St. Louis Cardinals: Preseason Roster Predictions Part 3
Matt Holliday has as much to prove as the next Cardinal bat thanks to questions regarding his age and health going forward.
Holliday has made it known that he wants to retire a Cardinal. Unless he plans to do so after the 2015 season, I think that 20+ home runs and 80+ RBI are requirements for the Cardinals to consider picking up his 2017 option.
I see a resurgent 2016 in the works for Holliday. After missing him for the majority of 2015, we are going to get a nice reminder of what his presence in the lineup means to the offense.
Stay tuned for any potential first base storyline and see if that gains any traction.
I have Tommy Pham listed here instead of Randal Grichuk because I think Tommy wins the starting center field job out of camp. That isn’t a knock on Grichuk, but more of a compliment to what Pham did down the stretch last year and what I think he is capable of in 2016.
I think that Tommy is hungry. He has put his time in at Springfield and Memphis. He’s dealt with all the injury troubles. He’s finally made it to St. Louis, and he doesn’t just want to hang around… he wants to shine while he’s here.
I think that Tommy comes out hungrier than Grichuk, plain and simple.
I love Piscotty’s demeanor on the field and his approach to the game of baseball. He plays with a poise and understanding of the game that you would expect from a six or seven year veteran.
His simple, compact swing, as well as his ability to hit the ball to all fields, should mean high batting averages and as much of a “slump proof” swing as there is in the Cardinal lineup.
The upside for Piscotty is tremendous. While he will likely experience a few lumps while navigating his first 162-game campaign, I expect big things out of Piscotty.
I would be surprised with any less than 20 home runs in 2016. 75-80 RBI seems about right, and I would expect a batting average no lower than .280.
Next: The Reinforcements