Pitchers and catchers have reported and many Cardinals position players are already in camp working hard. That means it is time to put you readers to work as well. Various publications have come out with projections for the Cardinals season. You can find ZiPS here, Steamer here, and Baseball Prospectus ($) on their player pages.
We will start with Matt Carpenter. After three straight years of at least 660 plate appearances, Carpenter lost time last season with a strained right oblique that cost him a month and might have led to some struggles down the stretch after an incredible start to the season.
He ended up with 566 plate appearances and 21 homers with a .271/.380/.505 slash line that was good for a 135 wRC+ and a 3.2 WAR. Carpenter should make the move full-time to first base and out of the leadoff spot as Dexter Fowler figures to assume that role. Presumably he will have more chances to drive in runs, although as the best hitter on the Cardinals, he should bat second and not third as third comes up a lot with no runners on when compared with fourth. As the best hitter on the team, he should probably bat second, providing a combination of the ability to drive runners home and set the table for other hitters to do the same.
This is what we said last year. How do you think he will do?
Thanks for your help. We’ll get the results up in March.