Cardinals open instructional league camp

Seven of St. Louis' Top 30 prospects invited to participate

Cardinals open instructional league camp

CHICAGO -- Friday marked the first full-squad instructional league workout for this year's 42 Cardinals Minor League participants, none of whom, however, are from the team's 2015 Draft class.

One year after bringing five players they selected in the first seven rounds of the Draft to the team's annual camp at its Jupiter, Fla., complex, the Cards built their list of invitees from players who had participated in the organization's Dominican Summer League or who have been in the system for more than a few months.

The Cardinals hold the three-week camp as a way to provide more individualized instruction to those players. It was in instructional league two years ago, for instance, that St. Louis began converting No. 18 prospect Carson Kelly to a catcher. Kelly has been invited back this month, as have Top 30 prospects Magneuris Sierra (No. 4), Edmundo Sosa (No. 5), Ronnie Williams (No. 13), Austin Gomber (No. 21), Oscar Mercado (No. 26) and Sandy Alcantara (No. 29).

The Cardinals' instructional league, which runs through Oct. 7, will also feature several games against the Mets' and Marlins' respective programs.

• While construction continues at and around Wrigley Field (and will for several more years), the Cards were pleasantly surprised on Friday to find that a visitors' batting cage had been completed under the right-field stands. For years, visiting teams have had to share the one batting cage with the Cubs, which has limited how much pregame hitting work could get done.

• Shortstop Allen Cordoba of the Gulf Coast League Cardinals was recently named the league's 2015 Most Valuable Player after he led the GCL in batting average (.342) and hits (69). He also finished second in runs (40), second in total bases (85), fourth in on-base percentage (.404) and fifth in slugging percentage (.421). Cordoba, 19, was signed as an international free agent out of Panama in '13.

Cardinals Care, the philanthropic arm of the organization, announced that it will distribute over $147,000 to 70 area nonprofit groups during a ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.