St. Louis Cardinals: Five Winners from 2017 Spring Training
St. Louis Cardinals winner number one: Dexter Fowler.
Although he has yet to play a regular season game with the St. Louis Cardinals, Dexter Fowler may have had the most impressive camp among position players expected to start. The newcomer finished with a .349/.453/.605 offensive line to solidify a spot at the top of the batting order and logged eighty-four innings at center field.
More impressively, Fowler has taken initiative to represent the Cardinals positively aside from the game. Not only has he brought a more relaxed culture to St. Louis’ clubhouse, but he also quickly engaged with fans through social media and frequent pre-game autograph signings.
Fresh off of winning a World Series with the Cubs, several of Fowler’s offensive qualities that made him a valuable commodity in the Windy City have translated to a positive first impression. So far, his five-year, $82.5 million contract is looking like a strong investment.
Who this affects most?
Fowler’s quick emergence as a leader affects younger position players looking to embrace such roles, particularly Cardinals like Stephen Piscotty who struggled in Spring Training.
Despite hitting .151 with just a pair of RBIs in Grapefruit League action, Piscotty has a strong hold as St. Louis’ starting right fielder. But his struggles combined with Fowler’s emergence may have some reconsidering who has the edge as the team’s best outfielder heading into the season.
Regular season goal
From a statistical standpoint, the goal will be for Fowler to come near the totals he compiled with the Cubs last season (.276 batting average, 13 home runs, 84 runs). The Cardinals potent offense makes it possible, but the Cubs carried a different offensive dynamic en rout to becoming defending World Series Champions. Look for Fowler to be a contributor nonetheless.