oscar||S||Wilson, Irving|
|Echemendia, Pedro||Mulford, Jonathon||Wilson, Jacob|
|Edman, Tommy||S||Murders, J.D.||Wirsu, Josh|
|Ellis, Chris||S||Newman, Hunter||Woodford, Jake||S|
|Evans, Jacob||Oca, David||Ynfante, Wadye|
|Fariano, Steven||O'Keefe, Brian||S||Young, Andrew|
|Fennel, Mick||Olivera, Orlando||Zavala, Stephen|
|Fernandez, Junior||S||O'Reilly, Mike|
|Fiedler, Matt||Oviedo, Johan|
|Figuera, Edwin||Oxnevad, Ian||S|
|Flores, Luis||Parra, Frederis|
|Franco, Bladimil||Pearce, Matt|
|Frey, Nick||Perez, Delvin||S|
|Gallen, Zac||S||Perez, Dewin|
|Garcia, Erik||Perez, Juan|
|Garcia, Victor||Pina, Leobaldo|
|Godoy, Jose||S||Pritchard, Michael|
|Gonzalez, Derian||S||Ray, Anthony||Step camp invitee||S|
Rather than break them all down by 2016 level of play, it is much simpler to note there are only 16 players missing who are still under contract with the organization and finished last season on any of the USA affiliates – from Memphis all the way down to – and including - the Gulf Coast League.
As always seems to be the case, the names of those not included on the active roster is more intriguing than those who are.
That leaves the following 14, of whom 11 are pitchers. Most are previously known to have been injured and are likely in various stages of rehab, which would keep them off the field. In fact, eight of them finished 2016 on the disabled list and a ninth, Oneiver Diaz, did not pitch all season. A 10th, Silas Bohannan, has already been hurt this spring.
|Not in camp pitchers (2)|
|Rehab? pitchers (11)||Y/E 2016||2017||Rehab? hitters (3)||Y/E 2016||2017|
|Reed, Jimmy||Spr DL||Bean, Steve||PB|
|Morales, Andrew||Spr DL||STEP||Seferina, Darren||PB DL|
|Perry, Chris||Spr DL||Plummer, Nick||GCL DL||STEP|
|Then, Jery||Peo DL|
|Medrano, Ronald||GCL DL|
|Diaz, Oneiver||GCL DNP|
|Tewes, Sam||GCL DL|
A high-profile pair among the 14, pitcher Andrew Morales and outfielder Nick Plummer, were among those invited to STEP camp earlier – yet are apparently still not ready to roll. I hope to learn more about the status of the two soon.
One other notable player in camp, one whose professional stats ledger is still blank, is right-hander pitcher Sam Tewes. The 2016 eighth-rounder from Wichita State was held out of action after signing with St. Louis while recovering from Tommy John surgery conducted last March.
Among the three whose status is unclear is Palm Beach catcher Steve Bean and pitchers Jorge Rodriguez (Peoria) and Ramon Santos (Johnson City). Another hurler, Hector Soto, was signed in December. His initial roster assignment per MiLB.com was the GCL, but perhaps he is destined for the Dominican Summer League to open his career instead.
Among the 157 players in minor league spring training camp are five international players who have yet to appear in an official game in the US. The only one who was in the organization at this time last year is catcher Julio Rodriguez. The 19-year-old logged an impressive .980 OPS in the 2016 Dominican Summer League.
The other four are part of the unprecedented current July 2nd class, three of whom played in part of the 2016 season in the DSL – pitcher Johan Oviedo (18), catcher Carlos Soto (48) and outfielder Jonatan Machado (27). All three are ranked in The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospects for 2017 (see their specific rankings in parentheses) and in total received over $4.6 million in signing bonuses.
The other recent signee invited to the US for spring training is highly-regarded Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia. Though he came to terms with St. Louis for a reported $1.5 million, his youth meant that the 16-year-old would begin play in 2017. It appears Garcia could skip over the DSL altogether, though heading back to the academy is possible, as well.
Colleague Rob Rains of stlsportspage.com was on the back fields Friday and has informed me that position players Bean, Seferina and Plummer were all in uniform and working out - encouraging news.
What is next?
The 157 players will begin camp games Thursday, March 16, with the first official contests against external competition the next day. I am planning to be there. Here is the 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. In an upgrade this year, TCN staffer Derek Shore will periodically be joining me writing these recaps.
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 other DSL alums and many of the Cardinals’ yet-to-be-determined Draft Class of 2017 on the State College, Johnson City and GCL rosters in mid-June.
Look for my annual roster prediction series, with separate looks at St. Louis and each of the four full-season affiliates, coming next week.
Bookmark the Roster Matrix
To see the full 2016 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 of the Roster Matrix is just a few days away.
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