Five Cards Taken in Puerto Rican Winter Draft

The St. Louis Cardinals had five prospects selected in the 2009-2010 Puerto Rican Winter League Draft.

On Thursday, the Puerto Rican Winter League held their draft selecting from a pool of minor league players who would be rookies if they join the league.  Indios de Mayaguez took Hector Hernandez in the first round and Antonio DeJesus in the seventh round, Cangrejeros de Santurce selected Jonathan Rodriguez in the second round, Gigantes de Carolina picked Anthony Garcia in the third round, and Lobos de Arecibo took Pete Parise in the fourth round.


Hernandez, 18, was the 10th round (309th overall) selection by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2009 draft out of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy High School.  After signing with the organization, he was assigned to the short-season rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals to begin his professional career.  The left-handed hurler made 13 appearances (eight starts) posting a 2-1 record and 2.21 ERA.  He allowed 37 hits, 16 runs (ten earned), nine walks, and struck out 33 over 40.2 innings.  Hernandez lead the team in starts, innings, ERA (among starters), and ranked second in strikeouts.


Rodriguez, 20, was the 17th round (519th overall) selection by the Cardinals in the 2009 draft out of Manatee Junior College.  Like Hernandez, Rodriguez was also assigned to the Gulf Coast squad to begin his professional career.  He batted .351 (34-for-97) with eight doubles, one triple, 15 RBIs, 44 total bases, 12 runs, 18 walks, three stolen bases, and 14 strikeouts in 30 games.  For the final month of the minor league season, the Cardinals organization promoted the right-handed hitter to short-season rookie-level Johnson City in August.  He went on to bat .250 (17-for-68) with five doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, 28 total bases, nine runs, 11 walks, one stolen base, and 18 strikeouts in 24 games.


Garcia, 17, was the 18th round (549th overall) selection by the Cardinals in the 2009 draft out San Juan Educational High School.  Like the two previous, Garcia was assigned to the Gulf Coast Cardinals where he competed with Kevin Moscatel and Jeudis Polanco at the catcher position.  He played in 23 games batting .235 (12-for-51) with three doubles, one triple, three RBIs, 17 total bases, 12 runs, four walks, two stolen bases, and ten strikeouts.  Behind the plate, the right-hander threw out 8-of-19 attempting base stealers, had six passed balls, committed four errors, and assisted in one double play.


Previously it was announced that Parise would pitch for the Leones de Ponce team but plans have changed and he will be joining former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Bill Pulsipher on the Lobos de Arecibo squad.  He was also recently selected as the 2009 Memphis Redbirds Relief Pitcher of the Year.

DeJesus, 23, was the 16th round (502nd overall) selection by the Cardinals in the 2007 draft out of Kentucky.  The roving outfielder was assigned to short-season Single-A Batavia to begin his professional career and was promoted to Single-A Quad Cities within a month of play.  Over both levels, he hit .238 (45-for-189) with four doubles, one home run, 21 RBIs, a .385 OBP, .275 SLG, and .660 OPS.  The left-handed hitter played for the A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals in 2008 where he hit .278 (71-for-255) with four doubles, four triples, 11 RBIs, 41 runs, 45 walks, eight stolen bases, and 52 strikeouts in 85 games. 


This past season, DeJesus made the move up the ladder to Double-A Springfield where he played a very limited amount of time in the outfield.  He batted .229 (41-for-179) with six doubles, two triples, one home run, 19 RBIs, 27 runs, 26 walks, and 26 strikeouts in 75 games.  DeJesus finished the season on the disabled list for the second consecutive year.


All the above may be joining Cardinals affiliated players Casey Mulligan (Caguas), Luis Mateo (Carolina), and Joe Thurston (Ponce) in the league, which begins play on November 12.  Last season, Jose Oquendo managed Carolina, bringing along P.J. Walters, Bryan Anderson, and Yadier Molina. Rigoberto Lugo pitched in one game for Santurce.


For a full wrap-up of the St. Louis Cardinals players and prospects in the 2008-09 Puerto Rican League, you can read it here: Link



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