The play of second baseman Jacob Wilson was one of the most pleasant surprises of St. Louis Cardinals spring training in 2015. The second baseman was competing in his very first big league camp, attending as a non-roster invitee.
Given Wilson had suffered a knee injury shortly after his arrival at Springfield last summer, and having played just 36 games above Class A ball, he was there to watch and learn. No one expected him to be a serious contender for a roster spot with St. Louis.
Still, the 24-year-old had earned his berth, having quickly reestablished momentum with a solid Arizona Fall League campaign. Ranked number 26th among Cardinals minor leaguers in The Cardinal Nation top 40 prospect list for 2015 and sixth in ESPN’s view of the organization’s top prospects, Wilson was impressive in camp.
In 33 at-bats over 20 Grapefruit League games, the right-handed hitter posted a line of .303/.343/.515/.858. Half of Wilson’s 10 hits went for extra bases – four doubles and a home run. The 24-year-old drove in four, scored seven runs and swiped a base.
It was worthy of noting that Wilson remained in St. Louis’ camp this spring longer than another middle infielder with major league experience in Greg Garcia and stayed as long as Dean Anna, who opened 2014 as the New York Yankees’ starting shortstop.
Though the Memphis infield situation appears crowded to open the season, Wilson’s performance this spring plus his versatility may have opened the door. He can play third base, first base and the outfield in addition to his regular home at second.
Before he was reassigned to minor league camp late Sunday, Wilson spoke about his off-season, his spring with St. Louis and what may be ahead.
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