Ranked 10th in the San Diego Padres minor leagues by MadFriars.com, David Freese has done nothing but hit since entering the system as a ninth-round pick out of South Alabama.
A California League postseason All-Star, the third baseman batted .302 with a team-high 152 hits in 2007. In 128 contests, Freese collected 31 doubles, six triples, 17 homers, 104 runs scored and 96 RBIs.
Grady Fuson, the Padres’ vice president of scouting and player development, told Freese of the deal.
“I talked to I talked to (Cardinals general manager) John Mozeliak briefly and he told me ‘congratulations,’” said Freese.
While Freese has no idea where he will be headed once he enters the St. Louis chain, he plans on heading down to their facility in January to begin working out with his new team.
“I am going to take everything I have learned from the Padres,” Freese said. “I am thankful for everything the Padres have done for me.”
And his goal of reaching the majors is the same. Stuck behind Kevin Kouzmanoff and Chase Headley at the hot corner, the trade may have not come as a surprise, despite his foray into catching during the Padres fall Instructional League.
Given his penchant for the clutch hit, Freese looks at this as a new opportunity.
“I think it is a plus,” he said. “Being behind two great players like Kouzmanoff and Headley – I can move forward. I have heard great things about the Cardinals. Getting (to the majors) is the main key.
Being traded for a centerfielder the caliber of Jim Edmonds is also nothing to sneeze at.
“He is going to be tracking down balls in the gap for the Padres,” Freese said.
Edmonds, 37, underwent right shoulder and foot surgery prior to the 2007 season and has one of his least productive seasons as a professional.
Edmonds hit .252 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in 117 games. His batting average, runs scored, home run and RBI totals had declined each of the last three seasons.
His best season came during the Cardinals World Series run in 2001 when he hit .301 with 42 home runs, 111 RBIs and 102 runs scored.