On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the signing of minor league free agent catcher Ed Easley to a Triple-A contract for 2014 that includes an invitation to the team’s Major League Spring Training camp.
Easley, 27, was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the supplemental first round (61st overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft from Mississippi State University. There he won the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top collegiate catcher.
The right-handed hitter faced the Memphis Redbirds as a member of the D-backs’ Reno Aces last season, for whom he hit .334 with six home runs and 49 RBI over 87 games. Easley batted .369 (31-for-84) with runners in scoring position and hit left-handed pitchers at a .391 clip (27-for-69). Easley was the Diamondbacks’ organization Co-Player of the Month for August, after he batted .402 in 23 games.
Defensively, Easley led Pacific Coast League catchers throwing out 35.7% of attempted base stealers (25 caught in 70 attempts) and posted a .993 fielding percentage in 562 total chances. Over his seven-year minor league career, he has thrown out 138 of 470 attempted base stealers (29.4%).
With the departure of Rob Johnson as a minor league free agent, Easley would seem positioned to take over the role of veteran receiver with the Triple-A Redbirds for 2014
Note: The Cardinals also officially announced the earlier signing of minor league free agent Scott Moore and confirmed the third baseman has received a big-league spring camp invitation as well.
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