The St. Louis Cardinals finalized their list of non-roster spring training invitees to the major league camp over the past weekend according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Several prospects were invited and some of them should get an extended look to see if they can help the Cardinals in 2012 and others who could be ready for the 2013 season.
The Cardinals have the luxury of a deep MLB roster so they will not be expecting anyone to play themselves onto the team, barring injury. But, the fact that they have extended invitations to some of the top flight prospects shows they are interested to see where they stand when facing MLB competition. It is also customary for teams to extend invitations to their top youngsters to get a taste of the action.
The top prospect in the Cardinals system is Shelby Miller who many see as a future ace of the Cardinals in as little as a few seasons from now. Miller has been named the #5 overall and #2 right-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com. For an in depth analysis on Miller see FanSided.com’s Seedlings to Stars here and here. MLB.com projects Miller to be with the Cardinals for the 2013 season, but it will be interesting to see if he is given a call in 2012 in the case of an injury or trade.
Newest first-round pick Kolten Wong will join shortstop prospect Ryan Jackson and first baseman Matt Adams. Adams projects as the possible first baseman of the Cardinals future. He hit 32 home runs and had 101 RBI last season for AAA Memphis. He can hit for average in addition to the obvious power.
Others among the Cards’ top 10 prospects according to MLB.com who will be attending are pitchers Jordan Swagerty, Tyrell Jenkins, Joe Kelly and John Gast. Third baseman Zack Cox, #3 on the Cardinals prospect list, is automatically invited to spring training due to being a part of the 40-man roster.
Pitcher Carlos Martinez and outfielder Oscar Taveras were notable prospects not invited to camp. Martinez is #25 on MLB.com’s overall list. Follow this link for more on Martinez from Seedlings to Stars. Taveras, 19 years old, was among the youngest players in the Arizona Fall League this past season. At 18, Tavares was named an Appalachian League All-Star. Read more about Taveras here from Seedlings to Stars.