Cardinals Sign Home Run King

Outfielder Matt Wilkerson, UC Santa Barbara's all-time home run leader, has signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

College reported today that Matt Wilkerson who signed a free agent contract with St. Louis Cardinals, was a Second Team All-Big West selection in 2005 when he had his best all-around season as a Gaucho. He was second on the team in batting at .318, but he led the team in home runs (13), RBI (51), hits (69), runs scored (47), and stolen bases (nine). His 13 home runs tied for the ninth highest total in UCSB history, and his final home run of the season, a game-winning shot at Cal State Northridge in the second to last game, gave him 42 career home runs, a new school record. Additionally, Wilkerson was almost flawless in right field, where he committed just one error in 120 chances. He was also the only player on the team to start all 56 games.

Not only did Wilkerson finish his career as UCSB's all-time home run leader, but he also finished ranked fourth in RBI (186), eighth in hits (243), eighth in run scored (167), fifth in at bats (825), fifth in games played (216), sixth in total bases (417), and first in stolen base percentage (28-of-30, 93.3%).

Matt Wilkerson was recently named Golden Student-Athlete Of The Week on May the 31st, 2005 after leading the Gauchos baseball team to a three-game sweep of Cal State Northridge in the season ending Big West series.

Overall, Wilkerson the 6'4" 220 outfielder hit in all three games over the three game series, going 5-for-11 (.455), with five runs scored, five RBI, one home run, one double and one walk.

Wilkerson was a starter for all four years at UCSB, playing in right field. The new Cardinals prospect had played in the outfield and was a pitcher at Santa Margarita High School in California, before playing college ball for four years.

Wilkerson was originally drafted by Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 30th round of 2001 MLB draft, but did not sign.

Wilkerson will be assigned to New Jersey of the New York-Penn League.

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