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Daniel Descalso

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Daniel William Descalso

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[edit] Biographical Information

Daniel Descalso made his major league debut in 2010.

Descalso hit .320 as a college freshman, playing all 56 games (55 as a starter). He was the first true freshman to lead UC Davis in batting average in 38 years. He was named second-team All-NCAA Division I Independents. As a sophomore, he hit .284/.359/.401 while missing some time due to injury. His junior year, Daniel blossomed, batting .397/.474/.569. He led all players on NCAA Division I Independents in doubles (22) and hits (92) and was third in average. He was named All-Independent at third base. The St. Louis Cardinals picked him in the 3rd round of the 2007 amateur draft, making him the highest pick ever from UC Davis (Justin Reid, 4th round in 1999, had been the record-holder). He was signed by scout Jay North and began his pro career that summer.

Descalso began his professional career with the 2007 Batavia Muckdogs, batting .268/.346/.336 and stealing 12 bases in 15 tries. In 2008, he split time between the Palm Beach Cardinals (.243/.313/.372 in 115 G) and Springfield Cardinals (.351/.405/.432 in 9 G). His 12 errors tied for the most by a Florida State League second baseman.

Descalso made big strides in 2009 with Springfield (.323/.396/.531, 26 2B in 73 G) and the Memphis Redbirds (.255/.329/.326 in his first 44 games). He was then put on Team USA's roster for the 2009 Baseball World Cup. He reached the major leagues as a September call-up in 2010, hitting .265 (9 for 34) in 11 games. He then became a full-time Cardinal in 2011, when he played 148 games as a rookie, mostly as a fill-in for the injured David Freese a third base. He hit .264/.334/.353 with 1 homer and 28 RBI, but was back on the bench for the postseason, as Freese was healthy and would in fact earn MVP honors in both the NLCS and World Series. For his part, Descalso saw action in all three rounds of the postseason, going a combined 3 for 9 with 3 runs scored as the Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers in seven games to become World Champions.

In 2012, Descalso saw most of his action at second base, also playing at 3B and SS, while logging 143 games. His production fell to .227/.303/.324, although he did hit four homers. This time, he was a starter in the postseason, and after being held hitless in the Wild Card Game, was 6 for 19 (.316) with a double and a pair of homers and 78 runs scored as one of the key figures of the Cardinals' upset of the Washington Nationals in 5 games in the NLDS. Like most of his teammates, however, he was shut down by the San Francisco Giants' great pitching in the NLCS, being limited to 5 for 25 with a double. When the 2013 season began, young Matt Carpenter, a much more dangerous hitter, got the opportunity to start some games at 2B and went on an early tear, moving Daniel to the bench. Descalso was hitting below .200 when he made the most of an opportunity to start at 3B in place of an ailing Freese on May 21st, belting a grand slam and collecting 3 hits and 5 RBI and scoring 3 runs in a 10-2 win over the Giants.

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