Matt Carpenter has made the most of his playing time since making the transition to second base this offseason for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Playing in all but three games for the National League win- leaders, Carpenter, 27, has the highest on-base percentage (.407) and has a batting average of .323, and as a testament of how well he has adjusted to the leadoff spot in the lineup, Carpenter leads the NL runs scored with 47.
In his second year in a major league uniform Carpenter leads the everyday-playing Cardinals players in wins above replacement with 2.9. WAR, a relatively new stat that represents the amount of wins a player is responsible for bringing their team has made a substantial advance in the way ball players are viewed when it comes to payroll, re-signing and a players general worth. Carpenter ranks 10th in the NL WAR.
Carpenter, while ranking fourth in NL All-Star balloting is becoming one of the most impressive Cardinals because of the at-bats he has taken thus far are showing his knowledge of the strike zone. Carpenter’s strike out to at-bat ratio is 30:217. He has walked almost as many times (27) as he has struck out.
Carpenter, a “home-grown” talent who is being paid the league minimum is not up for free agency until 2018, but he is arbitration eligible as soon as the end of the 2013 according to his contract.
Carpenter has also proven to be a terrific fielder as he is listed as an outfielder, third basemen, first basemen and second basemen. Spending most of his innings at second base, Carpenter has committed one error with has 105 assists and 68 put outs.
Carpenter has put together a season that Matheny and the Cardinals are more than happy with, but as the season evolves and with AAA superstar-in waiting second basemen Kolten Wong, first basemen Matt Adams and Allen Craig still with contractual ties to the club, it will be interesting to see how the minds of the organization deal with a surplus of Major League talent. (Third Baseman signed a one-year contract with this off season.)