The St. Louis Cardinals farm system is made stronger by the inclusion of rising stars such as third baseman/short stop, Paul DeJong.
Continuing my review of St. Louis Cardinals prospect names for each of us to keep in mind, I turn my attention today to the rising star known as Paul DeJong. If you’ve missed this spring’s games, then you might be asking who is this fella. If you have caught a few of the games, you are in the club NOT asking this question.
DeJong is a 23-year old middle infielder who was first drafted by the NL-Central foes, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 38th-round of the 2014 amateur draft. DeJong decided then to remain at his university, THE Illinois State University. One year later, the St. Louis Cardinals drafted Paul in the fourth round. This time he jumped at the opportunity to join the birds on the bat.
In 2015, across rookie-ball and single-A, DeJong appeared in 256 at-bats and posted a slash line of .316/.394/.516. This impressive display came with him appearing exclusively at third base.
His 2015 performance, and the promise of him serving as backup in the middle infield and third in years to come earned him his first spring training invitation. He appeared in the 2016 spring in six at-bats and posted a slash line of .500/.500/.834. In 2016 spring, he played third base exclusively.
He promoted to AA in 2016 where he appeared in 496 at-bats. He posted a slash line in Springfield of .260/.324/.460. DeJong also appeared in the Arizona Fall League in 2016 where he batted in 120 at-bats and appeared as a short stop. In the AFL he posted a slash line of .217/.234/.275.
His 2016 performance earned him his second spring training invitation this spring. This spring he has impressed and has played third, second, and short stop. Thus far, he has appeared in thirty-eight at-bats and has posted a slash line of .237/.275/.447. Impressive for sure, he is slated to begin the 2017 campaign in Memphis.
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DeJong is currently ranked thirteenth in the top prospect list according to Fangraphs and has an ETA of 2017. This might be a stretch, in my opinion, but it also wouldn’t surprise me either. With DeJong showing his abilities to play to third, short, and second, and showing his ability to both hit the ball and hit for some power, we just might see him in St. Louis in 2017.
My guess? I think he will for sure start in Memphis so to provide him everyday play. I think this is best for him and is progress. St. Louis, at this time, would not allow him enough regular play to continue his MLB progression.
That said, should the St. Louis Cardinals generate a roster spot by shipping off someone like Matt Adams (see my recent post about how he could be a solution for Colorado) or should someone like Jedd Gyorko or Jhonny Peralta fall prey to injury, then the rise of someone like DeJong is not far out of the question.
Bottom line for me is this: watch this name. I cannot wait to see him play the remainder of this year’s Spring Training and am equally excited to watch him play in Memphis. Stay tuned to us here at Redbird Rants and I’ll keep you updated on this rising star.