Who Is New St. Louis Cardinal Dean Anna?


Prospect nerds delighted this week with the signing of infielder Dean Anna. Being not-a-prospect-nerd, I decided to check out what all the hub-bub was about. And, I’m glad I did!

So, here are some basics about Anna. He will turn 28 later this month and has Midwest roots, being from Illinois and spending time in college in Indiana. He’s versatile in that he bats lefty and throws righty, and he can play both middle infield positions. MLB Trade Rumors adds that Anna is also capable of playing “third base and the corner outfield spots, having logged at least 50 games at each of those spots in the minors. He has an excellent track record at Triple-A, where he’s a lifetime .296/.385/.432 hitter in 823 plate appearances.

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Anna was the 26th round pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2008 MLB Draft from John A. Logan College and Ball State University. Last November, he was traded from the Padres to the New York Yankees.

In spring training in 2014, Anna competed with numerous players for a reserve infielder role with the Yankees. He actually ended up with a spot on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. Anna hit his first career home run on April 10, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz.

Cardinal fans will really love this … on April 19, Anna pitched … that’s right pitched! … the 8th inning in an 16-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. So, he’s not exactly a good pitcher. But. Cardinal fans love them a scrappy infielder who can throw a mean fast or curve, ala Skip Schumaker and Aaron Miles!

Anna can also dabble in the heroics. A game later, Anna drew a game winning bases-loaded walk in the 12th inning against Rays’ pitcher C. J. Riefenhauser. Basically… this guy has Cardinal fan favorite written ALL over him!

But, ultimately, Anna was designated for assignment by the Yankees on July 3. He was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 5 and assigned to the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. He was designated for assignment on August 3 when Jayson Nix was signed by the Pirates.

Basically, guy wasn’t given much of a chance after the middle of the season and he’s hoping for a fresh start with the Cardinals. This was a Major League signing, and with the probably departure of Daniel Descalso this off-season, look for the club to give him the opportunity to become a utility guy off the bench.

He’s got a lot of likable qualities. I look forward to seeing him being given a chance!