Young players coming into their own on offense
Wong has the potential to breakout this season, as he has improved every year so far. We know that he wasn’t ready for the long grind of a full season last season, and he was gassed at the end of the season. However, he has said that he has made precautions to go against this. Even with the Jhonny Peralta injury, there are still options to back Wong up on a more regular basis.
We got a glimpse of what Randal Grichuk is capable of last season, he played in only 103 games and hit .276/.329/.548 with 17 homers, 23 doubles, and 7 triples, for a total of 47 extra-base hits. However, in order to continue his high average and OBP, he is going to need to cut down on the strikeouts, as he had a 31.4% strikeout rate last season.
The projections are fair to Grichuk as they have his strikeout rate dipping, and the homers rising a tad, but I think Grichuk has the potential for a higher average and more homers than they give him credit for.
Stephen Piscotty was a hitting machine once he got the call up to the big leagues, with a slash of .305/.359/.494 and 26 extra base-hits in just 63 games. A full season of Piscotty figures to be very good, I would expect at least double the amount of extra-base hits, maybe even more. This means that 20 homers is not totally out of the question for the young right fielder.
I have talked and talked about Aledmys Diaz, and even spoke yesterday that it was his time to prove to the team that he can consistently perform at the major league level. He will be competing for the starting job at short with the loss to Peralta, and a strong spring could see him win the job. If that’s the case the Cardinals will have another 10-15 homers from their shortstop and close to 30 doubles or more.
Next: Rotation of Aces