(BaseballStL) - Peter Bourjos has a need for speed. The new Cardinals centerfielder has a goal of stealing at least 40 bases this season. No Cardinal has swiped that many bases since Delino DeShields stole 55 in 1997.
Bourjos stole a career high 22 bases in 147 games in 2011. Bourjos knows the value that speed can have on a club.
"It can change the outcome of a game, especially on the defensive side. Pitch running too; it can close gaps in the outfield. On offense, if you put balls in play, it will put pressure on the defense."
Bourjos is one of the fastest players in baseball, and he's expected to be the primary centerfielder this season, after getting acquired from Anaheim in the trade for David Freese.
Bourjos arrived early for spring training so he could meet his new teammates. Former Cardinal Albert Pujols let Bourjos know that coming to St. Louis was a great move for him.
"He was genuinely excited for me," said Bourjos. "He called me 20 minutes after the news came out, and said "I'm so happy for you". You're going to love it over there. He had nothing but great things to say."
Bourjos has a knack for making crowd pleasing plays in centerfield, and he's looking forward to bringing his speed and glove to St. Louis when the Cards make their home debut in April.
"Just coming here (to St. Louis) you see how excited people are about the Cardinals, and I'm glad to become one."