By Rob Rains
The Cardinals were aggressive in promoting their top prospects in the minor leagues a year ago, and it looks like they are going to be doing some of that again this season.
The organization released its opening day rosters for its four full-season farm teams on Tuesday, and included on the roster at Double A Springfield is third baseman Jordan Walker.
At 19, Walker will be one of the youngest players in the Texas League and earned the promotion after less than half a season at high A Peoria.
The Memphis Redbirds begin their season on Tuesday night while the other three affiliates will play their season openers on Friday night.
Here is a team by team look at where the top prospects will begin the season:
Memphis – Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez, Alec Burleson, Ivan Herrera and Brendan Donovan, all of whom got long looks with the major-league team this spring, will be the key position players for the Triple A team.
Anchoring the pitching staff will be Mathew Liberatore, Zack Thompson, Johan Oviedo and Angel Rondon, with two others to watch in Connor Thomas and Jacob Bosiokovic, a converted infielder.
Springfield – Walker heads the group going to Springfield along with infielders Delvin Perez, Chandler Redmond and Malcom Nunez and outfielder Todd Lott. Heading the pitching staff will be Freddy Pacheco, Dalton Roach and Domingo Robles.
Peoria – Shortstop Masyn Winn returns to Peoria to start the season, where he finished last year, and he will be joined by first baseman Thomas Francisco and outfielders Jhon Torres and Mike Antico. Pitchers assigned to the Chiefs include last year’s top draft pick, Michael McGreevy, along with Gordon Graceffo, Austin Love and Dionys Rodriguez.
Palm Beach – Starting the season with the low Class A team will be infielders Jeremy Rivas and Osvaldo Tovalin, along with outfielders Elijah Cabell, Adanson Cruz and Ryan Holgate.
Extended spring – Prospects not assigned to a full-season team will begin the year in the extended spring training program, in advance of the rookie Complex League that will begin play in July. The group includes outfielders Won-bin Cho and Joshua Baez and pitchers Tink Hence, Edwin Nunez and Jose DaVila.
Here are the complete rosters of the four full-season teams:
MEMPHIS REDBIRDS (Triple-A)
PITCHERS (17): Jacob Bosiokovic, Junior Fernández, Matthew Liberatore*, Zach McAllister, James Naile, Packy Naughton*, Ljay Newsome, Johan Oviedo, Blake Parker, Tommy Parsons, Angel Rondón, Kyle Ryan*, Connor Thomas*, Zack Thompson*, Brandon Waddell*, Jake Walsh, T.J. Zeuch
CATCHERS (2): Iván Herrera, Ali Sánchez
INFIELDERS (7): Luken Baker, Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, Evan Mendoza, Kramer Robertson, Cory Spangenberg, Juan Yepez
OUTFIELDERS (6): Alec Burleson, Conner Capel, Clint Coulter, Ben DeLuzio, Scott Hurst, Justin Toerner
SPRINGFIELD CARDINALS (Double-A)
PITCHERS (16): Grant Black, Mike Brettell, Edgar Escobar, Edgar González, Sean Kealey*, Kyle Leahy, Connor Lunn, Kevin Marnon*, Freddy Pacheco, Tyler Pike*, Johan Quezada, Dalton Roach, Griffin Roberts, Domingo Robles*, Cory Thompson, Garrett Williams*
CATCHERS (4): Aaron McKeithan, Pedro Pages, Nick Raposo, Julio Rodríguez
INFIELDERS (7): Roberto Baldoquín, Nick Dunn, Irving López, Malcom Nuñez, Delvin Pérez, Chandler Redmond, Jordan Walker
OUTFIELDERS (5): Jonah Davis, Moisés Gómez, Matt Koperniak, Todd Lott, Chase Pinder
PEORIA CHIEFS (High-A)
PITCHERS (17): Ian Bedell, John Beller*, Gordon Graceffo, Logan Gragg, Nathanael Heredia*, Ryan Loutos, Austin Love, Michael McGreevy, Wilfredo Pereira, Levi Prater*, Jack Ralston, Dionys Rodríguez, Colin Schmid*, Enmanuel Solano, Leonardo Taveras, Nick Trogrlic-Iverson, Michael YaSenka
CATCHERS (3): Aaron Antonini, Zade Richardson, Carlos Soto
INFIELDERS (6): Jacob Buchberger, Mack Chambers, Francisco Thomas, Francisco Hernández, Noah Mendlinger, Masyn Winn
OUTFIELDERS (5): Mike Antico, Matt Chamberlain, Tommy Jew, LJ Jones, Jhon Torres
PALM BEACH CARDINALS (Single-A)
PITCHERS (17): Trent Baker, Nelfri Contreras*, Alex Cornwell*, Ángel Cuenca, Gianluca Dalatri, Roy García, Chris Gerard*, Andre Granillo, Carlos Guarate, Hayes Heinecke*, Ludwin Jiménez, Edgar Manzo, Andrew Marrero, Zane Mills, Jose Moreno, Inohan Paniagua, Gustavo Rodríguez
CATCHERS (3): Roblin Heredia, Luis Rodríguez, Wade Stauss
INFIELDERS (6): Ramon Mendoza, Sander Mora, Jeremy Rivas, Franklin Soto, Osvaldo Tovalin, Brady Whalen
OUTFIELDERS (6): Elijah Cabell, Adanson Cruz, Ryan Holgate, Hansel Otamendi, Tyler Reichenborn
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