Oct 8, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig (21) hits a solo home run during the third inning of the 2012 NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 12-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Will 2013 be Allen Craig’s MVP Year?

The St. Louis Cardinals have several players on their roster that are important to the team. While I believe they have the depth to deal with any player being injured for a short time, one of the players that would have a huge impact is Allen Craig. Yes; in case you didn’t know it, the Cardinals have their own Magnificent Seven in Craig, Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, David Freese, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. If any of these players misses significant time, the team will “feel”

their absence.

But, Allen Craig I think is due for an MVP type year. You can see he has already put up star quality numbers. Last year, he easily ranked among the top five first basemen in the National League. If he’s lacking in any area, its speed as he only had two stolen bases and no triples last season. But, he more than makes up for that shortcoming in other areas. Here were his offensive numbers last season: .307 batting average, .522 slugging percentage, .354 On Base percentage, 92 rbis, 76 runs scored and 22 homers in 119 games at first base.

If you think those numbers are good, the stats get even better when Craig is at bat with runners in scoring position. His numbers: .400 batting average, .680 slugging percentage, and .450 On Base percentage. All the while playing in 125 games at first. You see, he also plays the outfield and will sometimes start or move to the outfield in latter stages of the game.

He also had a fielding percentage of .995 at first base, making only four errors.  Yep, I think we found a player to fill Albert’s shoes quite nicely. And while he isn’t yet the offensive force like Albert, I think he will be that force this year.  Similar to Albert, Craig’s overall numbers get better every year.

I just hope the Cardinals’ realize his talents and sign him long term and not have him follow the same fate as Albert in leaving the team for more money. Keep an eye on him in spring and the coming season.

Thanks for reading.

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