Cardinals Draft Calendar and Beyond

Like many clubs, the St. Louis Cardinals' brass will be busy over the next few weeks. Here is the schedule of events leading up to the start of play for their short-season teams in Johnson City, Batavia and the Gulf Coast League.

St. Louis Cardinals officials are planning for a very busy time over the next few weeks, with a number of related activities scheduled around the First-Year Player Draft as well as the start of the season for their short-season clubs in Johnson City of the Appalachian League, Batavia of the New York-Penn League and the new Gulf Coast League team housed in the Cardinals' complex in Jupiter, Florida.

Here is a brief description of some of the highlights of what will be happening over the next two to three weeks:

Now through Saturday, June 2 - Extended Spring Training (EST) camp continues in Jupiter with scheduled games against prospects from nearby organizations (Dodgers, Mets, Marlins, Nationals). While a handful of players have left EST to join full-season clubs, the majority remain behind. Elsewhere on this site, I have posted several reports on EST activities with a new stats update planned next week.

Sunday, June 3 through Saturday, June 9 – Intrasquad games continue at the Jupiter complex. The EST camp has been run by the short-season team coaches, including Johnson City's Joe Almaraz and Sid Monge. In the recent days, the minor league coordinators, Jim Riggleman and Mark Riggins, were roving, catching the full-season clubs in action.

Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9 – First Year Player Draft at Disney's Wild World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. For the first time ever, the initial four hours of the draft will be televised on ESPN. The Cardinals will set up their draft warroom in St. Louis, and will have a pair of executives on hand in Orlando, as well. John Mozeliak and Alan Benes will be on site in Florida.

Sunday, June 10 through Saturday, June 16 - Minicamp in Jupiter will include drafted players who sign immediately as well as Extended Spring Training holdovers. This provides a clear motivation for drafted players to sign quickly, though in most cases, signability is assessed and discussed even prior to the draft. Still, if a player reports and impresses, even in a few days, it might positively affect his initial destination.

Tuesday, June 12 - For players not under contract by this date, instead of reporting to minicamp, they will be sent directly to join their assigned team at the end of the week.

Wednesday, June 13 through Thursday, June 14 - Initial roster determinations for JC, Batavia and GCL squads are expected to be made.

Sunday, June 17 – Team flights to short-season locations in Johnson City and Batavia with the GCL Cardinals already at home.

Tuesday, June 19 - Short-season clubs begin play. (Of course, we'll be expanding our daily game recaps here at The Birdhouse to include JC, Batavia and the GCL Cards.)

So, stay right here at The Birdhouse, stlcardinals.scout.com, for the most complete Cardinals draft and minor league coverage anywhere.

For those who are interested in speculation on who will be chosen to fill the Cardinals draft picks at number 18, 36, 72, 83, 113 and so on, feel free to join in the lively discussion on our fine message board.



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

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