St. Louis Cardinals add OF Jimmy Parque

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired a former St. John's star who has been playing independent ball.

The St. Louis Cardinals have added a bit outfield depth at the upper levels of their system via the acquisition of a 24-year-old who is well-traveled, but has yet to play his first game with an affiliated professional club. The Rockford (IL) RiverHawks of the independent Frontier League announced Tuesday that they have sold the contract of Jimmy Parque to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Parque is a 5-foot-9, 170-pound outfielder from Pacifica, CA who played his final two seasons of college ball at St. John's. After his senior year in 2010, the left-handed hitter was employed by at least three independent league clubs.

Parque had been acquired by the RiverHawks this August from the Las Cruces Vaqueros of the semi-pro Pecos League. In 20 games for Rockford, Parque hit .304 and recorded an on-base percentage of .448. He had even better results with Las Cruces, batting .332 in 65 games while collecting nine home runs and 62 RBI.

His 2011 was less successful. Parque signed with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League in May, but was released two weeks later.

Parque spent his junior and senior seasons, 2009-10, at St. John's University. As a junior, he hit five home runs, drove in 61 and batted .360, earning All-Big East third-team honors. Playing right and centerfield, Parque hit .358 with four home runs and 47 RBI in his senior season.

The veteran of summer ball played in the Alaskan Baseball League in 2008 for the Anchorage Bucs, where he recorded eight doubles and 21 RBI in 44 games. The next summer, Parque suited up for the Madison Mallards in the Northwoods League, where he hit .255 in 47 games.

In 2007-08, Parque was a two-time juco all-American at Skyline Junior College in San Francisco. In 2008, he hit .378 with 16 doubles, eight home runs, 36 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.

That June, in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Parque was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but did not sign, instead going to St. John's. He was not drafted following his junior or senior years.

Parque's high school, Junipero Serra in San Mateo, CA, has an impressive alumni list that includes Barry Bonds as well as NFL stars Tom Brady and Lynn Swann.

His name may be familiar to baseball fans. Parque is a second-cousin of former major leaguer Jim Parque. The latter pitched for the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998 to 2003 after being selected in the first round of the 1997 supplemental draft from UCLA.

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

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