Cards Coming to USA – Full Minors Spring Camp

A dozen St. Louis Cardinals Latin American prospects have scored minor league spring training invitations for 2007.

No Eddie Murphys or Arsenio Halls are anywhere to be found as a vast majority of the St. Louis Cardinals' group of international prospects who are "Coming to America" in a month already know their way around.

The Cardinals have invited a dozen organizational players from Latin America to participate in their full minor league spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida during March.

Eleven of the twelve are returning to the United States after having played here in 2006. Only catcher/third baseman Wilmer Alvarado is expected to make his American debut this season.

Based on his 2006 regular season and winter ball results, the soon-to-be 19-year old Alvarado looks ready. All-told, nine of the twelve played winter ball this year in preparation.

Reflecting the Cardinals organization's extended presence in Venezuela, eight of the players hail from there, with two from the Dominican Republic (DR) and one each from Mexico and Colombia.

Nine are position players and three are pitchers. The latter group is led by our number three prospect in the Cardinals system, left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia.

Spring training games for these and the rest of the minor leaguers are tentatively scheduled to begin on March 13 with an intrasquad game, followed by a tilt against their Jupiter neighbors, the Florida Marlins on March 14.

A two-and-a-half week schedule of games will follow before camp breaks at month-end as the full-season squads go to work for 2007.

Name

Home

Pos

DOB

2006 Club

2006 Winter

Wilmer Alvarado

 VEN 

C/3B

02/08/88

Venezuelan Summer League

Liga Paralela (Ven)

Jose Contreras

 VEN 

SS

4/29/1985

Savannah (Sally)

La Guaira (Ven)

Jose Garcia

 VEN 

RHP

6/2/1981

Palm Beach/Springfield

Oriente (Ven)

Henry Guerrero

 VEN 

C

4/4/1982

Quad Cities

 

Juan Lucena

 VEN 

SS

1/20/1984

Palm Beach

Aragua (Ven)

Jose Martinez

 VEN 

2B

1/24/1986

Quad Cities

Aragua (Ven)

Fabian Marquez

 VEN 

RHP

11/12/1986

Johnson City

Liga Paralela (Ven)

Willian Sandoval

 VEN 

SS

12/27/1985

Johnson City/State College

 

Elvis Hernandez

 DR 

RHP

4/27/1985

Johnson City

Liga Paralela (Ven)

Melvin Puello

 DR 

OF

11/27/1985

Johnson City

 

Donovan Solano

 COL 

SS

12/17/1987

State College

Barranquilla (Col)

Jaime Garcia 

 MEX 

LHP

7/8/1986

Quad Cities/Palm Beach 

Hermosillo (Mex)

 
Name Comments
Wilmer Alvarado Power bat, lots of upside
Jose Contreras Career .225 hitter. Rule 5 pickup from Wash. 
Jose Garcia Re-signed after becoming a free agent
Henry Guerrero Hit .250 in 2006
Juan Lucena Batted .288 at Palm Beach
Jose Martinez Our #30 Cardinals prospect two years running
Fabian Marquez First 15 games at JC last season were rough
Willian Sandoval Good speed on bases, but hitting is suspect
Elvis Hernandez OBA .217 at JC, 2.22 ERA in LP
Melvin Puello Only hit .235 at Johnson City
Donovan Solano Our #36 Cardinals prospect hit .282 in 2006
Jaime Garcia  Star left-hander is #3 on our top prospect list

For a recap of these Cardinals players' winter ball results and more, click here. For Liga Paralela (winter minor league) results from Venezuela, click on this link.

Our next report will feature the 33 international players who have been selected to participate in the Cardinals' 2007 Extended Spring Training camp, also in Jupiter.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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