St. Louis Cardinals: Fantasy Outlook- Matt Carpenter’s Value
The first basemen fantasy picture gains a new element as Matt Carpenter transitions to the right side of the infield. What does the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman bring to the position and where does he rank among other major league players?
Baseball is hard to predict, harder than any other sport so thus it brings headaches when playing fantasy; lots of them. Last year, Matt Carpenter played in fewer than 150 games for the first time in three years for the St. Louis Cardinals. This resulted in the fewest number of plate appearances (566) since his rookie season.
Due to sidelining injuries, Carpenter owners were presented with headaches more than they expected to receive with him. He is 31 years old, so more and more fantasy owners will more than likely start backing away from him. If he slides spot-after-spot in your draft, this is where you pounce.
FanRag Sports released their first basemen rankings recently, and Carpenter sits in the 12th spot ahead of the likes of Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, and Albert Pujols.
In 2015, Carpenter showed a new facet of his game with home run hitting power and continued to flash that last season. He reached a career-high twenty-eight home runs in 574 plate appearances in 2015 and managed to knock twenty-one homers out last year in ninety-nine fewer at-bats. That’s good for a home run every 21.4 at-bats.
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CBS Fantasy Sports projects the three-time all-star to maintain his power with twenty-seven home runs, .364 OBP, and .508 SLG. They also have him sitting at 465 fantasy points total, good for tenth among first basemen.
The low strikeout percentage and high walk rate will keep Carpenter in around the 10-15 range across all site formats. On some sites, he will have more versatility due to history at other infield positions despite being announced as the full-time first basemen.
A debate in St. Louis Cardinals fan communities is whether Matt Carpenter should be moved to third in the batting lineup. If he does end up there, having a on-base machine like Dexter Fowler in the lead-off spot presents much more RBI chances for Carpenter. This would push Carpenter up multiple spots potentially, especially if he maintains his power and slugging percentage.
Carpenter also ranks 86th overall in the initial ESPN Fantasy baseball rankings, and is listed at third base, first base, and second base at this time. He is ranked third among St. Louis Cardinals on ESPN’s list, behind Carlos Martinez and Stephen Piscotty.
Next: Cardinal Nation mourns passing of Ventura
As I have the past three seasons, I will be locking Carpenter in high on my player rankings when preparing for my fantasy baseball draft. This is heavily due to St. Louis Cardinals bias, but Matt Carpenter is still a viable fantasy option for any owner as the rankings indicate.