As Stephen Piscotty’s three-run, eighth inning home run paved the way to Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals’ walkoff victory, the moment proved to be a relevant microcosm of the outfielder’s young career.
The former first-round compensation pick made his Major League debut exactly one year ago from Thursday and has been no stranger to offering St. Louis pleasant surprises. Since debuting with the St. Louis Cardinals, Stephen Piscotty leads all current team members in hits (173), runs batted in (95) and stolen bases (6).
While offensive consistency and defensive flexibility have remained a larger part of the 25 year-old’s game, he been a part of big moments in first full calendar year with the St. Louis Cardinals. From game-changing catches to momentum-boosting hits, here are a dozen moments to justify Piscotty’s journey since joining the big leagues 12 months ago.
July 21, 2015: Piscotty makes his Major League debut in a Cardinals’ interleague road game against the Chicago White Sox. His second at-bat resulted in an infield single off Carlos Rodon, the first hit of Piscotty’s professional career.
August 11, 2015: Tied in the fifth inning at 3-3 in a crucial division game against the Pirates, Piscotty collects a go-ahead single. This effort helped the St. Louis Cardinals cash in on the positive side of MLB history, the only night in which all 15 home teams won a regular season game.
August 16, 2015: Facing nearly a month-long drought without a home run at any level, Piscotty hits his first Major League home run. The shot against former St. Louis Cardinals’ prospect Chris Narveson was one of seven he would amass during the 2015 campaign.
September 9, 2015: As the Chicago Cubs came five outs away from completing a road sweep of the Cardinals, Piscotty maneuvers a fly ball into right center, scoring a pair of runs on a go-ahead double off of three-time All Star Fernando Rodney.
October 9, 2015: One week after a near-threatening injury in Pittsburgh, Piscotty finds himself back into the lineup for Game 1 of the National League Division Series. The rookie chimed in with a two-run home run in the eighth inning, one of three he would finish with in the series along with a .375 postseason batting average.
April 28, 2016: Having only played corner positions prior to the season, Piscotty shifts one spot to the left for first career start in center field. While he only received one fly ball in that particular road game against Arizona, it was the first of seven starts he made in center with expected regular Randal Grichuk struggling early on.
May 5, 2016: Speaking of defense, Piscotty makes a diving play to prevent the Philadelphia Phillies from a ninth-inning rally. The effort proved valuable for the St. Louis Cardinals first shutout win of the season, a 4-0 victory that included a pair of RBIs from Piscotty.
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June 15, 2016: Piscotty finishes 1-for-3 in a losing effort to the Astros. Perhaps not his most accomplished night, but an early hit during proved Piscotty’s consistency for the team. Through 233 at-bats in the 2016 campaign, he matched his batting average and home run totals in the same amount of batting appearances from the previous season.
July 3, 2016: Capping off a 3-for-4 day with a grand slam against Blaine Boyer, Piscotty gave the Cardinals just enough insurance to complete a 9-8 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Without it, St. Louis may not have been able to complete their first home sweep of the season.
July 21, 2016: One year since his Major League debut, Piscotty comes into the game after Matt Holiday suffered a facial abrasion on a hit by pitch. A fly ball just feet over the right field wall catches just enough distance for a three-run home run that tied Thursday’s game. The St. Louis Cardinals rally in the bottom of the ninth, highlighted by a walkoff single from Aledmys Diaz.
Mr. Piscotty, it’s been one spectacular year. Here’s to many more. Follow Redbird Rants on twitter and stay up-to-date on Piscotty’s outstanding season with us all season long.