During the press conference for Mike Matheny’s extension, John Mozeliak informed us that Oscar Taveras, Mike O’Neill, and Greg Garcia had been added to the 40 man roster. They also removed John Gast and Jermaine Curtis, while Ryan Jackson was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros. The moves mean that there are still 36 players on the 40 man roster, leaving room for a draft acquisition, a trade, or free agent signings.
Oscar Taveras, 21, is widely viewed as the best hitting prospect in baseball. He spent most of last season fighting a nagging ankle injury. He is expected by many to contend for a spot on the Opening Day roster for the Cardinals, if not start in center field this coming season. He hit .306/.341/.462 with 5 HR over 46 games for Triple-A Memphis last season.
Mike O’Neill, 25, was a name that I hadn’t heard before. He was a 31st round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2010. O’Neill has hit at every level of the minors and split last season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. He posted a .314/.424/.369 slash line with 2 HR in 130 games.
Greg Garcia, 24, has been Kolten Wong’s double play buddy since college, as they both went to the University of Hawai’i. A long shot to stick at shortstop, it’s been said of Garcia that he probably would have moved to second base on every team he’s been on if not for Wong. Garcia struggled a bit with the jump to Triple-A, but still posted a solid season with a .271/.377/.384 line with 3 HR in 116 games. [click to continue…]