The St. Louis Cardinals have a wunderkind in their center fielder and the baseball world is taking notice. Will he win the Rookie of the Year for the NL?
Let me get right to it. The St. Louis Cardinals do not deserve a great deal of rewards this season other than maybe comeback team of the year if there was such a thing. Harrison Bader, however, should take a gold glove at the very least.
If the top three names on the NL list remain, he has the offensive challenge ahead of him in Soto AND Acuna but this shouldn’t be the thing to keep the reward from his mantle. He sits only a few hundredths of a point away from both batters in average, is even closer when it comes to on-base percentage, but is most definitely the caboose when looking at slugging percentage.
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As has been noted in the previous slides, Bader is the best defender of all three of the current front-runners in the National League. To me, the fact that he outshines in all defensive categories by far should overshadow his deficiencies offensively.
Add to all of this the fact that Bader suffered under Mike Matheny and a lackluster club for the first half (and then some) of the season. The St. Louis Cardinals were far more disappointing than were the Nationals in the first half of the season and certainly throughout the season as compared to the Braves.
The St. Louis Cardinals sit with a record of 78-62 while the Nationals- who have faded since the All-Star break- carry a current 69-71 record and the Braves sit firmly atop the NL-East with a 76-63 record. The St. Louis Cardinals record was helped by the dramatic turn-around at the hands of Mike Shildt and an outstanding August.
Prior to the Mike-to-Mike swap, the St. Louis Cardinals were at a 47-46 record. This at the same time as the Nationals were playing well and were battling back and forth with the Braves for first place in the NL-East. The Cardinals’ pitiful season may have contributed to Bader’s lack of voting throughout the season.
At current, Bader is not in first, but he should be first and I pray that he will continue to show why as the St. Louis Cardinals push toward October.
What do you think? What will it take for Bader to overtake his competition in voting? Thanks for reading and go Cardinals!