Sep 25, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) advances to third base on a hit in the ninth inning of their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Turner Field. The Pirates won 10-1. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
If you don’t look too deep into the statistics of the 2014 season a casual baseball fan would assume the Redbirds had a very successful season. Making it to the NLCS again for the fifth time in the last ten years has become quite the standard for them. However, the offense had some really painful moments last year, which had Cardinal Nation shaking their heads in disbelief. Now the Cardinals 2015 season is definitely going to look different.
Then in comes Jason Heyward who had an OBP of .351 and swiped 20 bags while slashing .271 last season for the Braves last season. Having him injected into the top of the lineup with Carpenter is going to be nothing short of electric. With those two at the top of the lineup Holliday is going to have a good chance to crack 100 RBIS this year. The projections for the rest of the lineup would go as follows; Adams, Peralta, Molina, Wong, and Jay. Although this is a solid line up, I believe a shakeup could be made to boost run production now that we have some serious speed available.
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Carpenter, Wong, Heyward, Holliday, Adams, Peralta, Molina, and Bourjos could cause havoc on the base paths and produce some serious run totals. I’m sure fans will double take with the last person I listed in the lineup but, listen to this. During Peter Bourjos’ only full season in 2011 with the Angels he had a WAR of 5.1, 72 runs, 12 hrs, 22 sbs, and an OBP of .321. Mind you this was before he was made the fourth man thanks to some guy named Mike Trout. John Jay had his best WAR season of 3.4 in 2012 with 56 runs,10 hrs, 6 sbs, and an OBP of 334. Bourjos was able to top every stat with a lower OBP. This shows he can offer so much more at the plate if given a full time gig. It’s also well known that he has gold glove talent in center.
The only issue with this lineup as opposed to the projected one is mine puts a lot of pressure on Heyward to instantly produce. On the other hand, if Heyward finds that power stroke and reaches those expectations of greatness Atlanta had for him, he could become a superstar and beloved in St. Louis. I know this may sound crazy, but let yourself think about this; Carpenter gets on first like he always does then Wong turns a single into a double hustling out of the box. Second and third with Heyward up followed by Holliday, Adams, and Peralta sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it?