Just as Babe Ruth and Stan Musial before him, Ankiel has given up the idea of returning to pitching and is going all-out to earn a position in the outfield. KY3 reported that Tony La Russa considered Ankiel a legitimate major league prospect and a more advanced hitter than one would expect.
In 2001 Ankiel was the designated hitter for the rookie league team in Johnson City, Tennessee, hitting 10 homers. He has a 207 career batting average with two homers, a triple and nine RBIs in 87 at-bats in the majors.
Ankiel, 25, will be sent to Jupiter, Florida's training camp to where he will spend a few days before reporting to the Springfield Cardinals. St. Louis removed him from their 40-man roster on Monday, March 28 and after no other team claimed him by the deadline on Thursday, he signed the minor league contract to play for Springfield later that day.
The Springfield Cardinals open at home on Tuesday, April 12, against the Tulsa Drillers. Game time is 7:30 p.m. and a few tickets remain for the game.
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