Infielder Daniel Descalso earned the St. Louis Cardinals Rookie of the Year Award for 2011 after being effective playing third base, shortstop and second base for the eventual World Champions. The award was presented at Sunday night's St. Louis Baseball Writers Dinner.
In acknowledgment of his defensive value, Descalso, 26, was named a finalist for the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Award at third base.
Looking ahead to 2012, Descalso is expected to compete with Tyler Greene for the starting second-base spot. Or, he could end up being a versatile super infield sub.
Became a Cardinal
Selected in the third round (112th overall) of the June 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Received a $255,000 signing bonus.
Spent the entire season in the majors, appearing regularly at third base during David Freese's injury and filling in at second base and shortstop as well. His 148 games played was second-most on the team.
Made MLB debut on 9/18. Handled 17 chances error-free at third base despite playing second base the past few seasons. Played in 116 games at Memphis, batting .282 with 9 home runs and 71 RBI. Led all Pacific Coast League second basemen with 82 double plays, 553 total chances, 227 putouts, 311 assists and 15 errors. Led the Redbirds with 32 doubles and 82 runs scored despite missing almost a month due to injury.
Descalso was so hot in the first half (.927 OPS) he seemed on his way to become the Texas League’s Most Valuable Player. The right-handed hitter’s bat cooled when introduced to Triple-A and he didn’t rediscover his mojo during his gold medal stint with Team USA and in the Arizona Fall League afterward.
Finished the season at Double-A Springfield after playing in 115 games for the Palm Beach Cardinals, where he hit .243/.313/.372 with eight home runs and 50 RBIs. The infielder split playing time between shortstop and second base. In nine games, 37 at-bats for Springfield, Daniel hit .351 (11-for-37).
Daniel made it to Double-A in just his second season of professional baseball. Last name pronounced "duh-SCAL-so."
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com NLDS Most Valuable Player: 2012
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Top Prospect 2011: #8
Topps Triple-A All-Star: 2010
Pacific Coast League post-season All-Star: 2010
TCN/Scout.com Cardinals Top Prospect 2010: #10
Topps Double-A All-Star: 2009
Scout.com/The Cardinal Nation Springfield Player of the Year: 2009
Team USA, Gold Medal: 2009
Texas League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star 2009
Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month, April 2009