St. Louis Cardinals: Five potential break out players in 2016
By Landon Clapp
2. Tommy Pham
Tommy Pham started his break out down the stretch in 2015 and into the NLDS against the Cubs. After being recalled to the club in Mid-August last season, Pham slashed .311/.386/.539 with five triples and four home runs.
Pham did strike out 22 times in 59 September at-bats, so that could be a bit of a concern. Still, his offense, along with Piscotty’s production kept the Cardinals offense afloat. I think the home run he hit in Game 1 of the NLDS just landed a couple days ago… we’ll just say that he definitely shows power potential.
Pham figures to enter 2016 as the Cardinals fourth outfielder, but should see plenty of opportunities both in center field and at the corner outfield spots. Pham showed that he can provide a plus glove and plus range, and he has a strong enough arm to handle center or right field duties.
Pham is a candidate alongside Kolten Wong to potentially take over the leadoff spot, if Mike Matheny wants to experiment with shifting Matt Carpenter down in the order. If he can cut down on the strikeouts, we think that Pham may be the best option at that position.
There is no hiding the 27-year-old’s injury history, and thus, staying healthy will be Pham’s absolute top concern in 2016. If his body holds up, I see Tommy as a serious contender for playing time in the St. Louis outfield.
Next: Matt Adams