The St. Louis Cardinals' longest-tenured trade rumor came true on Tuesday, when they sent SKip Schumaker to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Schumaker and his agent expressed their openness to a deal after a 2012 season in which he'd fallen far down the depth chart at second and in the outfield, and since then it's seemed pretty inevitable. The Cardinals' return, though, was news: Dodgers shortstop prospect Jake Lemmerman. So who's the newest Cardinal?
A going-on-24-year-old shortstop with vaguely interesting hitting skills, that's who. His first extended exposure to the high minors, in the AA Southern League, ended with a .233/.347/.378 batting line. The average isn't great, but the walk rate and the doubles power is pretty nice. The problem about that average not being great: He's also striking out a lot.
Lemmerman finds himself below Rafael Furcal, Pete Kozma, and Ryan Jackson on the Cardinals' shortstop depth chart, which is less intimidating than it sounds. The Cardinals' own AA shortsop alum, Greg Garcia, put up some excellent hitting numbers, but prospect mavens question whether he'll stick at the position.
For a backup infielder--even a sui generis one like SKip Schumaker--Lemmerman's an interesting return. He's not a prospect, but he has tools that could make him into a prospect. Even if they don't, they could make him--well, a sui generis utility infielder, since most of them are more likely to hit .280/.330/.330 than .250/.330/.330.