The current starting second baseman, Daniel Descalso, was one of the weakest offensive performers in 2012. The position could very well be in line for an upgrade before the start of the season. There are rumblings that John Mozeliak could look to sign or trade for a second sacker as the St. Louis Cardinals wait for Kolten Wong to be ready for MLB action.
Stephen Drew and Marco Scutaro have been among those that the Redbirds are supposedly keeping a careful eye on. I figured I’d take a closer look at each player and see if they’d be a good fit for the St. Louis Cardinals. You can be the judge, but I think I’d take Scutaro in a heartbeat, even if I had to overpay a bit to get him. A .306 batting average, 7 Home Runs, 74 RBI, 87 Runs, and 9 SBs was his regular season line. That’s a vast improvement over Daniel Descalso, at least as far as the offense goes. He’s also a bit faster and is a fantastic defender. Not to discount the scrappiness and importance of DD, but a .227 batting average isn’t exactly okay for a position player.
Furthermore, Scutaro continued his fabulous play in the postseason. He hit .328 in his 64 ABs, and had several web gems during the three postseason series that the San Francisco Giants played in. The only downside here is the fact that Scutaro just turned 37 the day before Halloween, and that may be incentive enough to scoot Kolten Wong along so that he’s the guy manning 2nd next year, and not a potentially overpaid stopgap.
Another potential is signing Stephen Drew, who could play 2B if needed. I think though that that is much less likely, and that the most realistic scenario here is starting Kolten Wong. Wong experienced a drop in batting average in 2012, but had nearly 600 plate appearances this year, as opposed to just 222 last year. In 523 official at-bats, he had 150 hits, 23 doubles, 6 triples, 9 HR, 52 RBI, 21 SBs, and a .287 average. Though he got caught stealing 11 times this year, he has worked a lot on his base running since his Texas League season ended. He’s no Ian Kinsler as far as pop goes, but he’d be another “Flyin’ Hawaiian” in the MLB.
As far as fielding goes, his 17 errors this season in 649 chances is pretty good considering the fact that he’s just 21 and still growing into the position. I would love to see a change, as it would make things better and allow the Redbirds to be more cohesive and well-rounded. It could also be a trending towards more of a push towards a youth movement – Pete Kozma certainly validated any ideas of that by Cardinals brass. Though it could be a long process, I think Kolten Wong is the best fit for the St. Louis Cardinals as they look for #12 in ’13.