Montiel Joins Conde Back Home in Nicaragua

The St. Louis Cardinals organization released Nicaraguan catcher Edgard Montiel, who spent the 2007 season playing for the Dominican Summer League Cardinals.

Edgard Montiel, who just turned 20, was a free agent signing out of the country of Nicaragua in 2006. While he played for the Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals in 2006, Montiel posted a .212/.299/.240 (BA/OBP/SLG) line in 104 at-bats over 42 games. In 2007, Montiel moved to the Dominican Summer League Cardinals squad. There he hit .244 with 41 hits, nine doubles, one home run, 24 RBIs, and three stolen bases. He also earned a .990 fielding PCT for the season.

Montiel will join former Gulf Coast League Cardinals outfielder Edwin Conde, who was also released after the 2007 season, on the Indios del Boer roster as they compete in the Nicaraguan Spring/Summer League. Montiel will be the starting third baseman while Conde will be the forth outfielder for the team.

Conde, soon to turn 21, was also a free agent signing out of Nicaragua in 2005. Conde started his professional career with the DSL Cardinals, hitting .215 with six doubles, one triple, and 10 RBIs in 43 games. He was moved to the VSL Cardinals in 2006 where he hit seven home runs (second on the team), led the team with 30 RBIs, and had a .439 SLG. He also earned the organization's VSL Player of the Year Award for 2006. Jeff Luhnow, Cardinals' VP of Player Development, was very high on Conde and moved him on to the GCL squad. With the GCL Cardinals, Conde struggled, hitting .173 with four doubles, one triple, one home run, 11 RBIs, and a .293 SLG. After the 2007 season, Conde was given his release from the organization.

After these moves, the total number of Nicaraguans in the Cardinals farm system is down to one, as left-hander Walter Santos is still expected to pitch either in the DSL or VSL this season. The nation is also the home of new Palm Beach pitching coach Dennis "El Presidente" Martinez. Both Montiel and Conde felt the squeeze as the Cardinals bring in new talent to the farm system from the Caribbean region.

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