The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Cedric Hunter from the Oakland A’s in return for cash considerations and assigned him to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds.
Hunter, 24, was originally selected by the San Diego Padres in the third round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. In 2009, our sister site MadFriars.com rated Hunter the top prospect in the Padres’ system. He was a 2010 Texas League mid-season All-Star and was added to the Padres' 40-man roster that winter to protect him from the 2010 Rule 5 Draft.
Last spring, Hunter made the Padres’ opening day roster. San Diego showed little patience, however, as the left-handed hitter was optioned out to Triple-A on April 10 and did not return to the majors.
In October, Hunter was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics but the centerfielder was outrighted to the minors the following month.
A glut of outfielders in the A’s system meant Hunter was buried. Farm director Keith Lieppman recently told our OaklandClubhouse.com partner that despite his pedigree, Hunter was slated to open the 2012 season in Double-A. He had been a non-roster invitee to A's major league camp, but was reassigned on March 11.
In six minor league seasons, the Georgia native has a line of .291/.347/.392. Hunter has 340 RBI in 671 MiLB games.
With projected Memphis outfielders Mark Hamilton and Aaron Luna opening the season on the disabled list, and St. Louis also breaking camp with Skip Schumaker and Allen Craig on the DL, the Redbirds were short of outfield help. Prior to this move, Memphis had only three true outfielders on the roster – Amaury Cazana, Adron Chambers and Chris Swauger. Infielders Jermaine Curtis and Eugenio Velez also can play some outfield.
Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com contributed to this story.
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