Cardinals convert former second-round pick Robert Stock from catcher to pitcher

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From Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that the Cardinals have converted prospect Robert Stock from a catcher to a pitcher. Rather, they’re going to try to, sending him to minor league camp to begin the process.

Stock, the No. 67 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, batted just .241/.320/.347 with 10 home runs in 189 minor league games. He was drafted as a catcher out of the University of Southern California, but the 22-year-old was actually one of the Trojans’ best pitchers in his final year there, registering a 2.90 ERA and 86/39 K/BB ratio in 77 2/3 innings.

The Post-Dispatch‘s Joe Strauss tweets that “draftniks swore his future was” on the mound at the time the Cardinals selected him. Now the Redbirds will have to hope they didn’t act too late.

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.