The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have selected the contracts of infielder Elehuris Montero (pronounced eh-lay-rees), and right-handed pitchers Alvaro Seijas (say-hoss) and Jake Woodford. The team also announced that they designated for assignment right-handed pitcher Dominic Leone. Today’s transactions place the team’s 40-man Major League roster at 40 players.
Montero, 21, a 6-foot-3, 225 lb., third baseman from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, entered the 2019 season rated as the No. 5 prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America. In 2019, Montero played in only 63 games between Springfield (AA) and a rehab stint in the Gulf Coast League due to a fracture in his hamate bone as he batted .194 with 7 home runs and 18 RBI. He represented the Cardinals in the Arizona Fall League playing 15 games for Glendale. Over the course of his five-year professional career spanning 360 minor league games, Montero is batting .269 with 32 home runs, 192 RBI, 84 doubles, seven triples and 207 runs scored. He was named 2018 Midwest League Player of the Year, earning Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star honors while leading the league with a .322 batting average and .529 slugging percentage to go with 15 home runs and 69 RBI before earning a promotion to High-A Palm Beach to finish the season. Montero’s father played minor league baseball in the Phillies organization.
Seijas, 21, a right-handed pitcher from Maracay, Venezuela, has a career record of 22-19 with a 3.81 ERA over four professional seasons in the Cardinals organization. During 2019, the Midwest League All-Star pitched for Peoria (A) and Palm Beach (A) combining to go 8-6 with a 2.81 ERA over 24 starts (134.1 IP) with 114 strikeouts. Seijas led all Cardinals full season minor league pitchers in ERA, while ranking T-6th among organizational pitchers in wins (8), 7th in strikeouts (114), T-7th in games started (24), 8th in innings pitched (134.1) and tied for the lead with 14 double plays induced. He was one of six Cardinals minor leaguers to throw a complete game and one of three to toss a shutout. Unranked among the top prospects by publications, Seijas made six scoreless starts during the season of 5.0 or more innings and ran off a 19.0 inning scoreless streak in Palm Beach from August 3-22.
Woodford, 23, the Cardinals 2015 supplemental first round selection (39th overall) out of Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., went 9-8 with a 4.15 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 26 starts for Memphis (AAA) in 2019. The Pacific Coast League Mid-Season All-Star ranked among league leaders in ERA (3rd), strikeouts (3rd), starts (T1st), innings pitched (151.2, 2nd), opponent average (.223, 1st), opponent slugging (.384, 1st), and WHIP (1.31, 3rd). The 6-foot-4, 220 lb. Woodford was named PCL Pitcher of the Week for the June 17-23 period after throwing 7.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball in Memphis’ 5-0 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers on June 22. Woodford, who entered the 2019 season rated as the No. 16 prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America and invited as a non-roster player to the Cardinals Major League Spring Training camp in 2019, has pitched 108 innings or more in each of the last four seasons with his total increasing each year.