It’s that time of year again for the February preseason roundtable. Yesterday was the day for Redbird Rants to ask the question.Feb 17, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) looks on from the batting cage during spring training at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
What I asked of my fellow United Cardinal Bloggers yesterday was: After a slow start to the 2013 season, Matt Holliday bounced back to finish the year hitting .300 on the season. What do you expect to see from the Cardinals left fielder this year?
Dathan Brooks: I expect serious offensive numbers from 7 this year. I might even call for a top 15 finish in NL MVP voting. #Optimism
Christine Coleman: I agree with Dathan, as I expect big things from him too and can see him increasing his power numbers from last season. And a top 15 NL MVP finish in 2014 sounds absolutely doable.
Jay Simons: Matt Holliday is incredibly consistent. He may have started a little slow in ’13, but his numbers ended just about where they always end. He has been a tremendous signing for Mo and the Cards. That said, he is entering his declining years. Steamer projects – .291/.377/.488 w/ 22 homers. Based on everything he has been for his career up until this point it seems very possible that it plays like this.
Mark Tomasik: In each of his four full seasons with the Cardinals, Matt Holliday has had more than 30 doubles and more than 20 home runs. He has achieved 100 RBI in two of those seasons. His career batting average as a Cardinal is .306. So, with Allen Craig and Oscar Taveras to protect him in the batting order, and with Kolten Wong and Peter Bourjos providing more run-producing chances, I expect Holliday to hit .300 with 24 home runs, 35 doubles and 100 RBI.
Rodney Knuppel: Matt Holliday is a hitter, and that will continue in 2014. The man bats a career .311. Two more seasons of 170+ hits will get him to 2,000, along with 1,000 runs he will get to this season. If I had to throw numbers out there, I’ll take Holliday with a .306 average, 25 home runs, and 100 runs batted in.
Ben Chambers: I expect he’ll be somewhere around .300 at the end of the year with about 20 home runs. His defense has been declining the last few years, and so I’m just hoping that he’ll be able to make it back up to around a 0.0 UZR.
Daniel Shoptaw: Since coming to St. Louis–and really, even before, Holliday has been quietly a consistently good hitter. There don’t seem to be any warning signs–save that age number that none of us have quite figured out how to reverse–to think that he won’t be in the ballpark of his normal numbers yet again. The slow start of last year could be just a little disconcerting if you remember that Albert Pujols had a couple of slow start years (the second more extended than the first) before his drop off in Anaheim. Still, penciling Holliday in for .300/.390/.500 with about 25 homers doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.
Corey Rudd: Holliday’s consistency is so valuable and is completely under appreciated in STL. The fact that you can virtually count on .290 average, 22 home runs, 94 RBIs, 100 runs scored and .870 OPS and that is worth every dollar of his contract.
Now I agree with Ben’s comment on his defense. It is not good. But that is part of the reason Bourjos was brought in, right?