Cardinals’ draftee signs with Missouri Baptist University’s baseball team
Eduardo Oquendo, son of St. Louis Cardinals’ third base coach, José Oquendo, signed with Missouri Baptist University’s baseball team for the 2013 season last week.
Oquendo, the Cardinals’ 32nd round draft pick in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft in June, decided to delay his professional career and join the MBU Spartans in St. Louis.
Oquendo spent his freshman season last year at Olney Central College in Olney, Ill., though his season was cut short due to injury. In just 57 at-bats in 2012, he hit .246 with nine RBIs. Like his father, Oquendo is a middle infielder.
In high school, Oquendo played for the DeSoto High School Dragons. There, he hit .367 with a .424 on-base percentage and a .467 slugging percentage his senior season.
As a sophomore in the coming school year, the infielder will join a talent-stocked MBU team. Last season, the Spartans earned a no. 3 seed at the NAIA National Championship Opening Round Tournament in Cleveland, Tenn., and came three outs away from moving on the Avista NAIA World Series.
The Spartans will have two of its four top starters returning and will add top talent from junior colleges and NCAA Division I and II teams from around the nation.
“We had to reload at several positions,” said head baseball coach Eddie Uschold. “Eduardo, along with our 2013 recruitment class, will be joining a strong core of players that have, and know how to, win at this level.”
The Spartan head coach, who earned his 500th victory late last season, feels he has another team that can compete for an NAIA National Championship.
“Eduardo is a talented ballplayer, and he will help this team fulfill its potential from day one,” said Uschold. “He is a great kid with a lot of talent, and I’m thrilled he made the choice to become a Spartan.”
MBU is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and has received the distinction of being an NAIA Champions of Character institution for the past 10 years. The Spartans compete in the American Midwest Conference.