Now that the St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly called up top prospect Stephen Piscotty, what’s next for the first-place ball club?
Piscotty, a 2012 first-round pick of the Cardinals, was drafted as a third baseman, but since has seen time in the outfield and first base, which is where I figure he’ll see his most reps this year with the big league club.
Realistically, he should hardly be considered more than a bench bat for a contending team – and Monday’s move validates that line of thought, as Piscotty will likely slide into the lineup for Mike Matheny‘s club on at least a semi-regular basis.
The 24-year-old is batting .272/.366/.475 this season with Triple-A Memphis, but what’s most impressive to me personally is his 46 walks to just 62 strikeouts – which demonstrates an impressive approach at the dish that, hopefully, will translate to the bigs.
He’s not going to hit towering blasts; but that’s not a detractor. Having worked with the Cardinals’ Class-A team back in 2012 and seeing what he’s capable of first-hand, I can say that the club could have a game-changer moving forward.
What he does do consistently is spray the ball all over the diamond, especially into the gaps with line-drive power. In 390 career Minor League contests, Piscotty has 145 extra-base hits to his credit, including 28 two-baggers in just 87 games this year with Memphis.
It seems fairly unlikely that Piscotty will get too many starts in the outfield, given St. Louis’ current make-up, which includes recently-returned Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk and Jason Heyward starting, with Peter Bourjos and Tommy Pham coming off the bench.
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The Cardinals likely won’t announce the corresponding roster move until Tuesday morning ahead of the series opener against the White Sox in Chicago, but it seems probable that Pham or Dan Johnson will be the odd-man-out.
St. Louis, entering an off-day Monday, holds a 4 1/2-game lead in the National League Central, despite dropping an 18-inning game to the New York Mets on Sunday at home.
Adding Piscotty to the mix for the stretch run breathes excitement into the St. Louis Cardinals, who have been overshadowed by the resurgent Pittsburgh Pirates and the upstart Chicago Cubs, who boast some of the most exciting prospects in the game.
It also gives the team a viable offensive option at first base, which, heading into the trade deadline, is probably their biggest need.
Could St. Louis fill their void without a trade?
They may have done just that.