Found June 26, 2013 on Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Jackson hadn't heard. The praise, bestowed by St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak before a Cardinals game last week, took its sweet time getting down to Memphis. Mozeliak had been sitting in the Cardinals' dugout when the subject turned to Jackson. The utility infielder currently playing for the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Memphis has been great at the plate this season, so much so that he's forcing himself into the Redbirds' lineup -- as well as back onto the Cardinals' radar. "He's having just an outstanding offensive year," Mozeliak said at the time. "I think, in Jackson's case, playing him everywhere right now is most important. His value continues to grow as he continues to hit. It's good to see." That quote didn't hit Jackson's ears until he chatted with me Tuesday afternoon. "That's great news," he said. Missed opportunities at the plate hurt Jackson's chances of sticking during previous stints with the Cardinals. He played 13 games in 2012 and two more early this season, acquiring just two hits in 20 at-bats during that time. But since his most recent demotion, which came when David Freese came off the disabled list in April, he has made strides. Jackson's .320 batting average is currently the highest of any active Memphis player. He has a .395 on-base percentage, a .434 slugging percentage and an on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of .828. In 256 at-bats, he has three home runs and 24 RBIs. "Working with Cardinals hitting coach John Mabry, and even former Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire when I was up last year, there were some things that really triggered in my mind," Jackson said. "It's really helped out. A lot of it is just the mental aspect, in terms of having a real solid approach at the plate and having a feel for what the pitcher is going to try to do to you to get you out." Jackson is comfortable playing shortstop, second base and third base, and he has bounced around this year in Memphis. While that makes him more marketable, his biggest ally right now is his bat. He is competing against prized prospect Kolten Wong, a middle infielder and Jackson's Memphis teammate. Jackson's and Wong's numbers are actually pretty similar. Wong's batting average is one tick lower (.319), and his on-base percentage is not as high (.368). But the 22-year-old beats Jackson in slugging percentage (.471) and OPS (.839). In 20 more at-bats than Jackson, Wong has homered five times and totaled 25 RBIs. Jackson strikes out more often (52 times compared to Wong's 39), but also draws more walks (34 compared to Wong's 22). Right now, Jackson's only option is to keep hitting. The Cardinals' infield isn't in need of immediate attention. But Jackson has earned the right to be a potential piece in the puzzle if a shift has to occur at some point this season. "He's reestablished himself in the organization," Mozeliak said. That's good news for Jackson, whether he hears it or not. Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or email him at

Who are the Cardinals trade chips?

After taking a look at who the Cardinals might pursue at the trade deadline a couple weeks ago, its time to think about who the Cards might trade to get some of those players.  This is not to say that any of these players will be traded in July, but that these guys are, for various reasons, potential trade chips for the team. First Tier - The Blockbuster Guys These guys would...

Yahoo: Is The Time Right To Trade Freese?

Recently, I took the time to look into the scenario of trading hometown hero David Freese while the time is right for the St. Louis Cardinals. To say the idea is not well received, especially by Yahoo fans, would be an understatement.  However, the reasons to move now are compelling and the idea seems to be a popular one around the internet these days.  In the article, I explain...

Cardinals benefiting from a healthy, consistent Beltran

ST. LOUIS -- Whenever Cardinals manager Mike Matheny works out before games, which is often, he uses the same weight room as his players at Busch Stadium. One player whom he sees regularly is Carlos Beltran who, at 36, is hitting more like he did at 26. "Watch him in the weight room and you know it's not just by chance," Matheny says. "He's doing a lot to...

Cardinals' Jordan Swagerty on the road to return

Jordan Swagerty, St. Louis Cardinals second-round pick of the 2010 MLB draft, was one of the team's top pitching prospects prior to his injury in 2012. When going to monitor his elbow pain, team doctors found bone spurs but also decided to proactively perform Tommy John surgery to help prevent any possible future injury as well. Swagerty has been on the road to recovery...

Cardinals' prospect Oscar Taveras back to the DL

The news was not surprising given Oscar Taveras' reaction after re-injuring his ankle, but the St. Louis Cardinals and Memphis Redbirds made it official last night.  Taveras is back on the disabled list.  This stint comes just weeks after he came off the disabled list after initially spraining his right ankle. Oscar Taveras returns to the Memphis DL. — Joe Strauss...

Tyler Lyons was outstanding in his return to Memphis

The Baby Birds went 3-2 with Memphis, Palm Beach, and Johnson City all winning. Springfield is on its all-star break and State College was rained out after 1 and 1/2 innings. Tyler Lyons (pictured) was awesome in his return to Memphis and Anthony Garcia and David Popkins continue their hot hitting. Johnson City improves to 5-1 and have a very exciting lead-off hitter in Vaughn Bryan...

Oscar Taveras aggravates ankle, is placed on the DL

On Tuesday the Cardinals placed Memphis Redbirds’ slugger and top prospect Oscar Taveras on the 7-day disabled list, a move that was a surprise to no one. Taveras was removed from the Redbirds’ game on June 23rd after trying to get back to second base on a pick off attempt. Taveras would later score on a home run, but his limp became worse. This will be Taveras’ second stint...

This GIF of Joe Kelly and Edward Mujica dancing in the outfield will be useful at some point

Werk it.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Heading West

Weekly St. Louis Cardinals-focused chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines. Late Thursday afternoon, I joined Ken Miller and Jim Brinson on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our regular series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” This time, we discussed the recent Texas and Houston series and looked ahead to Oakland and Anaheim. Cardinals followers...

Preview: Cardinals wrap up first interleague series in Houston

After his worst outing in a stellar season, the St. Louis Cardinals' Lance Lynn quickly regained his dominant form. Given his performances against Houston over his career, there's a good chance he could show that again Wednesday night. The right-hander will seek to reach 11 wins before the All-Star break for the second straight season in the series finale against the Astros...

St. Louis P Fernando Salas: Please stay awhile

Hot News for P Fernando Salas

Cardinals 13, Astros 5

Allen Craig homered and had a season-high four hits with three RBIs, and Carlos Beltran and David Freese both added a homer as the St. Louis Cardinals got back on track by rolling to a 13-5 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night. The Cardinals managed just seven runs combined in a three-game sweep by the Texas Rangers, the first time they were swept this season. On Tuesday...

Recap: Cards end 3-game skid with 13-5 win over Astros

HOUSTON -- Allen Craig homered and had a season-high four hits with three RBIs, and Carlos Beltran and David Freese both added a homer as the St. Louis Cardinals got back on track by rolling to a 13-5 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night. The Cardinals managed just seven runs combined in a three-game sweep by the Texas Rangers, the first time they were swept this season...

How Shelby Miller Resembles the Model Starting Pitcher

I don’t know if you can really understand until he’s yours. You might’ve forgotten, but Cliff Lee pitched for the Mariners once, and while I knew Lee was an ace starter beforehand, it wasn’t until I watched him every five days that I really “got” it. Lee was perfect. He wasn’t and isn’t the best starting pitcher in the world, but he’s close, and he does everything...

Gulf Coast League: Where the Cards power is

No matter how you slice it, the St. Louis Cardinals’ top draftees and biggest money players from the 2013 draft are starting their professional careers in the Gulf Coast League.
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