Six 2010 Memphis Redbirds join winter league teams
MEMPHIS, TN – Although the Memphis Redbirds have wrapped up their season, baseball is far from gone. The Arizona Fall League and Caribbean League began in mid-October are underway.
Away in Arizona
The Arizona Fall League was founded in 1992 as a way for top minor leaguers to improve their skills and have the chance to perform in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives. The AFL, owned and operated by Major League Baseball, begins in early October and concludes in mid-November. Instead of having a select affiliate for each AFL team, all Major League teams provide seven players who, combined, fill the 35-man roster of each team.
This year, both Adron Chambers and Tony Cruz were the sole Memphis Redbirds selected to participate in the AFL. While Chambers had the chance to make a bit of noise with the ‘Birds, Cruz only appeared in four regular season games at the Triple-A level. Although he was relied upon during the Pacific Coast League play-offs, it wasn’t until this past week when he caught some well deserved attention playing for the Surprise Rafters.
As of October 27th, Adron Chambers has gone 7-for-24 (.292 average) with four RBI, two walks and four strikeouts. Known for his speed, he has also collected a double and two stolen bases. Tony Cruz has compiled a .235 average (8Hx34AB) with three walks,eight strikeouts and five runs scored. Cruz’s career day came during the October 20th game against the Peoria Saguaros where he went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI; it was the first time the Florida native had ever hit consecutive homers during a game. His 10 RBI rank second-highest amongst the Cardinals’ prospects playing winter ball.
Cruisin’ the Caribbean
The Caribbean League is made up of four nations, the Dominican Winter League, Mexican Pacific League, Puerto Rico Baseball League and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. It was the idea of Venezuelan Pablo Morales to create such a league that was established in 1949. Each league’s season runs from October to December with a playoff series in January to determine league champions who go on to play in the Caribbean Series each year.
Currently, the Memphis Redbirds have four players from the 2010 roster partaking in the Caribbean League. Amaury Cazana is playing for the Tomateros de Culiacan which is part of the Mexican Pacific League. He has flourished during winter ball, appearing in 12 games while hitting .333 (16Hx48AB) with seven extra-base hits, eight runs scored and 13 RBI. Ruben Gotay joined the Puerto Rico Baseball League last week, playing for the Gigantes de Carolina. Going 2-for-13 in his four games, he has collected four walks and four strikeouts for a .507 on-base percentage. Oneli Perez is a reliever in the Dominican Winter League, pitching only one inning thus far as part of the Tigres del Licey with one walk. Rich Rundles joined the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League to play for the Tigres de Aragua. He has successfully fanned eight batters, issuing only one walk and three hits in six games to pitch 5.2 scoreless innings collectively.
With Halloween just three days away help us reach our “FOLLOW-EEN” goal of 4,000+ followers on Twitter and 2,000+ ‘likes’ on facebook before the ghoulish holiday hits! The Memphis Redbirds also have other Halloween fun to be had, with our pumpkin carving designs and costume contest. Send pictures of your pumpkin carving masterpieces to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on our blog and post your creative costumes to our facebook page for a chance to win a prize!
The Surprise Rafters had an exciting game last night, with our very own Tony Cruz hitting two home runs in a game for the first time in his career.
On another note, there are many other players part of the Cardinals farm system that are also enjoying winter ball. Some are with the Surprise Rafters along with Tony Cruz and Adron Chambers, while others are spending the winter in Venezuela and Mexico. Here is list of individual statistics
***Memphis Redbirds are in bold.
|Individual Statistics As of: 10/21/2010|
|De La Cruz, Manuel||MXC||LMP||0-0||1.80||3||0||5.0||3||1||1||1||1||3||2||0||1.20||.150|
Check back to the blog for more updates! You can also check on the Cardinals farm system here
Although it’s the beginning of our off-season here at AutoZone Park doesn’t mean our players aren’t already working hard to prepare for next year. Two Redbirds, Adron Chambers and Tony Cruz, have joined the Arizona Fall League playing for the Surprise Rafters. The team includes players from the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers farm systems.
Adron Chambers was the Cardinals’ 38th round selection (1153rd overall) in the June 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Chambers joined the ‘Birds mid-July this year, appearing in 37 games for a .290 average (20Hx69AB) with 11 runs, eight RBI, nine walks and 18 strikeouts. During a 16-inning game on August 16th, the Florida Native was hit in the jaw by a wild pitch from Sky Sox reliever Franklin Morales and was forced to leave the game. Painful as this was, Chambers recovered well and made his way back into the Memphis line up.
Tony Cruz was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 42nd round of the 2005 June free agent draft, but did not sign. He became a Cardinal after being selected in the 26th round (802nd overall) of the June 2007 free-agent draft. He, like Chambers, joined the Redbirds late in the 2010 season appearing in only four regular season games. Going 3-for-14 (.214 average) with two runs and one RBI, the career catcher hit his first Triple-A home run in his first game as a Memphis Redbirds on September 1st.
Here’s a look at yesterday’s game recapitulation, where both Chambers and Cruz collected a hit.
We will be keeping tabs on these ‘Birds and updating the blog to let all of you know just how well they do, so continue to check Chirp Chatter for updates on your Memphis Redbirds while they endure winter ball!!
To catch up with the Cardinals affiliates participating in the AFL click here: AFL Surprise Rafters.