St. Louis Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalso is in just his third full Major League Baseball season, but he's already preparing to play in his second World Series. The former Wisconsin Woodchuck helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the title back in 2011. By doing so, Descalso stamped his place in Woodchucks history. He is the only former Chuck to win a World Series ring.
Descalso played for the Chucks in 2006. That season he batted .277, with a .399 on-base percentage and 10 stolen bases.
Woodchucks General Manager Ryan Treu: "Daniel was sent to us from UC Davis. We were told he was going to be one of the best defensive 3rd basemen in the league and he was. He was one of the best players in the league."
He was drafted by the Cardinals in the 3rd round of the 2007 MLB Draft. When the Cardinals made him a late-season call up on September 18, 2010, Descalso became the 10th Woodchucks alumni to crack the big leagues. During the 2011 Cardinals title run he was a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award at third base. That season's World Series featured a matchup of former Woodchucks. The Cardinals defeated the Rangers, which had pitcher Mark Lowe (2002 and 2003 Woodchucks).
Descalso has shown his versatility with the Cardinals. And he's expected to be a key defensive contributor off the bench in the 2013 World Series against the Red Sox. This year he played 2nd base (.974 field percentage), shortstop (.964) and 3rd base (.921). He batted just .111 (1-9) in the National League Division Series but doubled those hits in the NLCS. He's a career .243 hitter.
Treu: "It's exciting to watch players advance after leaving Wausau and have so much success. For me, I can watch him on TV playing in the World Series and I can still picture Daniel playing third at Athletic Park."
Descalso was joined on this year's Cardinals team by another former Woodchuck, pitcher Sam Freeman. Freeman played outfield and pitched for the Woodchucks in 2007. This season, he came out of the bullpen to throw 12.1 innings in 13 appearances. He picked up one victory on the way to a 2.19 ERA. However, he was left off the World Series roster.
Descalso and the Cardinals start the 2013 World Series on the road tonight in Boston.
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