Yesterday over at StlToday and in the PD Joe Strauss wrote about the upgrade Matt Carpenter provides compared to Cards second basemen of years past. Being as how this is the Gas House Graphs section of the Conclave I figured what better way to depict that upgrade than with a graph. I grabbed the production (offense and defense) the Cards have received from the second base position over the last ten seasons and put them in a graph
Clearly we can see that there’s no competition on the offensive side as the second base position has produced nearly 5 times the wRAA of the second best season in just over half a season (and that includes numbers from Descalso which likely brings the total down). And while there have been better defensive seasons, it’s not as if Carp has been problematic there (some of the negative in the chart is Descalso as well). While I wouldn’t expect Carp to necessarily be a plus defender at second over the long haul, even something that’s slightly below average is fine when you can get the kind of offense he’s been giving.
All in all nothing said in Strauss’ article nor shown in the graph above is news to anyone that has been watching the Cardinals for any amount of time. That said, the order of magnitude of the difference is rather staggering. I’m sure as the season continues I’ll have more to say/show on M. Carp (more of the how rather than the what), but for now, merely take in the graph above.