Ex-Cardinals Census, 2008: The Indy Ballers

In Part Three of our St. Louis Cardinals Census, we look at where 62 former Cards are now playing in the independent leagues of professional baseball.

As we continue on in our St. Louis Cardinals census, we journey on into the independent baseball leagues for updates on former major and minor leaguers. In this chapter of the census, we take a look at where some of the veteran roster fillers and former prospects that couldn't cut it in the minors now reside. Only seven of the players listed had appeared in the majors with St. Louis, few others barely even made it to Triple-A Memphis, while the others toiled in the lower levels.

The count sits at 62 currently, though this could change as rosters are not fully set for all the independent leagues. 13 players on the list ended their 2007 seasons in the Cardinals organization, but were since released. A total of 15 moved from one independent team to another, 26 moved from the MLB affiliated minors to the indy leagues, 16 stayed with their 2007 team, and five others either didn't play or information is not available.

One reason for a small jump in the moves from one indy team to another is the effect of the South Coast League suspending operations for the 2008 season and maybe shutting down completely. Also note that four have already seen the axe as the 2008 season begins.

This list may not include every single former Cardinal player, so if anyone runs across any information, feel free to post it on the message boards so we can update the list for the future. Also be sure to check out the independent official site links at the bottom of the page if you are interested in following the leagues as they play in 2008.

