Jen Argenal (also known as Jem Argenal in some reports) just turned 17 on November 19th and was courted on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals by Nicaraguan scout Christian Blanco, who also signed Walter Santos, Edwin Conde, Edgard Montiel, and was a big voice in the signing of Ryde Rodriguez.
No financial terms of the agreement have been released at this time. For his first professional action, Argeñal will report to the Dominican Summer League Cardinals for the 2009 campaign.
Argeñal is listed at 6-feet-0 and 205 pounds and is considered to be a left-handed power hitter with a little speed. His main position is first base, but I am told he also plays some in right field. He is currently playing for Cardenales de la Unica in the Liga Juvenil de Prospectos Nicaraguenses. The prospect league is the focus of winter ball in the country since the Nicaraguan Winter League was suspended for the 2008-09 winter season.
Argeñal is batting .343 (12-for-35) with two doubles, one triple, six RBIs, two runs, three walks, two stolen bases, three strikeouts, a .395 OBA, and .457 SLG in 12 games (as of 11/23/08). He leads Unica in slugging and is second in batting and RBIs among players with 20 at-bats on the team, and ranks seventh overall in the league with his .343 batting average. Unica is 6-6 and are three games out of first in the Nicaraguan Prospect League.
Argeñal will be a much-needed bat on the left side of the plate for the Dominican Summer League Cardinals, who only had natural left-handed swinging Roberto Reyes and switch-hitters Wader Perez and Alexander Castellano during the 2008 season. He also gives the Cardinals another option at first base, at which they had trouble in finding an everyday player last season. Marcos Martinez was tapped as the starter in the beginning of the year but struggled at the plate and we also saw Audris Perez, Luis Pimentel, and a few others take their turns.
In the photo below, the newest Cardinal is shown with his parents and siblings.
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