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One of the fastest risers in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system, Juan Yepez has made his name known in St. Louis after dominating the minors throughout his 8 years there. After getting the call and joining the Cardinals MLB team on May 3rd, Juan has taken every advantage of his time on the field, already hitting .304 with 4 home runs. As Cardinals fans get excited for the future with Juan as a part of the lineup, he says he hopes to use every opportunity on the field to give glory to God.

Juan Yepez signing with the Braves in 2014.
A native of Venezuela, Juan was raised in the Catholic church which provided a foundation for him and his journey. He says that as he has grown older, his faith has only continued to grow. After dominating on the field, Juan was signed as an international free agent at just 16 years old. After being traded to the Cardinals in return for first baseman Matt Adams, his bat continued to impress as he rose throughout the farm system. When Covid hit, however, the long journey for Juan was put on hold as he waited for what the future would look like. But instead of falling behind, Juan says he learned to keep pushing forward and make faith a priority.

“During Covid, I had a lot of time off, and during that time I grew deeper in an understanding of what a relationship with Him looks like. I have a new depth I didn’t have before and have learned more from His word than I ever have.”

Exploding onto the scene in 2021 for the Cardinals by hitting 27 home runs throughout the year in the minors, he has worked his way into the Cardinals’ plans for the future. Now with his chance at the big league level, he says he just hopes his life is a reflection of God and his grace.

“The way I see it, every victory is His and at the end of the day, I just want Him and nothing else. Not an amazing baseball career or someone knowing my name, just a relationship with Him where I trust that He holds my future in His hands.”

Juan says that he has learned to put God first in every situation.

Juan with his fiancé, Tori.
“Baseball will end for me one day, but my relationship with Him never will. It’s my job to use this opportunity He’s given me to play baseball as a way to make His name known.”

As Juan takes the field for the Cardinals, now nearing the top of the lineup and helping drive in runs, he does so with faith as his guide.

“My faith influences my baseball career in the way I push through all the ups and downs by focusing on Him and not my failures. This game is full of failure, and it would be easy to let that make me feel defeated or want to focus on performance. But every day I focus my mind back on God who already says I am worthy and a conqueror.”

Juan says he uses his faith to fight back against the ups and downs of the game.

“Anytime the failure tries to distract my mind, I use worship as a weapon. Baseball influences my faith by giving me daily practice in living out Isaiah 26:3: ‘You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.’”

Juan emphasizes that his gifts on the field are just his way to worship God. With every home run he hits, he hopes that it inspires someone watching to see that he is living for something bigger than himself. With a maturity beyond his years and a character that has so many throughout the clubhouse and league impressed, Juan hopes his time around the game inspires others to trust in God and His plan no matter what.

 

Ethan Kruse

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