The St. Louis Cardinals purchased the contracts of three minor league players and added them to their 40-man major league roster, which currently stands at 36, the team announced Thursday.
The players are shortstop Aledmys Diaz and left-handed pitcher Dean Kiekhefer from Triple A Memphis and outfielder Charlie Tilson from Double A Springfield.
Diaz, 25, split time in 2015 between Springfield and Memphis, batting a combined .278 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs in 116 games. The Cuban native has enjoyed a strong showing in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League, currently ranking among the league’s top 10 in home runs (4, tied for third), RBIs (14, tied for eighth), runs (16, second), doubles (seven, second), slugging percentage (.618, fifth) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.986, sixth). A member of the Arizona Fall League’s Surprise Saguaros along with Kiekhefer and Tilson, Diaz is ranked 12th in AFL batting at .309.
Kiekhefer, 26, spent the entire 2015 season at Memphis, where he was 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA in 50 games, walking only seven batters in 59 2/3 innings of relief work. The 2010 draft selection (36th round out of the University of Louisville) is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA and two saves in the AFL, striking out 14 in his 15 1/3 innings (nine games) and has issued just one walk.
Tilson, 22, was a second-round draft selection in 2011 out of New Trier (Ill.) High School. The left-handed-hitting center fielder batted .295 in his first full season (134 games) at the Double A level and swiped a career-high 46 bags to lead the Texas League. Tilson is batting .200 with four stolen bases in 19 games played during the AFL season.