St. Louis Cardinals: A Look at the 2017 Improved Outfield
After signing former Cubs Center Fielder Dexter Fowler, the St. Louis Cardinals expect to have one of the better outfields in the NL, if all goes well, of course. How good will this outfield be?
The St. Louis Cardinals spent some cash this offseason to improve a team that won eighty-six games, yet missed the postseason by adding Dexter Fowler to their outfield. Fowler is now the veteran of the outfield, as he will be thirty-one soon.
Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty, in somewhat opposition to Fowler, are both still very young within their twenties. To his credit, Fowler received five years and $82.5M on his contract, which is big for the Cardinals to spend that much.
This outfield has good depth and great potential for the Cardinals depth as a whole but, granted, they could get a little more in the depth department. That said, they are still very youthful in the outfield. Tommy Pham is expected to be the fourth guy out there, and I am hoping we see Harrison Bader out there at some point this year as well.
The 2017 St. Louis Cardinas outfield will feature a great mix of youth, speed, power, and contact. Contact comes from all three of the starters, power comes from Piscotty and mostly Grichuk, and the speed is from Fowler.
Stephen Piscotty finished the 2016 season with a 2.9 WAR, while Randal Grichuk finished the year with a 2.7 WAR. Both of them ranked top-10 on the Cardinals last year in terms of WAR (wins above replacement). Dexter Fowler’s 2016 WAR was 4.2, which is something huge to bring to the Cardinals. They all have the potential to improve statistically this upcoming season.
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The three starters combined for fifty-nine home runs last year, forty-six coming from Grichuk and Piscotty, and thirteen from Fowler in Chicago. Fowler’s slash line was .276/.393/.447 last year and his career slash line currently sits at .268/.366/.422 which obviously contains a bigger sample size than the other two as he is the veteran.
This Cardinals outfield should top those of the past, dating back to 2010. This one will be more explosive and balanced. I don’t remember the Cardinals having three athletic, semi-consistent, and decently young guys in the outfield for years! This is an exciting time for the Cardinals fans, as the team coming up in 2017 is young and more explosive. I think they are so, so balanced in the outfield.
Overall, this outfield- as a whole- is better than the Cubs and may be up for one of the best in the league if all goes as planned. To answer the question at the beginning, I think this outfield will be very good with a great mix of the sought-after ball player tools represented in the starters.