From one man’s misfortune comes opportunity for another. So it was for a pair of St. Louis Cardinals outfield prospects in relation to the 2014 Arizona Fall League.
When Springfield outfielder Charlie Tilson suffered a late-August injury that ended his season, his berth in the Arizona Fall League fell to a player two levels lower in play, Peoria’s C.J. McElroy. Still just 21 years of age, the Texan was the third-youngest player on his Peoria Javelinas club and continues to learn.
Though McElroy struggled at the plate against the advanced pitching in the desert to the tune of a .200 average, there was a positive side. His on-base mark was .357 and he showed his speed, placing first on the club with seven steals in nine attempts. In an odd stat line, he had almost as many walks (six) and steals (seven) as hits (eight).
This past summer, in his second season at the Class-A level, McElroy remained healthy. As a result, he was more productive, raising his batting average 27 points and his slugging by 54 points over 2013 with the Midwest League Peoria Chiefs. The speedster led the entire Cardinals system with 41 stolen bases (in 59 attempts) and continues to work on switch-hitting.
In the following exclusive interview, McElroy recaps his play with both Peoria clubs in 2014 and discusses his preparation for next season.
Many of the Cardinals players featured in this now-concluded AFL interview series will be back soon – as part of The Cardinal Nation’s annual top 40 prospect rollout, which started Monday December 1st and will run though mid-January.
© 2014 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.