Jeff Cardenas (pronounced "car-DEE-nus") is in his first year with the Grizzlies and as a professional in 2018.
Cardenas is one of Gateway's two first-round picks in the 2018 Frontier League Draft, both of whom made the Opening Day roster.
After taking relief pitcher Ryan McSweeney with the No. 3 pick, the Grizzlies snagged Cardenas with the No. 7 overall selection.
Cardenas was an NAIA All-America honoree in 2017 for his work at shortstop with the University of Northwestern Ohio. Cardenas tore up his competition as a senior, posting a .410 batting average with 10 home runs and 70 RBIs in 56 games. He added 15 stolen bases while accumulating more walks (29) than strikeouts (28) for a season OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of 1.043.
"Impressive collegiate numbers," Grizzlies manager Phil Warren said. "We saw a good deal of him this off-season when he came to our open tryout. He has a nice swing and gets the barrel to the ball quickly, which allows him to turn around fastballs. He's also versatile defensively — can play third, short, and second. He'll compete for a spot in the infield."