Name Years In Cardinals Organization 2007 Team 2008 Team
Dennis Abreu 2003:Palm Beach, 2003:Tennessee Camden (Atlantic League) Nashua (Canadian American League)
James (Danny) Borne 2005:Johnson City, 2006:Quad Cities Windy City (Frontier League) Windy City (Frontier League)
Shaun Boyd * 2000:Johnson City, 2001-02:Peoria, 2003-04:Palm Beach, 2003-04:Tennessee, 2005-06:Springfield, 2006:Memphis Ottawa (Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A) Bridgeport (Atlantic League)
Armando Carrasco 2006:Johnson City, 2007:Quad Cities Quad Cities (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A) River City (Frontier League)
Charles Carter 2005:Johnson City, 2006:State College, 2006:Quad Cities Fort Worth (American Association) Fort Worth (American Association)
Chris Clem 2005:New Jersey River City (Frontier League) River City (Frontier League)
Jose Contreras 2007:Palm Beach Palm Beach (St. Louis Cardinals Single A+) Quebec (Canadian American League)
Luis Cotto 2006:Quad Cities, 2006:Palm Beach York (Atlantic League) Edmonton (Golden League)
Nate Cotton 2004-05:Palm Beach, 2005:Springfield Fargo-Moorhead (Northern League) Fargo-Moorhead (Northern League)
Will Cunnane  2006:Memphis Did Not Play Newark (Atlantic League)
Juan Diaz 2005:Springfield, 2006:Memphis Joliet (Frontier League)/High Desert (Seattle Mariners Single-A+) Joliet (Northern League)
Tim Dorn 2007:Quad Cities S. Illinois (Frontier League)/Quad Cities(St. Louis Cardinals Single-A) S. Illinois (Frontier League)
Matt Dryer  2004:Peoria, 2004-06:Palm Beach, 2006:Springfield York (Atlantic League) York (Atlantic League)
Chad Ehrnsberger 2003:Peoria, 2004:Palm Beach, 2004:Tennessee Joliet (Northern League) S. Maryland (Atlantic League)
Chris Eickhorst # 2002:New Jersey, 2002-03:Peoria, 2003-04:Palm Beach, 2004:Tennessee Pennsylvania (Atlantic League) Bridgeport (Atlantic League)
Kevin Fitzgerald 2005:Johnson City St. Paul (American Association)/North Shore (Atlantic League)/New Jersey(Atlantic League) Sioux City (American Association)
Chad Gabriel 2004:Johnson City, 2005:New Jersey, 2006:Quad Cities Grays (Canadian American League) Sioux City (American Association)
Jose Garcia 2005-06:Palm Beach, 2007:Quad Cities,  2006-07:Springfield Springfield (St. Louis Cardinals Double-A)/Newark (Atlantic League) Newark (Atlantic League)
Justin Garza *  2003:Johnson City, 2003:New Jersey, 2004:Peoria, 2004-06:Palm Beach, 2006:Springfield New Jersey (Canadian American League) New Jersey (Canadian American League)
Rich Giannotti 2006:Quad Cities Nashua (Canadian American League) S. Maryland (Atlantic League)
Donovan Graves 1999-00:Johnson City, 2001, 2003:Peoria, 2002:Potomac, 2003:Palm Beach Atlantic City (Atlantic League)/Yuma (Golden League)/ St. George (Golden League) St. George (Golden League)
Will Groff 2007:Batavia Batavia (St. Louis Cardinals Short Season A) Nashua (Canadian American League)
Michael Gross 2004:Johnson City, 2004-05:New Jersey, 2005:Quad Cities Yuma (Golden League) Quebec (Canadian American League)
Chris Grossman 2007:Quad Cities, 2007:Palm Beach Palm Beach (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A+) Sioux City (American Association)
Gerard Haran 2007:GCL Cardinals St. George (Golden League)/GCL Cardinals(St. Louis Cardinals Rookie Level) Newark (Atlantic League)
Bo Hart 1999:New Jersey, 2000-01:Potomac, 2002:New Haven, 2003-06:Memphis, 2003-04:St. Louis Iowa (Chicago Cubs Triple-A)/Norfolk (Baltimore Orioles Triple-A)/Lancaster (Atlantic League) Schaumburg (Northern League)
Jutt Hileman 2000-02:Johnson City, 2002:New Jersey, 2003-04:Peoria, 2003:Palm Beach Lancaster (Atlantic League) Lancaster (Atlantic League)
Kevin House 2003:Johnson City, 2004:New Jersey Schaumburg (Northern League)/Edmonton (Northern League) Edmonton (Golden League)
Brandon Johnson 2008:Palm Beach Spring Camp Winston-Salem (Chicago White Sox Single-A+) Laredo (United League Baseball)
Brantley Jordan 2003:New Jersey, 2003-04:Peoria San Antonio (United Baseball League)/Amarillo (United Baseball League) Amarillo (United League Baseball)
Felix Jose 1992:St. Peters, 1992:Louisville, 1990-92:St. Louis Lancaster (Atlantic League)/Puebla (Mexican League) Lincoln (American Association)
Jonny Kaplan 2005:Palm Beach Long Beach (Golden League) Lincoln (American Association)
Justin Knoff 2005:Quad Cities, 2005:Palm Beach El Paso (American Association) El Paso (American Association)
Aaron Ledbetter 2001-02:Johnson City Washington (Frontier League) Washington (Frontier League)
