Home Run Champion Reports to the Swing

The first roster move of the 2006 has Wilkerson reporting to the Swing of Quad Cities from extended spring training.

The St. Louis Cardinals promoted outfielder Matt Wilkerson to the Swing of the Quad Cities late Monday night, marking the first roster move of the 2006 season. Wilkerson takes the roster spot of outfielder Yonathan Sivira, who was suspended by Major League Baseball.

Wilkerson, 23, joins the Swing from extended spring training. Signed by St. Louis as a non-drafted free agent after the 2005 draft, the California native made his pro debut with New Jersey of the New York-Penn League in 2005. Wilkerson hit .239 with eight home runs and 25 driven in, striking out 59 times in 45 games.

A product of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Wilkerson was a four-year starter in the outfield for the Gauchos. As a senior, the 6-4, 215-pounder hit .318 while leading the team with 13 homers, 51 runs batted in, and 47 runs scored. Wilkerson was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 30th round out of Santa Margarita high school where he starred as a two-way player. He hit .418 as a senior and .509 as a junior while racking up three All-Serra League selections and being named to two All-County teams.

Wilkerson takes the spot of Yonathan Sivira, who was placed on the suspended list. Sivira saw action in four games with Quad Cities, recording two hits in 10 at-bats as a reserve outfielder. Prior to this season, the native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela had a career .276 batting average in four seasons with Cardinals affiliates in Latin America and the United States.

While this is the first roster move of 2006 for Quad Cities, a total of 58 Cardinals' farmhands suited up for the Swing in 2005.

The Swing roster currently stands at 25 active players, the maximum allowed by the Midwest League.


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