(BaseballStL) -- Peter Bourjos is considered one of the game’s best defensive center fielders, though he was just a part time player in three of his four years with the L.A. Angels. He was very happy the day he got the news he had been traded to the cardinals for David Freese.
“They were just in the World Series, so that’s one good thing,” Bourjos said. “To come in here and have the opportunity to show what I can do was nice.”
Bourjos is a right handed hitter with a .251 career average and limited power. But he does have the speed to give the Cardinals a new weapon on the bases.
General Manager John Mozeliak said, “He’s probably one of the faster guys in the league. He can steal bases. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities in Anaheim, but different league, different place. That should open up some doors for him.”
As a full time player with the Angels in 2011, Bourjos stole 22 bases. He believes he can do much better than that with the Cardinals.
“In the minor leagues,” said Bourjos, “I had a season where I stole 50 bags, and a lot of seasons where I was in the 30’s. So between 30 and 40 would be nice.”
The Cardinals stole only 45 bases as a team last season. 10 of those were by Jon Jay, who will battle Bourjos for playing time in center field.
Jay said, “I’m going to come in and be ready to compete. If you look at the past, I’ve been in similar situations before. Nothing changes for me, and the way I go about my business.”
Bourjos says he doesn’t expect the full time job to be handed to him. “I’m not expecting him to tell me I’m the starting center fielder. If I’m coming in the 8th or 9th inning for defense, I’m fine with that as well. I just want to help the team win.”