Randy Leek 2004:Tennessee, 2005:Springfield, 2005-06:Memphis Long Island (Atlantic League)/Syracuse (Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A) Long Island (Atlantic League
Christian Lopez 2005-07:Johnson City, 2007:Quad Cities Quad Cities (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A) Florence (Frontier League)
Wayne Lundgren 2004:Peoria, 2005:Quad Cities, 2004-05:Palm Beach Did Not Play Brockton (Canadian American Association)
Brian Martin 2005:Palm Beach, 2006:Springfield, 2006:Memphis Edmonton (Northern League) St. George (Golden League)
Mark Michael 2003:New Jersey, 2004:Peoria, 2005-06:Palm Beach Fargo-Moorhead (Northern League) Kansas City (Northern League)
A. J. Montano 2006:Johnson City Aiken (South Coast League) Florence (Frontier League)
John Nelson % 2001:New Jersey, 2002:Peoria, 2003-04:Tennessee, 2005-07:Memphis, 2006:St. Louis Memphis (St. Louis Cardinals Triple-A)/Iowa (Chicago Cubs Triple-A) Lancaster (Atlantic League)
Jackson Paz 2004:New Jersey, 2004:Peoria, 2005:Quad Cities N/A St. George (Golden League)
Jason Pearson 2003:Tennesee, 2003-04:Memphis, 2003:St. Louis N/A S. Maryland (Atlantic League)
Omar Pena 2003:New Jersey, 2004:Peoria, 2004:Palm Beach Worcester (Canadian American League)/High Desert (Seattle Mariners Single-A+) Worcester (Canadian American League)
Franklin Perez * 2006:Memphis N/A Bridgeport (Atlantic League)
Josh Pressley + 2006:Springfield Somerset (Atlantic League) Somerset (Atlantic League)
Reid Price 2005: St. Louis Draft Pick Aiken (South Coast League) York (Atlantic League)
Robert Ransom 2007:Palm Beach Palm Beach (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A+) Winnipeg (Northern League)
Christian Reyes 2006:Johnson City, 2006:State College, 2007:Quad Cities Quad Cities (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A) St. Paul (American Association)
Ryan Riddle 2007:Batavia Batavia (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A Short Season) Fort Worth (American Assosciation)
Marcos Rodriguez 2002-03:Johnson City, 2003-04:Peoria, 2004:New Jersey, 2004:Palm Beach Pensacola (American Association)/New Jersey (Canadian American Association) New Jersey (Canadian American League)
Mike Rose & 2006:Memphis, 2006:St. Louis Buffalo (Cleveland Indians Triple-A) Long Island (Atlantic League)
Rich Scalamandre 2002:Johnson City, 2003:New Jersey, 2003-04:Peoria, 2003-05:Palm Beach, 2005-06:Springfield, 2006:Memphis Richmond (Atlanta Braves Triple-A) Newark (Atlantic League)
Mike Schellinger 2005:New Jersey, 2007:Quad Cities Quad Cities (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A) Joliet (Northern League)
Jason Simontacchi 2002, 2004:Memphis, 2002-04:St. Louis Washington Nationals Long Island (Atlantic League)
Donnie Smith 2004:New Jersey, 2005-06:Quad Cities, 2006:State College, 2007:Palm Beach Palm Beach (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A+) Fargo-Moorhead (Northern League)
Scott Thomas 2006:State College, 2007:GCL Cardinals GCL Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals Rookie) Gateway (Frontier League)
Matt Trent 2005:New Jersey, 2005-06:Quad Cities, 2007:Palm Beach Palm Beach (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A+)/Modesto (Colorado Rockies Single-A+) York (Atlantic League)
Dave Veres 2000-02:St. Louis Colorado Springs (Colorado Rockies Triple-A) York (Atlantic League)
Matt Weagle 2003, 05:Johnson City Worcester (Canadian American League) Worcester (Canadian American League)
John Webb 2006:Memphis Iowa (Chicago Cubs Triple-A) Pensacola (American Association)
Simon Williams 2004:Johnson City, 2004:New Jersey, 2005-06:Quad Cities, 2005-06:Palm Beach Kalamazoo (Frontier League) Kalamazoo (Frontier League)

* all were recently released by their independent league team.
# switched positions from catcher to pitcher.
% released by the Atlanta Braves during 2008 spring camp, then released by Lancaster.
+ released by the Florida Marlins during 2008 spring camp.
& released by the Colorado Rockies after 2008 spring camp.
(Note: Edmonton moved form the Northern League to the Golden League after 2007)

Independent Baseball League Official Sites
American Association
Atlantic League
Canadian American League
Continental Baseball League
Frontier League
Golden Baseball League
Northern League
South Coast League
United League Baseball

Link to Part One - "Ex-Cardinals Census, 2008: The Major Leaguers".
Link to Part Two - " Ex-Cardinals Census, 2008: The Minor Leaguers".

Coming in Part Four: "Ex-Cardinals Census, ‘08: Outside US & Canada" (covering Mexico, Japan, China and Nicaragua)

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