St. Louis Cardinals Best/Worst Case: Matt Holliday
By Landon Clapp
When healthy, Matt Holliday is a virtual lock for 20 home runs and 80 RBI. How will the St. Louis Cardinals left-fielder respond to age questions in 2016?
Matt Holliday was sorely missed by the St. Louis Cardinals when he went down last year. The Cardinal lineup just didn’t have the same authority without their center piece in the three-hole.
While Holliday has yet to eclipse 30 home runs in any given season with St. Louis, he’s still been the most consistent power source the Cardinals have had since coming over from the Rockies in 2009.
Without counting his injury shortened 2015 campaign, or the half of a season with St. Louis after his acquisition from Colorado in ’09, Holliday has averaged 24 long balls a year with 93 RBI per season.
He’s slashed .295/.383/.496 in five full seasons (excluding 2015) since 2010. His OPS of .879 ranks 16th in Major League baseball over that time period.
With the Cardinals having a team option on Holliday for 2017, this season will be an important one for the 36-year-old slugger. Holliday has made it known that he wants to retire in St. Louis.
Could Holliday draw on the power of the beard for his first 30 home run campaign since 2007? If that were the case, the Cardinals would most definitely pick up his option.
Will Holliday hold up in left field? Could we actually see him at first base this season? There are a lot of different ways 2016 could play out. What happens this season will go a long way in forecasting Holliday’s future and whether it is in St. Louis or elsewhere.
Next: Best Case: Holliday's Resurgent 2016