Randal Grichuk is now officially out from Mike Trout's shadow.
The 22-year-old outfielder, who was taken one spot before the American League MVP runner-up in the first round of the 2009 Draft, was traded to the Cardinals on Friday in a deal that also sent outfielder Peter Bourjos to St. Louis in exchange for third baseman David Freese and right-handed reliever Fernando Salas.
Grichuk owned a .256/.306/.474 slash line with a career-high 22 homers and 64 RBIs in 128 games at Double-A Arkansas this past season. He ended on a particularly high note, batting .304 with a .907 OPS, seven homers and 20 RBIs in August, when he was named Texas League co-Player of the Month, and went 8-for-32 (.250) with two homers, a triple and a double in the Travelers' eight games during the Texas League playoffs.
Playing primarily out of right field with some experience in center, the Texas native notched 11 outfield assists and committed only two errors. He was named a winner of the Minor League Baseball Gold Glove for his defensive efforts and nabbed a spot on MiLB.com's Angels Organization All-Stars for his overall play.
Grichuk, who was ranked the No. 4 Angels prospect entering Friday, moves to No. 11 in a talented Cardinals system that has recently produced the likes of Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Kolten Wong, each of whom started the year in the Minors before earning spots on the National League champion playoff roster, and also features highly touted outfield prospect Oscar Taveras.
Headed the other way is Salas, who was coming off his fourth straight season in which he had appeared at both the Triple-A level and the Majors. The 28-year-old right-hander was fairly dominant in his 22 outings with Memphis, posting a 1.90 ERA, 21 strikeouts, five walks and 12 saves in his 22 Pacific Coast League contests. However, those numbers didn't necessarily translate to the big leagues as the Mexico native finished with a 4.50 ERA in 27 starts for the Cardinals.
Both Bourjos and Freese -- the biggest names in Friday's deal -- were coming off down 2013 campaigns before Friday's swap. Bourjos owned a .274/.333/.337 line in just 55 games after battling hamstring and wrist injuries. The speedy 26-year-old is expected to be a boost to a Cardinals outfield that ranked 26th in Ultimate Zone Rating and 24th in Defensive Runs Saved last season.
Freese, the 30-year-old third baseman and 2011 World Series MVP, owned a .262/.340/.381 line with nine homers and 60 RBIs for the Cardinals after putting up .293/.372/.467/20/79 numbers the year before en route to his first and only All-Star nod.