2015 St. Louis Cardinals’ Season Review: Surprises

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Oct 10, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman

Matt Carpenter

(13) celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the first inning in game two of the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

#4 Matt Carpenter

I have already talked a lot about Carpenter’s season, and I am going to do so again here. This season was without a doubt a surprise season for Carpenter. If you had Carpenter hitting near 30 homers this season…wait nobody had him hitting this many homers and there was no reason to think he was going to do so.

I think we all thought Carp was capable of hitting maybe 15-20 homers, but definitely not leading the team with 28. The most surprising part in all of this is that Carpenter struggled mightily from May 26 to July 19 where he hit .184 with just five extra base-hits – with only one of them being a home run.

When Carp was put back into the leadoff role on July 30 he took off again. He hit .300/.377/.643, 40 extra-base hits (18 homers, 20 doubles, and two triples), with a ridiculous wRC+ of 176 according to Fangraphs. Carpenter did have a .362 BABIP during this time that could be a slight cause for concern. 

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  • I am still in awe of these numbers and I have seen them multiple times now. If we can get this type of performance out of Carpenter again next season, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to see him vie for MVP honors as I talked about early in the season.

    With an established hitter like Matt Carpenter, it wouldn’t be too crazy to see him maintain a whole season like his second half performance, look at Bryce Harper this season maintaining a .369 BABIP. No, I am not saying Carpenter is better or on par with Bryce Harper, simply stating that maintaining a high BABIP is not out of the question for a good hitter like Matt Carpenter.