Top prospect Taveras highlights Triple-A roster
CINCINNATI -- The Cardinals' top four Minor League affiliates open their respective seasons on Thursday, and rosters for four teams have been released by the organization. Here are some highlights:
Triple-A Memphis: The Memphis club will be led by its outfielders -- top prospect Oscar Taveras, Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk. Grichuk is expected to play a lot of center field, while Taveras and Piscotty will fill the corner-outfield spots. Boone Whiting will make the Opening Day start for the Triple-A team, which will also have Angel Castro, Tim Cooney, Tyler Lyons and Scott McGregor in the rotation.
Double-A Springfield: Three of the Cardinals' Top 20 prospects, as ranked by MLBPipeline.com, will begin the year in Double-A. That group includes reigning Minor League Pitcher of the Year Zach Petrick, Patrick Wisdom and James Ramsey. Also playing in the Springfield infield will be Aledmys Diaz, the 23-year-old Cuban shortstop who signed with the organization on March 9.
Advanced A Palm Beach: Marco Gonzales, the organization's top pick from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, stands out as one to watch on the Palm Beach roster. Michael Mayers, taken two rounds after Gonzales, will also be on the pitching staff. Right-hander Joe Cuda and left-hander Kyle Hald will join Gonzales in the rotation. Position players Charlie Tilson and Starlin Rodriguez should help key the offense.
Low A Peoria: This roster is highlighted by pitcher Alex Reyes and catcher Carson Kelly, both of whom are considered top prospects in the organization. Reyes, 19, will be challenged in his first chance to play on a full-season professional team. Kelly, who made the conversion from third baseman to catcher beginning last September, will get his first extended opportunity to work behind the plate.