Cardinals Minor League Shortstops on the Move

Donovan Solano and Pete Kozma

Donovan Solano and Pete Kozma should each be on the move on Monday as the St. Louis Cardinals organization fills the shortstop hole caused by Brian Barden's Team USA commitment.

On Monday August 4, the St. Louis Cardinals are expected to promote Donovan Solano to Double-A Springfield while Pete Kozma will move up from Quad Cities to fill Solano's spot at A-Advanced Palm Beach.

The upcoming moves can be traced back to Memphis' Brian Barden leaving the team to play for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics. To fill his spot, the organization already promoted another shortstop prospect, Tyler Greene, who had been at Springfield.

Donovan Solano was signed as a non-drafted free agent in January of 2005. The Columbian, previously known for his defense more than his bat, has turned in a solid season in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.

Going into Sunday's action, the 20-year-old is hitting .286/.349/.351 with one home run and 31 RBIs. Solano got off to a fantastic start, hitting .316 in April and .307 in May. For his effort, he was named a Florida State League All-Star.

The shortstop hit a combined .240/.283/.266 between the Quad Cities and Palm Beach in 2007.

Solano was rated as the Birdhouse's 36th ranked Cardinals prospect in 2007 after being tabbed at number 20 in the system in 2006.

Pete Kozma was the Cardinals first round pick, 18th overall, in the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Signed as a prep out of Oklahoma, Kozma was awarded a $1.395 million signing bonus to become a Cardinal. Over three levels, Kozma hit .233 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in his professional debut.

The organization assigned Kozma to the Midwest League to start 2008. The 20-year- old got off to a hot start, hitting .341 in April. Things got rough for him in May, as he finished the month with a .189/.280/.221 line. The Oklahoma native made improvements in June before going on a tear in July. He finished the month with a line of .324/.373/.486 with two home runs and 15 RBIs. Currently, Kozma is hitting .284/.364/.399 with a respectable 69 strikeouts compared to 45 walks.

Kozma has hit in 18 of his last 19 games including a season-high 15 game-hitting streak. During the stretch, he is batting .394 with 10 extra-base hits including two home runs and 11 RBIs.



Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at dustin@whiteyball.com.

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