The Peoria Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals have announced the promotion of All-Star second baseman Jacob Wilson to Advanced-A Palm Beach and relief pitcher Zach Russell to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. The Chiefs will add their first 2013 draftee in third round pitcher Mike Mayers out of Ole Miss along with State College second baseman Bruce Caldwell.
Wilson, who was named to the 2013 Midwest League All-Star team, hit .264 (92-for-348) while leading the team with 24 doubles, 15 home runs, 71 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 40 walks. Wilson, who turned 23 on Monday with his final Chiefs game, stepped into an elite class in Chiefs history. He leaves Peoria tied for 9th most homeruns and tied for 15th most RBI since the start of the 2000 season for the Chiefs. He also ranks tied for 20th on the all-time single season homerun list, 24th in slugging, 27th in RBI, and tied for 4th in sacrifice flies. He leaves the Midwest League tied for 3rd in homeruns (15) and 5th in RBI (72) on the season. Wilson hit .359 (37-for-103) with runners in scoring position, had 24 multi-hit games and seven three-hit games in a Chiefs uniform. The former Memphis Tigers second baseman had his first career multi homerun game including a walk off shot vs. Lake County on 5/1/13 and added a career high five RBI.
Russell joined the Chiefs on June 26 from the Palm Beach Cardinals. In ten appearances for Peoria, Russell was 5-for-5 in save opportunities and tallied an ERA of 0.82 while striking out 17 and walking just two batters. He did not allow a run in his last nine appearances and struck out a season high four batters in 1 2/3 innings at Great Lakes on July 14. Russell was drafted in the 47th round in 2007 out of Harmony Grove HS in his hometown of Camden, AR.
Mayers, drafted in the 3rd round by the St. Louis Cardinals in this past June's draft, is the first 2013 draftee to join the Chiefs roster. He began his pro career on July 2 with two innings for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals. Overall in the GCL he was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five games and three starts covering 13 innings. Before being drafted, Mayers went 5-6 with a 2.83 ERA at Ole Miss in 2013. He beat #8 Texas A&M in the NCAA Regionals and also earned a win in 2013 against then #1 Kentucky. Overall, he was 12-9 with a 3.43 ERA and 171 strikeouts in three seasons in 215 innings of work. A native of Grove City, Ohio, Mayers went 18-6 in high school with a 2.10 ERA while also batting .338. He is scheduled to pitch on Sunday at home vs. the Burlington Bees.
Caldwell, a 15th round pick in 2012, out of Spartanburg Methodist in Spartanburg, SC, hit .315 (41-for-130) for State College in 2013 with eight doubles, a homerun, 14 RBI, and 29 runs scored while stealing six bases in seven chances. He was selected in the 15th round of the 2012 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals after hitting .444 with 15 homeruns, 26 doubles, 70 runs scored, 15 stolen bases, and 66 RBI in his only season with Spartanburg Methodist. Caldwell helped his team to an appearance in the junior college World Series. He was named Region 10 All-American and Player of the Year, only one of three to make it. Caldwell played in 44 games for the Johnson City Cardinals in 2012 and hit .304 (45-148) with 12 doubles, a triple, six homeruns, 26 RBI, and 30 runs scored.
The Chiefs were rained out Tuesday in Quad Cities and are scheduled to start a four-game series against the River Bandits Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. with a double header scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. The Chiefs return home Saturday, August 3 against the Burlington Bees with a 6:30 p.m. start and the largest Fireworks show in Dozer Park history. Titled Rock & Blast, the Fireworks will be set to Beatles music as Central States Fireworks puts on the biggest show of the season. Sunday, August 4 is Bark in the Park and Homer's Birthday as the Chiefs host Burlington at 5:00 p.m. All kids 12 and under get in free and the first 1000 get a Peoria Chiefs Backpack as a giveaway courtesy of the Children's Hospital of Illinois. The first 1500 fans get a Breyvic Valera Poster from PJStar.com and pregame all fans can play catch on the field while Chiefs players sign autographs. Dogs are welcome at Dozer Park on Sunday for a $2.00 ticket and kids can run the bases post-game. Tickets are available by calling 1-866-MYTicket, at the Dozer Park Box Office or online.