Projecting the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2017 Non-Roster Invitees

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St. Louis Cardinals cap
Jul 29, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; A detailed view of a hat and glove in the dugout of the St. Louis Cardinals in the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Cardinals defeated the Marlins 11-6. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /


Four infielders: Paul DeJong, Chad Huffman, Wilfredo Tovar, Luke Voit

While the Cardinals have plenty of intriguing infield talent at the lower levels of the minor leagues (including two new 40-man roster additions, 20-year-old Edmundo Sosa and 22-year-old Eliezer Alvarez), the talent isn’t nearly as ripe in the upper minors. Breyvic Valera is the only member of the 40-man who seems likely to be part of the Cards’ Triple-A infield, so the Cardinals will need to look at some non-roster infielders this spring to serve as depth players later in 2017.

Luke Voit, a slugging first baseman who hit 19 homers in 2016, and Paul DeJong, a natural third baseman who will transition to shortstop this season, seem likely to ascend to Triple-A after standout Double-A campaigns last year. Both are likely to receive spring training invitations.

Meanwhile, two veteran minor-leaguers have also joined the organization and will try to establish themselves this spring just like Jeremy Hazelbaker did last year. 31-year-old utility man Chad Huffman, who spent the 2013 season in the Cardinals organization, dominated the International League with the Toledo Mud Hens last year, posting a .892 OPS, and he’ll look to build on that success this season. 25-year-old infielder Wilfredo Tovar, who spent 2016 in the Twins organization, is likely to plug a hole in the Memphis Redbirds’ infield this season. Huffman had 18 big-league at-bats with the Yankees in 2010, while Tovar had 18 with the Mets from 2013-14.

Despite a poor 2016 campaign, third baseman Patrick Wisdom could also earn an invite since he played third base in an organization largely devoid of minor-league depth at that position.