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Daniel Descalso

Daniel Descalso
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 33
Infielder
Born: (1986-10-19) October 19, 1986 (age 27)
Redwood City, California[1]
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 18, 2010 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .243
Home runs 10
Runs batted in 101
Teams

Career highlights and awards

Daniel Descalso
Medal record
Men’s baseball
Competitor for  United States
Baseball World Cup
Gold 2009 Nettuno National team

Daniel William Descalso (born October 19, 1986) is an American professional infielder with the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball.

Early life

Italian-American Descalso was born in Redwood City, California,[2] on October 19, 1986, to Marylou and George Descalso.[3] He is the oldest of six children.[4] He played baseball in San Carlos Little League[5] and went to Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California.[6] He pitched as the team's number 1 starter for three straight seasons, and played 2nd base.[4] He made the All-Central Coast Section squads twice, including first team as a senior, second team as a junior. He made the West Catholic Athletic League first teams in each of last two seasons, including WCAL MVP distinction in 2004. He also played football, winning first-team All-WCAL, second-team All-CCS and honorable mention All-Metro as a senior. He scored three touchdowns against their crosstown rivals during 2003 Homecoming game. He graduated in 2004.[7]

He played for the Northwoods League Wisconsin Woodchucks in 2006.[8] He went on to UC Davis, where he played third base and majored in economics.[3] In 2007, Descalso was named to the NCAA All-Independent First Team.[9] He put up some of the best stats ever at UC Davis, with a .397 lifetime batting average and 92 career hits. His 22 doubles rank second all-time in school history.[10] Following his junior year, he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 3rd round (112th overall)[11] of the 2007 amateur entry draft. He was selected in the highest draft position ever for an Aggie player.[10]

He is 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) and 190 pounds.[12]

Professional playing career


2007 and 2008 seasons

Following the draft, Descalso began his pro career with the Batavia Muckdogs, the Short-Season A affiliate of the Cardinals in the New York – Penn League. He played 69 games for the Muckdogs in 2007, splitting time between 3rd base and 2nd base.[13]

In 2008, Descalso began with the Palm Beach Cardinals, the High-A affiliate of the Cardinals in the Florida State League. He played 115 games in Jupiter, where he batted .243 and played shortstop, 2nd base, and 3rd base. In August 2008, he was advanced to the Springfield Cardinals, the Double-A affiliate in Missouri. He played in just 9 games, but hit .351.

2009 season

In 2009 with Springfield, Descalso had eight home runs and 51 RBI in 288 at-bats over 73 games, all at 2nd base. His line was an impressive .323/.396/.531. At the end of the 2009 season, he was named to the Double-A Texas League post-season all star team. However, he did not play in that game, instead was promoted to Triple-A Memphis in early July when Jarrett Hoffpauir was recalled by the Cardinals. After the call up, Descalso played most games at 2nd base, with 9 at 1st base.

He was also named the 2009 Springfield Cardinals Player of the Year. He missed final two weeks of 2009 season to play for the gold medal winning team USA in the 2009 Baseball World Cup in Italy.[14]

2010 season

The Cardinals invited Descalso to the 2010 Spring camp, where he batted .500 with nine RBI in 14 games.[14] Through the first two months of the 2010 season, he exclusively played 2nd base.[13]

On September 18, Descalso's contract was purchased by the Cardinals and he was promoted to the major leagues.[15] He officially made his major league debut on September 18, 2010, at home against the San Diego Padres when he was announced as a pinch hitter (although he did not bat and was replaced by right-handed batter Nick Stavinoha).[16] His first game as a starter was on September 22, 2010, against the Pirates at their park, where he garnered his first hit and first RBI on a 2-run double. It was at third base, rather than his natural second base position.[16] Nonetheless, his first MLB career fielding attempt was the front end of a 6–4–3 double play (Descalso-Schumaker-Pujols). He finished the year solidly, and remained on the 40-man roster.

2011 season

Given his late season performance, Descalso started the 2011 Spring Training with a legitimate chance to make the Cardinals. However, the Cards had a number of capable infielders fighting for roster spots, including David Freese, Tyler Greene, Double-A prospect Matt Carpenter, and off-season acquisitions Ryan Theriot and Nick Punto.[17] The difficulty would be determining a position and securing a spot. An injury to Punto[18] and questions about Freese's durability left the Cards desperate for an extra utility infielder (rather than an outfielder). Ultimately, Descalso secured a roster spot out of training camp.[19] In game 7 of the World Series he made an amazing catch to keep Texas on Second Base.

He hit his first major league home run on May 3 in St. Louis in the 7th inning, and it was the game-winner in a 3-run blast that vaulted the Cardinals to a come-from-behind 7–5 win against the Marlins. [20]

Following the 2011 season, Daniel Descalso was a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award at third base for the National League, although the honor was later awarded to Placido Polanco of the Philadelphia Phillies.[21]

2012 season

After playing regularly at second base during the 2012 season, Descalso played an integral role in the postseason. In Game 5 of the 2012 National League Division Series, where the Cardinals came back from a 6-run deficit to defeat the Washington Nationals 9–7, Descalso homered, doubled, and then hit a two-run single to tie the game.[22]

2013

On May 21, 2013 Decalso hit his first career grand slam and tallied a career-high five RBI as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 10–2 at Petco Park.[23] Prior to the game Descalso was batting just .197 with one home run.[23]

Personal life

Descalso will marry his girlfriend of ten years, Julia Gamlen, on December 28, 2013. Julia and Daniel attended St. Francis High School and UC Davis together. [24]

Daniel's siblings are named Angela, Stephanie, Natalie, William, and James. [25]

References

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • scout.com interview

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