Cardinals Playing In Arizona Fall League

Prospect-Laden League To Feature Talented St. Louis Farmhands

Former Redbirds right-hander Sam Tuivailala headlines a stellar class of Cardinals prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

By Memphis Redbirds | September 24, 2014 2:36 PM

The St. Louis Cardinals have selected eight prospects to represent the organization on the Peoria Javelinas in this year's Arizona Fall League, which is slated to begin on Tuesday, October 7.

Four of the Cardinals Top 20 prospects from will headline the AFL class, including right-handers Sam Tuivailala (No. 13) and Tyrell Jenkins (No. 14) and infielders Jacob Wilson (No. 19), and Breyvic Valera (No. 20). St. Louis is also sending right-hander Mitch Harris, right-hander Chris Perry, catcher Cody Stanley and outfielder C.J. McElroy. Outfielder Charlie Tilson (No. 7) was originally selected before McElroy, but was replaced due to a foot injury that ended his 2014 regular season a week early.

The Cardinals are also sending Peoria Chiefs' Pitching Coach Jason Simontacchi and Memphis Redbirds' Athletic Trainer Jeremy Clipperton to represent the organization. Simontacchi played with Memphis in 2002 and 2004, posting a combined 12 wins and a 3.65 ERA in 39 games.

Six of the eight players reached the Double-A level in 2014, while Tuivailala soared late in the season and had his contract purchased by St. Louis in September.

The Peoria Javelinas will include other prospects from the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, and Tampa Bay Rays. The six-team instructional league includes six games a week (Monday-Saturday) and concludes on November 15 with the Championship Game.

RHP Mitch Harris | Memphis Redbirds | Stats & Bio | @Mitch_Harris2

Harris appeared in three different levels of play, making stops with Advanced-A Palm Beach, Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. He was a combined 2-2 with a 3.92 ERA (25er/57.1ip) and 45 strikeouts. The right-hander held opponents to a mere .221 average and was 1-for-3 in save opportunities during his 42 appearances.

With only 20 games of experience in 2013 at the instructional New York-Penn League, Harris made 33 of his 42 outings at Double-A. The United States Naval Academy grad possessed a 3.07 ERA in August and made an appearance with the Memphis Redbirds during the final game of the regular season.

Harris was drafted in the 13th round of the June, 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Navy Grad Mitch Harris Finally Pursuing MLB Dream

RHP Sam Tuivailala | St. Louis Cardinals | Stats & Bio | @Stuivailala

Tuivailala started the season in Advanced-A Palm Beach and ended it by spending time with the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-handed reliever pitched in 48 games in the minor leagues, posting a 2-2 record with a 3.15 ERA (21er/60.0ip), 97 strikeouts and five saves.

The hard-throwing righty touched triple-digits with his fastball this season, helping him limit opponents to a .216 average through the three levels of play. He made just two outings with Triple-A Memphis during the last week of the season before having his contract purchased by St. Louis. The reliever pitched a pair of games with the Cardinals in September, making his Major League debut against the Cincinnati Reds.

Tuivailala was a 3rd round selection in the June, 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Sam Tuivailala Excelling in Arizona Fall League | Tuivailala Polishing Mound Resume In Fall Ball 

C Cody Stanley | Springfield Cardinals | Stats & Bio | @codystanley21

Stanley played at Double-A Springfield the entire 2014 season. The Texas League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star batted .283 with 12 home runs, 43 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 103 games.

Stanley was second on the team with 30 extra-base hits but led the club with a .429 slugging percentage. The catcher was also one of the top defensive players in the league, finishing second by throwing out 41.8% of potential basestealers (28-for-67). Stanley notched 33 multi-hit games and scored 47 runs. As a Springfield representative at the Texas League All-Star Game, the backstop went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and was named the game's Top Star in the North's 3-1 win.

Stanley was drafted in the 4th round of the June 2010 free-agent draft.

OF C.J. McElroy | Peoria Chiefs | Stats & Bio

McElroy played all of 2014 with the Single-A Peoria Chiefs, appearing in a team-leading 130 games. The switch-hitting leadoff man batted .267 with 11 doubles, 29 RBIs and 74 runs scored.

The speedy outfielder also led the organization by going 41-for-59 in stolen base opportunities. He was one of seven Chiefs named to the Midwest League All-Star Game, making the start in centerfield. Though a switch-hitter, his strength was batting against left-handed pitchers, recording a .323 average (30-for-93).

McElroy was drafted in the 3rd round of the June, 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

RHP Tyrell Jenkins | Palm Beach Cardinals | Stats | @TyrellJenkins14

Tyrell Jenkins spent his year at Advanced-A Palm Beach, making 13 starts after recovering from an injury that ended his 2013 season. The right-hander was 6-5 with a 3.28 ERA (27er/74.0ip) and 41 strikeouts. He held left-hander batters to a .174 average (19-for-109).

The hurler went 6.0 or more innings in nine of his 13 starts, tossing quality outings in eight of those appearances. He made his season debut on June 17 and after throwing 6.0 hitless innings, he combined with two other pitchers to record a one-hitter and grab his first victory.

Jenkins was the Cardinals supplemental 1st round selection in the June, 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

INF Breyvic Valera | Springfield Cardinals | Stats & Bio

Valera played with Advanced-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield in 2014. During his 132 games, he batted a combined .312, 5th-best in the Cardinals organization. He scored 66 runs, swiped 17 bases, and drove in 57 runs on the season.

The consistent infielder was named to his third consecutive All-Star team in 2014, representing Palm Beach at the Florida State League contest. Valera batted .370 during the month of May, driving in 17 while still a part of the Palm Beach club. The switch-hitter showed patience at the plate through both levels of play, working 40 walks and striking out only 35 times.

Valera was signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted free against in 2010.

INF Jacob Wilson | Springfield Cardinals | Stats & Bio | @jcwilson09

Wilson split time with Advanced-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield, appearing in just 66 games during an injury-laden 2014. He batted a combined .302 with 25 doubles, 41 RBIs and 33 runs scored.

The infielder recorded a hit in 48 of his 66 games. Wilson was named the Texas League Player of the Week for the May 26-June 1 period. He hit .480 (12-for-25) with five doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs during the week. This will be Wilson's second consecutive stint in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .304 with 13 RBIs in 2013.

Wilson was a 10th round selection in the June, 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Memphis. 

RHP Chris Perry | Palm Beach Cardinals | Stats & Bio | @cperry19

Perry made appearances with Single-A Peoria and Advanced-A Palm Beach in 2014. The right-hander was a combined 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA (15er/63.0ip), 98 strikeouts and eight saves in his 41 games.

The reliever's best stretch of the season came in May, posting a 0.46 ERA (1er/19.2ip) in 10 outings. He was promoted to Palm Beach in July and continued to flourish, recording scoreless outings in 11 of his 13 games. Overall on the season, he held opponents to a .156 average (35-for-225).

Perry was the Cardinals' 17th round selection in the June, 2012 First-Year Player Draft.


This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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