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dinger camp

it was tons of fun to watch the boys in red go to town on yovani gallardo. there are not a lot of four-home run games out there.

for the record - and yes, i acknowledge the meager sample size at issue - kyle mcclellan's FIP thus far this year is 16.39. yovani gallardo's FIP is 19.02, worth exactly -0.5 wins above replacement in his three-and-two-thirds innings.

and yes, some viewers got to endure al hrabosky's commentary about being too dependent on home runs, which is simply ridiculous, for any number of reasons. first and foremost, because it's simply not true. the team is built to put together outrageously good on-base performance and has no one-dimensional slugger like ryan howard or dave kingman who is good for little but making hte ball go over the fence.

still, dingers shall be plentiful in st. louis in 2012, notwithstanding the terrible home run environment that is busch III. there's no one single slugger, but a bunch of guys likely to hit 15-30 homers this year.

matt holliday looks like a solid hitter whose calling cards are much more high average and good on-base skill than light-tower power. still, he should hit about 20-25 homers this year, with his low-end projection for 19 from marcel and a high-end projection of 27 from bill james. he put 22 balls over the fence last year, and 28 the year before.

lance berkman looks about the same; his power is an accessory to a well-rounded hitting resume, rather than its sole asset. zips thinks he'll hit about 20 homers, and bill james thinks he'll hit 27. last year, he hit 31 dingers, with 14 in 2010 (in an injury and personal funk related season), and 25 in his last full year with the astros in 2009.

carlos beltran gets underrated somewhat, due to his recent injury history. he's predicted to hit between 14 homers (zips)and 19 (bill james). he hit 22 last year, but managed only 10 and 7 in previous injury-shortened seasons.

last year, david freese found some of the minor league power that made him an outstanding prospect, especially in the postseason. projections range from 9 dingers (zips) to 16 (FANS). last year he went yard 10 times in the regular season, even though he only took 363 PAs with his injuries.

projections are virtually uniform on yadier molina; everybody thinks the catcher will hit either 9 or 10 homers. i think we've seen molina grow as a hitter, season after season, and i think he'll surprise everybody by passing last year's mark of 14.

the absent slugger, allen craig, is projected for 12 to 17 dingers this season, after hitting 11 in an abbreviated season of 200+ PAs. i hope he comes back soon.

it's worth mentioning rafael furcal, if for no other reason than my complete inability to recall when one could've called a cardinals' shortstop anything approaching a home run threat (renteria?). he's projected for either 8 or 10 dingers this season. he had 8 the last two seasons, but hit more like 15 at his peak. he still has a lot of power in him for a shortstop.

so, the 2012 cardinals look a little deeper all around the order, including in the home run department. power displays like those in game 2 of the season are just one reason to be excited about this season.