No. 3: Matt Carpenter has still got it
2020 was another bad year for the slow-starting Matt Carpenter, likely signaling that 2021 will be his final year in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform.
Just two years removed from setting a career-high in homers, Carpenter has looked like a shell of his former self. There weren’t many positives for Carpenter in 2020 but the hope is still there that he can regain some consistency in 2021.
Regardless of his struggles, Carpenter has a career 1.179 OPS at Kauffman Stadium, including six homers. One of those was this moonshot from 2020.
Part of Matt Carpenter’s decline has been his hands slowing down, but he has kept up his ability to slug in the lower parts of the zone. That is exactly what he did on this Carlos Hernandez fastball down in the zone.
Coming off the bat at 106 mph, this ball went 439 ft, just narrowly beating out O’Neill’s previous homer.
In 2020, Matt Carpenter faced the shift a career-high 97% of the time while also pulling the ball more than ever. While this hurt him sometimes, the easiest way to beat the shift is to hit the ball over the fence.