It is not making excuses for Malik Collymore to note that he was not able to fully focus on his new role as a St. Louis Cardinals farmhand in 2013. He left behind multiple college offers and signed with the organization after being taken in the 10th round of that June’s draft.
The middle infielder became a Cardinal with a prior commitment - to again compete for his country in international play. That limited his initial action in the Gulf Coast League to just 19 games. During that time, Collymore played second base and batted .228.
Collymore had gained valuable experience the year before with the Gold Medal-winning Canadian Junior National team, earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors. This time, he traveled to Australia and China. In the International Baseball Federation 18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan, he earned the top base stealer award. Collymore then returned to Cardinals camp in Jupiter, Fla. to participate in fall instructional league.
Back with the GCL Cardinals in 2014, the 6-foot-0, 195-pounder had added an inch and five pounds since draft day. He hit the ground running and by the time the season was done, he was named a league All-Star.
Perhaps because of the MVP season put together by his teammate Magneuris Sierra, Collymore’s own impressive summer was not fully recognized.
Collymore finished the 2014 season with a .333/.403/.480/.883 line. Across the entire Cardinals system, those stats ranked second, fourth, seventh and fourth, respectively. Despite playing in a short-season league, the right-handed batter finished just one triple off a share of the organizational lead with eight three-base hits.
In the following exclusive interview during his second instructional league camp, Collymore spoke about his 2014 campaign. He looked to be in very good condition, strong and sturdy, and should have a promising time ahead.
The Cardinal Nation’s extensive series of player and coach interviews from Cardinals instructional league camp in Jupiter will continue in the upcoming days. They will include Mike Shildt and Derrick May.
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