An In-Depth Look at the Four 2013 Chiefs Invited to Cardinals Spring Training

The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Tuesday their 18 non-roster Spring Training Invitees. Jenifer Langosch has the full list over at Cardinals.com and rightfully focuses on Marco Gonzales, the team’s top pick in the 2013 First-Year player Draft. Here at Playing in Peoria we are going to focus on the four members of the 2013 Chiefs team who will head to Jupiter in just a couple of weeks for their first Major League Spring Training.

Let’s start with the no-brainer on the list, Cardinals 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Zach Petrick. What a brilliant 2013 season for the non-drafted Free Agent signee from Morris, IL. Petrick began the season in the Chiefs bullpen and ended the year as a starter in Double-A Springfield. With the Chiefs he was 1-0 with seven saves and a 0.83 ERA in 16 games while striking out 46 and walking just eight in 32 2/3 innings. He was promoted in May to Palm Beach and went 3-0 with one save and a 0.27 ERA in nine games while striking out 32 and walking four in 33 1/3 innings. Petrick moved on to Springfield for the second half and also moved into the starting rotation. In nine Double-A starts he was 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA and 44 strikeouts to just 15 walks over 47 1/3 innings. Overall in 2013, Petrick was 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA in 34 games and nine starts. He struck out 122 and walked just 27 in 113 1/3 innings with a 1.02 WHIP.

Zack Petrick pitching for the Chiefs in April 2013

Zach Petrick pitching for the Chiefs in April 2013

Next on the list are two catchers, Casey Rasmus and Carson Kelly Rasmus, like Petrick, started the season with the Chiefs and finished in Double-A. With the Chiefs in 25 games he batted .296 with two doubles, a triple, 13 runs scored, four steals and six RBI. Behind the plate he had just one error and one passed ball while throwing out 37% of would-be base stealers. A concussion sidelined Rasmus in May and after being cleared by the training staff in Florida, he was promoted to Palm Beach for 12 games in which he hit .310 with 10 RBI. Rasmus moved on to Springfield and hit .292 with seven runs scored and four RBI over the final 15 games. Overall in 2013 he hit .298 with four doubles, 21 runs scored, 20 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 52 games.

Casey Rasmus tagging out an opponent in 2013.

Casey Rasmus  recording an out against Wisconsin in 2013.

For Carson Kelly, 2014 will be his first season behind the plate in professional baseball. Though he caught and pitched in high school, Kelly played third base for Johnson City in 2012 and with the Chiefs and State College in 2013. Kelly joined the Chiefs in mid-April and hit .219 with two homers, six doubles, 18 runs scored and 13 RBI over 43 games. He moved down to State College at the MWL All-Star Break and helped the Spikes to the New York-Penn League Championship Series. Kelly hit .277 with four homers, 16 doubles, 35 runs scored an 32 RBI with State College. Overall he hit .257 last season with six homers, 22 doubles, 45 RBI, 53 runs scored and a .322 OBP. The 2012 second round pick began catching in September at Instructional League and will be behind the plate during Spring Training and possibly for the Chiefs in 2014.

2014 will be the first behind the plate for Carson Kelly

2014 will be the first behind the plate for Carson Kelly

Speaking of third base, that’s where the fourth Non-Roster Invitee, Patrick Wisdom spent most of the 2013 season for the Chiefs and Palm Beach. Wisdom, a first round pick in 2012 out of Santa Clara, played for the Chiefs from Opening Day 2013 until the first week of August. He hit .231 with 13 home runs, 62 RBI, 20 doubles, four triples and 54 runs scored before a promotion to Palm Beach. Wisdom finished the season with 25 Florida State League games in which he hit .250 with two home runs, four doubles, eight runs scored and 11 RBI. Overall in 129 games last season he hit .235 with 15 homers, 24 doubles, 62 runs scored, 73 RBI and a .401 slugging percentage. Wisdom tied the Chiefs single-season and career records with two grand slams in 2013.

Patrick Wisdom was a fixture in the middle of the Chiefs lineup in 2013

Patrick Wisdom was a fixture in the middle of the Chiefs lineup in 2013

Pitchers and catchers will report to the Cardinals’ spring complex in Jupiter, FL., on February 12. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for February 18. The first game in the Grapefruit League is scheduled for February 28 against the Marlins and the Cardinals Minor League players will report to the complex in early March.

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