Three Cardinals Prospects Thrown to Gators

Mark Shorey, Adron Chambers and Chris Swauger to join the Caimanes (Alligators) de Barranquilla in Colombia for the winter ball season.

Ok, the three St. Louis Cardinals prospects that signed with the Colombian League will not actually be thrown to the gators. Instead, they are becoming ones - for the 2009-2010 winter season, at least.

Playing in the hometown of former Cardinals shortstop Edgar Renteria, the Caimanes (Alligators) de Barranquilla announced the signing of Mark Shorey, Adron Chambers and Chris Swauger on Monday. Apparently, gators are partial to left-handed hitting outfielders, as that describes all three.

Shorey, 25, served as an important outfield reserve on the Pacific Coast League champion Memphis Redbirds this past summer, his fourth in the organization after having been taken by the Cardinals from High Point University of North Carolina in the 31st round of the 2006 draft.

In his professional career, Shorey has proven he can consistently hit for power and average. As a rookie, he led the Appalachian League in home runs with 13 and in 2008, his .304 average was ninth-best in the Double-A Texas League.

With the Redbirds in 2009, Shorey picked up 258 at bats over 94 regular-season games, posting a line of .291/.335/.399. He had 13 doubles, five home runs, 27 RBI and fanned 50 times.

Chambers just completed his third summer in the Cardinals system. Taken in the 38th round of the 2007 draft from Pensacola (FL) Junior College, the 23-year-old stepped up to the A-Advanced level in 2009.

Despite playing for the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League in a pitching-friendly environment, Chambers put together his best offensive season yet. His line was .283/.370/.400. In 448 at-bats over 122 games, Chambers drove in 46 runs, had 33 extra-base hits, including 16 triples, and was 21-for-33 in stolen base attempts.

Swauger, 23, was our Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for August while playing with Chambers in the Palm Beach outfield. The Citadel product, taken in the 26th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, made an impressive turnaround during the season, with major progress each month. His average began at an anemic .167 in May, was up to .226 for June, .266 in July and .393 in August.

Swauger finished his second professional season with a line of .280/.330/.463 combined between Quad Cities, where he spent his first 31 games, and Palm Beach, where he appeared in 87 Florida State League contests.

Infielder Donovan Solano (Memphis-Springfield) and outfielder Alexander Castellano (Venezuelan Summer League) are two other Cardinals prospects who are natives of Barranquilla and are also expected to suit up for the Caimanes this winter.

For a listing of all known Cardinals prospects scheduled to suit up this fall and winter, check out our recent article entitled "Cardinals Winter Ball Preview". Come back here all winter long for the most comprehensive Cardinals winter ball coverage available anywhere, exclusively for our subscribers.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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