By Rob Rains
The Cardinals have released the opening-day rosters for their three minor-league affiliates that will begin their seasons on Thursday night, revealing where their top prospects will be playing.
The Triple A Memphis Redbirds began their season last week, with five of the players ranked in the STLSportsPage top prospects list last summer assigned to that team – shortstop Masyn Winn, pitchers Gordon Graceffo and Matthew Liberatore, catcher Ivan Herrera and outfielder Moises Gomez.
Here is the rundown of where the other top prospects will open the season:
Springfield – Starter Michael McGreevy, a former number-one draft pick, returns to the Double A level as part of the trickle-down effect that saw Dakota Hudson assigned to Memphis. He will be joined there by reliever Ryan Loutos, who ended last season at Memphis but also had to be bumped down because of the number of former major-league relievers who were assigned to Memphis.
Peoria – Two pitchers to watch at the high Class A level will be Tink Hence, moving up from Palm Beach, and Cooper Hjerpe, the organization’s first-round pick last year who will be making his professional debut this season. The Cardinals limited Hence’s innings last season and it will be interesting to see how much they allow him to pitch as this season begins. Shortstop Jeremy Rivas also will begin the year with the Chiefs. Another pitching prospect, Inohan Paniagua, will begin the year on Peoria’s injured list.
Palm Beach – Two of the organization’s top young outfielders, Joshua Baez and Won-bin Cho, move up to the low Class A level from the complex league team. Catcher Leo Bernal also will begin this season at this level, as will left-handed pitcher Brycen Mautz, the Cardinals’ second-round pick in last year’s draft, who like Hjerpe will be making his professional debut.
Extended spring – Among the young prospects who did not make a full-season roster and will begin the year at this level, before the complex league begins, are infielders Jonathan Mejia and Adari Grant, outfielder Luis Pino and pitchers Jose Davila and Alec Willis.
Here are the complete rosters for Springfield, Peoria and Palm Beach:
SPRINGFIELD CARDINALS (Double-A)
PITCHERS (15): Grant Black, Edgar Escobar, Logan Gragg, Andre Granillo, Kenny Hernández*, Brandon Komar, Ryan Loutos, Connor Lunn, José Martínez, Michael McGreevy, Wilfredo Pereira, Dalton Roach, Logan Sawyer, Ryan Shreve, Nick Trogrlic-Iverson
CATCHERS (3): José Alvarez, Pedro Pagés, Nick Raposo
INFIELDERS (5): Jacob Buchberger, Nick Dunn, Arquimedes Gamboa, Irving López, Chandler Redmond
OUTFIELDERS (5): Mike Antico, LJ Jones IV, Matt Koperniak, Todd Lott, Justin Toerner
INJURED LIST (4): Mike Brettell-RHP, Edgar González-RHP, Sean Kealey*-LHP, Cory Thompson-RHP
PEORIA CHIEFS (High-A)
PITCHERS (14): Trent Baker, Ian Bedell, Alex Cornwell*, Tink Hence, Matt Hickey, Cooper Hjerpe*, Austin Love, Edgar Manzo, Andrew Marrero, Zane Mills, Bryan Pope, Dionys Rodríguez, Chris Roycroft, Alfredo Ruíz
CATCHERS (4): Jimmy Crooks, Aaron McKeithan, Luis C. Rodríguez, Wade Stauss
INFIELDERS (6): Thomas Francisco, Francisco Hernández, Noah Mendlinger, Ramon Mendoza, Jeremy Rivas, Osvaldo Tovalin
OUTFIELDERS (5): Elijah Cabell, Nathan Church, Tyler Reichenborn, Patrick Romeri, Victor Scott II
INJURED LIST (1): Inohan Paniagua-RHP
PALM BEACH CARDINALS (Single-A)
PITCHERS (15): Chandler Arnold, Roy García, Chris Gerard*, Pete Hansen*, Hunter Hayes, Tanner Jacobson, Joseph King, Jack Lynch*, Brycen Mautz*, Edwin Nuñez, Max Rajcic, Hancel Rincón, Gustavo Rodríguez, Victor Villanueva, Cade Winquest
CATCHERS (3): Leonardo Bernal, Carlos Linarez, José Zápata
INFIELDERS (5): Javier Bolivar, Michael Curialle, Lizandro Espinoza, Brandon Hernández, R.J. Yeager
OUTFIELDERS (7): Joshua Báez, Won-Bin Cho, Adanson Cruz, Tre Fletcher, Alex Iadisernia, Darlin Moquete, Chris Rotondo
INJURED LIST (4): D.J. Carpenter-RHP, Hayes Heinecke*-LHP, Brody Moore-INF, José Moreno-RHP