ST. LOUIS — Wagner Mateo, a highly regarded 16-year-old prospect, got a $3.1 million bonus from the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this month. On Monday, he got a small taste of the big leagues.
Mateo suited up in uniform No. 9 and took batting practice at Busch Stadium before Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a little nervous at first, fouling off several pitches before shaking off jitters and settling in.
The Cardinals like to bring in top prospects for a day as inspiration.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic is 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, about 30 pounds over his playing weight. He won't begin his professional career until next spring and doesn't turn 17 until next March 30.