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October 15, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Carpenter's Tools

by Craig Goldstein


With a lot of talk surrounding the NLCS and the concept of the money-rich Dodgers versus the development-rich Cardinals, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at one of the more celebrated products of the Cardinals developmental system: 13th-round draft pick Matt Carpenter.

Carpenter wasn’t celebrated much before 2013, as he was drafted as a fifth-year senior and signed for a mere $1,000. He moved quickly through the system, necessarily so, given his age upon entering pro ball was 23. As you might expect from an older player, Carpenter showed a strong awareness of the strike zone, a trait that’s carried over to his major league success. When he impressed as a super-utility player in 2012, Carpenter did so by keeping his strikeout to walk ratio under control, allowing his plus hit-tool to take over, resulting in a .294/.365/.463 slash line in 296 at-bats. The question of course, following his impressive debut campaign, was where would he earn his at-bats going forward as Carpenter had previous earned most of his playing time at first base, where Allen Craig would be playing in 2013. That question was answered when the Cardinals decided they could forego some defense in at the keystone, and play Carpenter there, full time. While Carpenter has proven adept at turning the double play, his defense has largely been as anticipated at the position. Of course that doesn’t much matter when one produces as he has at the plate.

A fantasy revelation batting atop the potent St. Louis lineup, Carpenter’s careful eye at the plate and ability to put bat to ball earned him top-20 overall status in 2013 (per Yahoo!). The pertinent question to all fantasy leaguers of course is: can this type of ranking/production be replicated going forward? The answer, as it usually is: it depends.

Much of Carpenter’s exceptional fantasy season was built on his incredible 127 runs scored, which were 15.5 percent higher than the next highest run-scorer (Mike Trout, 109). While Carpenter’s on-base skills are the real deal (10 percent career walk rate), runs scored is a contextual statisti

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Related Content:  St. Louis Cardinals,  Matt Carpenter,  Fantasy

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/14)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Loo... (10/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Loo... (10/17)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: A... (10/15)

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