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07/01/2008 4:51 PM ET
Cardinals sign top pick Brett Wallace
Will begin professional career at Quad Cities
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
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ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed their first selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, third baseman Brett Wallace. The contract signing occurred today at Busch Stadium. Wallace is the ninth first-round selection from the 2008 Draft to sign a contract.

Wallace, 21, batted .410 (98-239) with a career-high 22 home runs and 83 RBI this past season as a junior for the Arizona State Sun Devils. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, becoming just the fifth player in conference history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. The 6'1", 245-pound Wallace captured the Pac-10 Triple Crown each of the last two seasons. As a sophomore last season, he posted a .404 batting average with 16 home runs and 78 RBI. Wallace became just the second player in school history to hit over .400 twice in a career.

"We are very happy to have Brett under contract and are anxious to see him start playing for our Quad Cities club," said Cardinals Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow. "He has a high ceiling and will be an exciting player for us and Cardinals fans to follow as he begins his professional career."

Wallace recently was named a Baseball America All-American, his fourth All-American honor. He is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's premier amateur baseball player. The 2008 Golden Spikes Award will be given out on July 16 as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Week in New York City.

Wallace is at Busch Stadium today and will take some swings during Cardinals batting practice. He will report to the Midwest League's Quad Cities River Bandits tomorrow.

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