The St. Louis Cardinals’ All-Time 28-Man Roster
Bench Spot #4 – Ken Boyer
As I said before, we are creating a great roster here. That is why Boyer didn’t make the starting lineup. It doesn’t mean that Boyer wasn’t a great player, it just means that for the purposes of this roster, he’s better served in a backup role. However, let’s look into what gets Boyer onto this roster.
In 11 years as a Cardinal Boyer slashed .293/.356/.475, with 585 extra-base hits (269 doubles, 255 homers, and 61 triples). Solid numbers for the third baseman who was able to win the 1964 World Series with the Cardinals. The interesting thing here is that in his career Boyer played CF in 1957 for 105 games and again in 1958 for six games. Given that we don’t have any advanced metrics on how Boyer played in CF, I am not sure how good he was at that position. He did not play there ever again in his career after 1958.
Like Frisch, Boyer’s best season did not come in his MVP year. In 1960, Boyer slashed .304/.370/.562 with 68 extra-base hits (32 homers, 26 doubles, 10 triples). Two numbers that really stand out in this season are his ISO (Isolated Power) of .257 and his wRC+ of 144 (according to Fangraphs), both being career high numbers.
His ISO was the highest of his career by 53 points, including 63 points better than his 1964 MVP season. Boyer finished sixth in the MVP vote in 1960 behind Dick Groat, Don Hoak, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, and fellow teammate Lindy McDaniel. Again, bringing questions to MVP voting in the not so modern era. In ’64 Boyer won the award and curiously Willie Mays’ 41 HR and 11.0 WAR finished sixth that year.
Boyer is a proud owner of five gold gloves at third base, so the defensive difference between him and Rolen won’t be that great. So, it will be nice to have Boyer on the bench to switch off with Rolen.
Next: Bench Spot #5 - 1B Mark McGwire