Cardenas Keeps Getting Better

At just 19 years old, Adrian Cardenas is already playing at Lakewood and seems to be in the express lane through the system. The young infielder is doing all he can to get even better.

Adrian Cardenas wasn't even the best player on his high school team last season. As the shortstop on Monsignor Pace High School's team, Cardenas only took advantage of the fact that teammate Chris Marrero was drawing scouts from all around baseball. Before long, Marrero, who wound up being taken with the 15th overall pick by the Nationals, wasn't the only one being scouted and Cardenas was picking up a lot of attention. When all was said and done, there were five players from that team that were drafted and Cardenas was glad it all played out that way. "I actually think that helped me out [having Marrero draw all the attention]. There were so many scouts at our games and even our practices to see primarily him [Merrero] and I was very fortunate," said Cardenas on Philly Baseball News Radio.

The Phillies were one of the teams that had Cardenas rated very highly and took him with their supplemental pick just after the first round. They were sure that Cardenas, who had signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Florida, would sign and start his pro career and they were right. Cardenas signed and started his pro career in the Gulf Coast League. "I can not imagine going to college and coming out at 21. I feel I've learned so much," said Cardenas. "I'm very fortunate, I think."

After a nice debut in the GCL, the Phillies decided to put Cardenas at Lakewood and see how he would handle a full-season league. The adjustment has gone pretty well for the 19 year old, but he admits that he's still trying to figure out just how to approach a training regimen that will keep him strong through out the season. "It's more about pacing yourself, but still not pushing yourself that you're so tired that you can't play a game," reasoned Cardenas. "I'm basically figuring out how much I can work out. We have a program, but if I can do little things here and there, will I be okay. You just want to stay healthy and stay in shape to be 100% when the game comes."

Cardenas also had an adjustment to make in moving north and playing in cold weather. After growing up in Miami and playing in the Gulf Coast League, Cardenas got his first taste of cold weather this season, including some snow for the season opener. "Opening day it was 30 and snowing, so that was definitely an adjustment," laughed Cardenas. Actually, he's willing to put himself in a colder climate for the right situation. "If you're playing in Philly, you've got to play in cold weather, so there are no excuses there, you just have to suck it up."

The Phillies are developing some good young infield prospects and the depth was a main reason why Cardenas switched positions this season. After playing shortstop all through high school and in his first pro season, Cardenas moved over to second this season and the results so far have been mixed. Cardenas has made four errors this season, but he's working hard to learn the position and is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed no matter what position the Phillies want him to play. "Double plays are a little more difficult. You're blinded to the runner, so you kind of have to know where he's at," said Cardenas, who also credited his middle infield mate, Jason Donald, with helping him make the transition. "He's always in the game and it's been great working with him," said Cardenas of Donald.

Audio Extra

The Lakewood BlueClaws started their season playing a lot of one run games. Adrian Cardenas talks about those games and learning to play under pressure:

Adrian Cardenas played his first pro season in the Gulf Coast League. 2007 is his first season in a full-season league and he talks about making the adjustment:

When you examine Cardenas' stats, it jumps out at you that he has hit much better on the road this season than at home. Is there a reason for that?

One of the big adjustments that Cardenas had to make was playing in cold weather and it was tough, but he's ready to keep doing it if it means playing in the majors:

Hear the entire interview with Adrian Cardenas on Philly Baseball News Radio:

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