Fantasy Baseball 2013: Gambling on Matt Carpenter's second-base eligibility

Dilip Vishwanat

Matt Carpenter might become second-base eligible in your fantasy baseball league, but there's a lot of Spring Training left before he's anything like a sure thing.

2013's fantasy baseball position-eligibility gamble, from the St. Louis Cardinals that brought you Allen Craig the second baseman, Albert Pujols the third baseman, and Rick Ankiel the pitcher-outfielder I keep having weird dreams about: Matt Carpenter the second baseman, who is one Daniel Descalso away from a starting job on the Skip Schumaker plan.

This one is somewhat more plausible than the Allen Craig experiment, and somewhat more real an experiment than the Albert Pujols implausibility, but the genuine relevance to real baseball is precisely what makes Carpenter less valuable in fantasy baseball, at least here in February. If he doesn't get the 2B job—and even if he plays well enough to convince the Cardinals he should get meaningful experience at the position—he won't start regularly, which would relegate him to deep and-or NL-only leagues.

Another, less timely problem: The Matt Carpenter skill-set is exactly what fantasy baseball has always undervalued. His 2013 ZiPS projections are reminiscent of the walk-dependent on-base threat he was in the minors, not the guy who managed an .828 OPS in his first go-round as everybody's backup.

Sad as it is to say it, it looks like the Cardinals' 2013 entrant into the fantasy-baseball-oddity category won't be as pretend-useful as their other positional golems. Of course, it's only February; there's still a solid month-and-a-half for Allen Craig to steal the shortstop job from Rafael Furcal.

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