Former Bear, St. Louis native Luke Voit called up to Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Rumblings of Luke Voit and his hard-clubbing ways have been echoing out of Memphis for much of the season.

Finally, they were too loud for the Cardinals to ignore.

The former Missouri State Bear and St. Louis native will make his Major League debut on a national stage tonight as St. Louis hosts the Pirates as part of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.

Voit, 26, is the 19th MSU product to reach the majors and first position player to be called up since Ryan Howard in 2004.

The camp that had been calling for the first baseman’s promotion from Triple-A had grown with each passing day. In 70 games with Memphis, he had 12 home runs and notched 48 RBI with a .322 batting average and a .561 slugging percentage.

Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of Voit winning the Texas League Home Run Derby at Hammons Field as a Springfield Cardinal. That year, he led the Texas League in batting average and finished second on the team in home runs, second only to the recently-promoted Paul DeJong.

As a catcher in 2012, Voit helped the Bears reach their first NCAA Tournament since the 2003 College World Series. The following year, the Cardinals took him in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft.