Cuban Outfielder Loaned to the Mexican League

World-traveling Memphis Redbirds outfielder Amaury Marti has once again packed his bags, returning to the Mexican League for the second consecutive summer, this time with the Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

Outfielder Amaury Marti has been loaned by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Diablos Rojos del Mexico. The Mexican League club is located in Mexico City. His rights remain under the control of the Cardinals organization.

Marti, either 33 or 29 years of age depending on the source, was the 18th round (556th overall) pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 amateur draft. Upon signing, the Cuban native was assigned to Single-A+ Palm Beach, where he hit .282 with four home runs and 16 RBIs. Marti later earned a promotion to Double-A Springfield, where he batted a lowly .227 with six home runs and 13 RBIs.

In 2007, Marti was loaned to the Petroleros de Minatitlan in the Mexican League, as the Cardinals farm system had overcrowding in the outfield. During his stay there, he tore into the league, hitting .337 with 26 doubles, 15 home runs, 71 RBIs, and struck out 54 times in 362 at-bats. When the Mexican League season ended, he was recalled to Double-A Springfield as they headed into the Texas League playoffs. Marti hit .308 with five doubles, six home runs, 20 RBIs, and struck out 23 times in 107 at-bats.

During the fall, Marti was sent by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Arizona Fall League for the second consecutive season. There, he struggled at the plate, hitting .220 with one double, one home run, eight RBIs, and struck out 13 times in 41 at-bats, as the Mesa squad finished last in the division. After the AFL finished, the right-handed swinging outfielder headed south for the winter. He landed in Nicaraguan League in the middle of their winter ball season, with Indios del Boer. While in the Nicaraguan League, he was named Player of the Week in the beginning of January and finished off the winter season hitting .393 with six doubles, 5 home runs, and 25 RBIs.

Marti left the Nicaraguan League after the season finale, before their playoffs, as he was called to the 2008 St. Louis Cardinals Spring Camp. There, he was able to show off some of his talent which got him drafted and catch some looks by the Cardinals major league coaching staff. In 24 at-bats, he hit .292 with two doubles, four RBIs, and only struck out three times. He was never likely under serious consideration for getting a spot on the 25-man roster but it was more of an experience for him and for the club officials to check out what they had as options as the year rolled on. The team would assign Marti to Triple-A Memphis for the 2008 season in hopes that he may be a factor in the major league club's season to come.

At Memphis, Marti started off the season hot, but fizzled as time went on. He was hitting .266 with six doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs, and struck out 25 times in 94 at-bats before being placed on the 7-day disabled list on May 6th, making room for troubled pitcher Anthony Reyes, who had been demoted a couple days earlier.

The Diablos Rojos del Mexico activated Marti on Tuesday, May 20, before their game against Rojos del Aguila de Vera Cruz. In his first game back in the Mexican League, Marti was 1-for-3 with one RBI and one strike out. Current Cardinals farm hand Trey Hearne is also playing in the Triple-A League. On the Diablos Rojos, Marti joins former Cardinals reliever Ricardo Rincon, on loan from the New York Mets.

Likely one of the main reasons for Marti being sent out is due to the overcrowded Triple-A outfield and Marti was just not performing up to the likes of Nick Stavinoha, Joe Mather, and Cody Haerther. And we all know, Colby Rasmus is staying in Memphis, at least for the foreseeable future.

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