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Story Archives: Hoffpauir, Bowden to report
|Hoffpauir, Bowden to report|
With spring around the corner, two former Vidalia High baseball players are preparing to continue their pro baseball careers.
Jarrett Hoffpauir reports to Dunedin, Fl., Friday for the Toronto Blue Jays camp, while Barry Bowden will report to Surprise, Az., on March 4 to begin working out with the Kansas City Royals.
Hoffpauir was drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 Draft as a junior by the Cardinals.
He gradually moved up the St. Louis Minor League system until he landed a starting position with the triple-A Memphis Redbirds.
Hoffpauir was called up by the Cardinals for eight games last summer.
His stay in the Major Leagues may have only lasted eight games, but his impression was apparently a lasting one.
The Cardinals optioned Hoffpauir to Triple-A Memphis to make room for infielder Mark DeRosa from the disabled list on Saturday afternoon.
Hoffpauir, a rookie, appeared in eight games with the Cardinals and was 3-for-12 with a .438 on-base percentage.
His first hit was a game-winner. On July 3 in the top of the ninth with the game tied at 4-4, Hoffpauir was the hero as his two-out, two-run single over shortstop in the top of the ninth gave the Cardinals the deciding runs in a hard-fought 7-4 win.
A wealth of infield prospects prompted St. Louis to place Hoffpauir on the waiver list and the Toronto Blue Jays immediately picked him up and he is currently on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster.
"I think it's a better situation," Hoffpauir said. "I don't know what to expect, but it can't be too different from the Cardinals. The experience of being called up last year will help me out."
Hoffpauir said he is taking the same attitude this year as he has taken in the past.
"I'm just going in and trying to win a job," he said. "There are going to be three or four guys battling for one spot. I feel like I am in the running for a spot in Toronto and hopefully it will work out."
Bowden finished last season with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Kansas City Royals' high Class A team.
Bowden started out with the Class A Burlington Bees where he led the team with 10 saves.
"I'm anxious to go again," Bowden said. "I'm feeling good and feel like I am in the best shape I have been in for a while. I know what to expect now, which makes a big difference."
Bowden said he is hoping to start out with the Royals' double-A team in Springdale, Ak., the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
"I'm just working to get stronger and get my arm in better shape," Bowden said. "I'm feeling good and have a lot more confidence after being around and getting to know all the ins and outs."
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