St. Louis Cardinals’ opening day right fielder, Stephen Piscotty, was demoted at the beginning of August prior to the I-70 series.
The recent offensive outburst of the St. Louis Cardinals was done without Stephen Piscotty, who was to play an important role at the beginning of the year. Although his absence has not been missed, I think it will be in the long-term. This is why it is necessary for him to get hot for the Memphis Redbirds and have a stellar return.
The value Stephen Piscotty added during his first full season in the MLB last season was undeniable. He had the most plate appearances of the team with 649. He also had an impressive stat line with a .800 OPS, eighty-six runs, twenty-two home runs, and eighty-five RBI. According to my Predator Run Index (PRI) he hit at a 6.34 rating, which was 69th best in MLB and 20th best among outfielders.
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On the other hand, this season has been all sorts of a mess for him.
He got off to such a slow start compared to what he was doing a year ago. By the start of June, he only managed two home runs and twelve RBI.
Family issues were also something we found out later, and I respect him greatly for stepping away from the game at end of May.
When he came back we all could tell he was not the same.
His second half was suppose to be great, but one game in and pulling a groin only increased his frustration. After coming back, it was even more obvious he was not right. It caused him to press mightily to live up to the expectations of being our middle of the order guy.
This leads us to being sent down just over a week ago. I have not forgotten him and neither should you. Stephen Piscotty is tearing up AAA pitching and should not be surprising. It looks as though he is returning to form like we saw last year in just a few games down there.
Since being called down, in five games, he has smashed three bombs, drove in six runs, and scored four runs. He has a phenomenal 1.267 OPS. I know this is minor league pitching, and a small sample size, but it is great for his confidence. We may not be in need just yet of another big hitter, but we cannot expect this great run to continue without reinforcements. Stephen Piscotty may be that guy we did not get at the deadline.
Even with Jose Martinez doing a great job and Randal Grichuk finally playing average, we cannot expect this to continue. They have not shown over the course of their careers to be reliable. Stephen Piscotty has a good track record compared to them, including a well above average first full season.
His demotion to the minor leagues with success when he is down there is a testament to the “Cardinals Way”. Having players make it through the system from draft day to MLB makes being sent down more positive.
Going back to the coaches that have developed them into the players they are makes the transition easy and worth while. It worked for Kolten Wong last year, Randal Grichuk this season, and appears Stephen Piscotty now. I am aware we did not draft Randal Grichuk, but he went through our system since 2014, so he fits the mold.
If the St. Louis Cardinals want to finish the season atop the division we will need Stephen Piscotty. When right, he is fun to watch and represents the St. Louis Cardinals as good as anyone. I wish him all the best with his play down in Memphis and hope he comes back to make a statement to end the 2017 season. Hopefully, even help push us into playing October baseball.