Cardinals Make Progress In Dominican





ST. LOUIS — Less than a decade after the club purposefully pulled out of Latin America to reassess its approach and reboot its presence in the international markets, the Cardinals boast a handful of high-profile, high-ceiling international signings.

And they want more.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said his goal is for the international scouting to be "focused on getting the Dominican Republic up and running 100 percent. Our next step is to plunge a little deeper into it."

The team's recent efforts have produced players such as top prospect Oscar Taveras and hotshot pitching prospect Carlos Martinez.

The Cardinals also recently agreed to a $950,000 bonus for Dominican teen righthander Alex Reyes. The team is awaiting approval of his paperwork from Major League Baseball.

Mozeliak pointed to the fact that the team has been able to get quality from the scouting of the Dominican, Venezuela and other locales in Latin America. He suggested that the aim should be increased quantity.

The Cardinals are working on upgrading and moving their academy in the Dominican. That should be completed within months. Moises Rodriguez, the team's director of international operations, also has orchestrated an overhaul of the process the international scouts use so that it directly mirrors how the domestic scouts prepare for the amateur draft. Mozeliak mentioned the motivation is to be ready if and when an international draft is implemented.

"We've realized it's a much better strategy to be successful in Latin American instead of spreading our resources thin (into other international markets)," Mozeliak said. "There are areas where we have been successful, like Latin America, and I want us to build on that."

REDBIRD CHIRPS

• The Cardinals named Jason Simontacchi as pitching coach at low Class A Peoria, and Randy Niemann, who finished 2012 as the Red Sox pitching coach, as pitching coach at Double-A Springfield.

• The Cardinals sent four players to Major League Baseball's rookie orientation weekend: righties Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal, first baseman Matt Adams and second baseman Kolten Wong. Rosenthal is expected to be a regular in the majors this season, and the others could contribute at some point.