St. Louis Cardinals: Luke Voit – The forgotten man in 2017 and beyond

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 26: Luke Voit
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 26: Luke Voit /

The St. Louis Cardinals are exploring many options to upgrade this off-season. Luke Voit has not been mentioned in their future plans or in trade talks.T

The St. Louis Cardinals need to trade a few young pitching prospects plus Grichuk and/or Piscotty for Giancarlo Stanton.  The St. Louis Cardinals could trade for Marcell Ozuna or Christian Yelich. We could sign Eric Hosmer and move Matt Carpenter to second or third base, or the Cards could go after Josh Donaldson.

These are just a few of the moves mentioned as possibilities for the Cardinals this off-season. Nowhere in any of these moves have I seen Luke Voit’s name being mentioned as a trade chip or in the 2018 plans. Should he be?

The Lafayette High School and Missouri State alum has been a pretty darn good minor league hitter. In 1,713 career minor league at-bats, he has a .286/.367/.451 triple slash line for a .818 OPS.

He has just gotten better and better each year too – posting a .765 OPS in 2015, .849 in 2016, and .972 in seventy-four games in 2017 before being called up. He hit .246 with four home runs in a limited role for the Cardinals in 2017.

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How can he be of value moving forward? He seemingly has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues as a hitter.

As Ben Frederickson from the Post Dispatch writes in this article, Voit has no plans to go back to Memphis.

He has dropped some weight and has worked on playing some outfield to give himself more options. As of now, his primary position of first base is occupied by Matt Carpenter for the foreseeable future.

I love that he is working on becoming more versatile, but right now we have too many outfielders on the roster – which is why Mozeliak wants to deal one or two away.

So, how can he help the Cardinals in 2018 and beyond?

Voit can provide a quality right-handed bat off the bench to pinch-hit and to spell Carp. If Wong needs a day, Carp could slide to 2B and Voit could fill in for a game. If Kolten Wong or Jedd Gyorko are dealt away and Carp permanently slides over to one of those positions, Voit could be the everyday 1B.

This is probably unlikely, but with everyday playing time, I think he could be an average to slightly above average major league 1B. If a few outfielders are dealt, he can provide some depth in LF too. Or, the Cardinals trade him. He’s not really listed or seen as a big-time prospect, so he would not be a primary piece in a big deal. Can he be dealt for bullpen help?

Next: What to watch for at the GM meetings

Whatever his role will be, I think he is a valuable piece for 2018, and is a name not getting any attention or credit. But, these plans all hinge on whether the Cards make a trade for a big bat or not. Time will tell.