Six July 2nd Teens Commit to Cardinals

In their first wave of Latin American 16-year-old signees in 2008, the Cardinals come to terms with four from the Dominican Republic and two from Venezuela.

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have agreed to terms with six prospects fromLatin America, all of whom became eligible to sign on July 2nd.


From the Dominican Republic:


·       Third baseman Roberto De La Cruz (also known as Roberto Pina).  Born in San Pedro de Macoris on 11/10/1991. 6-2, 180.


·       Right handed pitcher Santo Franco.  Born in Bani on 11/28/1991.  6-7, 190.


·       Right handed pitcher Dennis Montero.  Born in Hato Mayor on 11/20/1991.  6-1, 162.


·       Shortstop Grabiel Hernandez.  Born in San Pedro de Macoris on 10/16/1991.  5-10, 150.


From Venezuela:


·       Shortstop Cesar Valera.  Born in Ocumare on 3/8/1992.  6-1, 180.


·       Left handed pitcher Jose Weffer.  Born in Moron on 5/18/1992.  6-1, 178.


These players will be signed pending physicals and completion of age investigations.


"This is an exciting group of prospects that adds to our growing Latin American program.  Our investment in young Latin American players this year is the largest in club history.  Ownership has supported our efforts to build the infrastructure of facilities and staff and enabled us to compete for the top talent" said Jeff Luhnow, Vice President of Scouting and Player Development.


"We've scouted these players over the past year and very intensely in the past few months leading up to the signing date," said Moises Rodriguez, Director of Latin American Operations. "Each of these players was being heavily courted by several other organizations, but in the end we were able to land them by being competitive with the signing bonuses and convincing them of the fit with the organization."


"In my opinion, De la Cruz was the best available bat in Latin America," said Juan Mercado, Scouting Supervisor for Latin America.  "Franco has potential to be a top of the rotation starter someday in the big leagues and very few pitchers have his combination of size, stuff, and pitchability at such a young age.  Add to that the premier middle infielder from Venezuela in Valera with plus defensive and offensive potential, and this is a July 2nd group that should make a big impact in St. Louis in the years to come."

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