Cards Release 2011 4th-Rounder Peoples-Walls

The St. Louis Cardinals released a former top pick who converted from shortstop to the outfield.

In the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected a 17-year-old shortstop prospect from Los Angeles, Kenny Peoples-Walls. They convinced the youngster to forego his commitment to attend Cal State-Northridge and become a professional baseball player.

http://www.scout.com/player/157697-kenny-peoples-walls?s=321

Almost five years later, the organization has granted Peoples-Walls his release.

The writing was on the wall after the career of the right-handed hitter stalled the past two seasons. From 2011 through 2012, Peoples-Walls opened his career in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. While progress was shown, his breakout occurred in the 2013 Appalachian League. There, Peoples-Walls ranked in the top 10 in batting at an even .300. He led the circuit in total bases, was tied for tops in hits and second in runs scored. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder was named to the short-season league’s All-Star team. That winter, he placed 33rd among The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 prospects.

However, Peoples-Walls‘ total of 20 errors was also league-leading, which signaled an upcoming position change to the outfield.

The new outfielder made the Peoria club out of spring training 2014, but finished down a level at State College. The offensive progress from the year before was lost as Peoples-Walls batted just .232 between the two stops.

Last spring, Peoples-Walls did not make one of the full-season clubs out of camp, instead continuing in extended spring training. Once State College got underway in late June, he appeared in just three games before Peoria experienced a rash of outfield injuries. Back for another shot at the Midwest League, Peoples-Walls still struggled with the bat, hitting .230.

His release would seem to suggest that the now-22-year-old is not competitive enough to make a full-season club. For his career, 997 at-bats over 283 games over four years, Peoples-Walls‘ slash line was .251/.296/.359/.655.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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