I would certainly love to see Xavier Scruggs become an option off the bench for the St. Louis Cardinals. A lot will have to happen for it to become a reality.
Basically, he’ll have to have an amazing Spring Training. And other people will not.
He didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to really impress last season when he was called up to help at first base while Matt Adams was on the disabled list. Here are his numbers from the experience.
Not bad. Not great, though.
So, he had some work to do and it seems he did just that while playing in the Dominican Republic this winter. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
"Xavier Scruggs, 1B — .257/.352/.476, 5 HR, 19 RBIs, 28 games (105 at-bats)Scruggs got a lot of work in during November before returning from the winter league to get ready for spring training. This will be his first spring training on the major-league roster, and he was able to use a favorable turn last spring into a look later in the summer and a spot on the 40-man roster. He has taken it upon himself to work in the outfield and show the versatility that he saw others use to reach the majors as a bat off the bench."
Scruggs had much better numbers in the winter league and that’s a great start. Knowing that he’s stepped up to learn another position? That’s going to be a real plus when it comes to choosing bench options. That he’s taken it upon himself to learn the outfield is great. While the team has plenty of outfield options, it will be nice to see a guy with capabilities in the outfield and infield have a shot.
This will be helpful for Scruggs chances.
Scruggs biggest block to the major leagues seems to be the acquisition of Mark Reynolds, though. Sure, Reynolds veteran presence, bat and first base skills are needed. Scruggs needs a little competition and he’s got it in Reynolds. I know we’ll see him in 2015. Let’s see if the young man steps up and makes it up sooner or if gains some more skills in Triple A Memphis this summer before becoming a September call up.
I say the sooner, the better!