St. Louis Cardinals: Tommy Pham is Reggie Sanders reincarnated

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 8: Tommy Pham #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after scoring a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on September 8, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 8: Tommy Pham #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after scoring a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on September 8, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals notched a win against the Reds on Thursday and outfielder Tommy Pham notched his belt with an accolade last achieved by a Cardinal in 2004.

The St. Louis Cardinals need to keep winning. With today’s win, the Cards sit just 2.5 games back of a wild card spot and pending the outcome of the Cubs-Mets game tonight, could inch their way even closer to the top of the NL-Central. I cannot believe that I am typing those words as I would not have bet on this a few weeks ago.

Let’s just admit it: the St. Louis Cardinals are playing good ball and are running into some great luck facing some teams who are suffering of late. Additionally, the Cardinals have players who are presenting bookmark years.

Today’s starter, Luke Weaver finds himself now with a record of 6-1 and an ERA of 2.16. Take a moment and bask in that number: 2.16. Weaver has achieved these numbers behind five consecutive (his last five) starts recording a win in each. Perhaps this kid has some promise for the future…

But, to me, the most interesting and noted thing from today’s game was the fact that Tommy Pham– the man I have bemoaned in the past as being made of glass- joined the 20/20 club. He is the first St. Louis Cardinals player to join the 20/20 club since Reggie Sanders last recorded his 20 home runs and 20 steals in 2004 (Sanders final numbers that year were 22 home runs and 21 stolen bases).

On the year, thanks to today’s two-run home run and two stolen bases, Pham sees his numbers increase to 20 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Those numbers look eerily similar, no?

Take a look at the statistical similarities between Pham and Sanders. First up, Sanders:

Standard Batting
17 Yrs17777043624110371666341603059833041156741614.267.343.487.830115304212171144349
162 Game Avg.162642569951523152890281061147.267.343.487.830115277116144
CIN (8 yrs)805329228854997811523312543115863346777.271.353.476.8291181374553192123
KCR (2 yrs)1124433985710330113607839101.259.325.437.76295174122043
STL (2 yrs)2288167411131964154312135661193.265.325.507.833113376138156
ARI (1 yr)126496441841162133390141046126.263.337.549.88611724225137
PIT (1 yr)13049845374129274318715538110.285.345.567.913131257105024
SFG (1 yr)14057150575126236238518647121.250.324.455.7791072301012073
ATL (1 yr)103377340437923111372143278.232.302.403.7057613792302
SDP (1 yr)133550478921362472672361365108.285.376.527.904134252106011
NL (15 yrs)1665660058439801563311592929232971076351513.267.344.491.835116286810969143946
AL (2 yrs)1124433985710330113607839101.259.325.437.76295174122043

…and now Pham:

Standard Batting
4 Yrs248816699137194327339823899217.278.375.485.8601273392112242
162 Game Avg.16253345789127215226415565142.278.375.485.860127221148131

Sanders played for 17 seasons and while Pham has only been in the majors for four, if he can keeps up these numbers then he is sure to last many more.

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A thing to note: Sanders came into the majors at 23 years old while Pham broke the MLB glass ceiling some three years later at 26. This could come into play for Pham’s longevity.

Nevertheless, these are two outfielders who showed great promise. Pham’s 2017 numbers are very close to Sanders’ All-Star year of 1995. Just look at those to years above.

We have often debated Pham’s validity to stand as the season MVP for the St. Louis Cardinals and joining the impressive 20/20 club will only help to argue this point even more. This standing true, however, Jose Martinez is giving Pham a run for his money so Tommy better start looking over his should for the approaching giant from Venezuela.

A quick editorial note: the title of this piece is a play on words and not intended to indicate that Reggie Sanders is no longer living.

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