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Ex-ISU Redbird Player Dejong inks deal with St. Louis Cardinals

Ex-ISU Redbird Player Dejong inks deal with St. Louis Cardinals

Paul Dejong has signed a six year $26 million contract extension with the St. Louis Cardinals. (photo courtesy Joey Dwyer/WZND)

NORMAL –  Former Illinois State baseball player Paul Dejong is beginning to make a name for himself on the big stage.

Dejong finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 for the St. Louis Cardinals. Dejong posted a batting average of .285 and hit 25 home-runs in 108 games on the season. ISU coach Bo Durkac said the Cardinals are getting more than just a great baseball player.

“You better make sure all the boxes are checked. Like intelligence, make-up, hardworking, coachable, and a good teammate all those things, ” Durkac said. “I think you could very easily check all those boxes with Paul. That is why I think it was a wise move on the cardinals to lock him in for six years.” Durkac added.

Dejong will look to improve on his rookie numbers in year-two when he gets a chance to play in every game. The Cardinals will also be looking to get back into the playoff picture after having a two-year drought. Durkac said Dejong has the potential to expand on his rookie numbers.

“If I’m a betting man I say absolutely yes. He’s got the talent, he has got the drive, he’s not going to be complacent or rest on his laurels he’s not going to be to good to receive coaching or instruction. So I will put my money on Dejong to have an even better year than what he had last year.”

The Cardinals have opened up spring ball with a record of (4-6, 1). Dejong has appeared in 5 of those games and has gone a combined three for 14 at the plate (.214 average). He has hit two doubles and two RBIs.

The Cardinals will next look to improve their spring record on Tuesday March 6th at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Miami Marlins.

Clayton Baracani contributed to this story.


March 5th, 2018

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