Most of the attention of Minor League Opening Day surrounds those that have a shot at impacting St. Louis this summer. And while that is a completely normal reaction, don’t overlook the youngest affiliate that also kicks off tonight. Peoria, after all, was home to Jordan Hicks just last season and sports a pair of must watch prospects making their full-season debuts.
Jonathan Machado and Alvaro Seijas both cracked the Top 20 for the Cardinals and will lead the Chiefs as teenagers, something Dylan Carlson can relate to after spending all of last year doing the same thing in the Midwest League. The trio plus Elehuris Montero make for an exciting time in Cardinals’ baseball, as we get to watch them grow and potentially move up together.
Some of these players will look over-matched early and could end up in Johnson City or State College when their seasons open in June. The organization may look at how Carlson fared, however, and decide the best route allows the group to work out issues relying on each other. Nick Plummer and Bryce Denton again add to the intrigue, as they both want to put their names back in the conversation with impressive starts.
Much as with Palm Beach, Peoria’s rotation will be a work in progress early on especially if the weather stays considerably colder than normal. That may also have had something to do with one name that is missing from any of the full-season rosters. Shortstop Delvin Perez was not included which was a bit of a shock as he got plenty of press this Spring.
Perez could very well join the rest of the teenagers once the temperature gets warmer, but that is just one more story to watch as everything kicks off tonight!