Jeff Albert has always been the target of criticism, whether it’s fair or unfair. Now is the time to give the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach some credit.
Ever since Jeff Albert came to the St. Louis Cardinals from the Houston Astros organization, offensive results have been mixed. The fluctuating offense could put up 10 runs in a game and the very next day not be able to muster one or two hits. Here at Redbird Rants, we have been critical of Albert’s work from time to time.
But with patience comes great rewards. Albert’s fingerprints are all over an offense driving the Cardinals’ 2022 season. Entering into the first series tilt with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Cardinals offense ranked high in many offensive categories in all of Major League Baseball. Right now, St. Louis is:
Last year, we saw Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader improved under Albert’s tutelage. Paul Goldschmidt, at 35, is putting together perhaps his best season as a major leaguer and entered himself into the National League MVP discussion. Before the season, Goldschmidt was having trouble getting his hitting mechanics lined up, specifically with the lower half.
Who did he consult? Jeff Albert.
Yet with the success of the 2022 Cardinals offense, there are still areas to improve. The Cardinals need to work on barreling the ball to make hard contact, and their 4.6 Brls/PA reflects that. St. Louis owns the highest pop-up rate in the National League at 9.2% and are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers in swinging under the ball.
Those are adjustments that can be made during the season, which can make the St. Louis offense even better. With the pitching staff in major flux, the offense have paced the Cardinals, and for the time being, the commitment to Jeff Albert is paying off.