Cardinals add new recruit in De La Cruz

De La Cruz is a former outfielder

The St. Louis Cardinals signed a former centerfielder who is pitching in extended spring training.

In an earlier article, Cards welcome 89 to extended spring training, the St. Louis Cardinals organization introduced a new name to the pitchers currently competing at extended spring training camp.

Steven De La Cruz is a 20-year-old right-handed pitcher who hails from New York Yankees country, the Bronx. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder played his high school ball at Graphic Communication Arts High School. De La Cruz will actually celebrate his 21st birthday later this month – likely before he appears in his first official game action.

De La Cruz was signed as non-drafted free agent by Cardinals back on February 13. He has been assigned to the Cardinals short-season rookie level affiliate in Johnson City, Tennessee, but his initial location will be cemented by his performance over the next eight weeks in EST.

Not too much is known about his history, but what we do know is interesting. De La Cruz competed far away from home - for the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012. The school is a member of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC).

Listed as a freshman outfielder, he started 53 of his team's 56 games primarily in centerfield and posted a solid line of .330/.354/.472. De La Cruz drove in a Broncos-best 36 runs and was 15-for-18 in stolen base attempts. He did not pitch.

It is unclear if De La Cruz played in 2013 and when he began pitching.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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