For the fourth straight year, we’re taking some time in that time between the end of the season and the winter meetings to discuss each player that made an appearance on the St. Louis roster this season. Whether they played almost every day or never actually got into a game, they get covered in this series. All stats are exclusively their time in St. Louis. Just think of this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a quick evaluation before heading home for the winter.
Player: Xavier Scruggs
Season stats: 17 games, 43 PA, 5 R, 2 2B, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 10 K, .262/.279/.310, 60 OPS+, -0.1 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Hero 2
Overall grade: B-
Positives: Had back-to-back three-hit starts versus Miami and Chicago….had two RBI in both of those games….hit 14 homers and drove in 57 down in Memphis….hit .286 in starts in the big leagues….also hit .286 against right-handers, though his solitary hit off a lefty was a double.
Negatives: Even after those starts, couldn’t get regular playing time in the bigs….unsurprisingly tailed off after those two big starts, hitting .115/.148/.115 until he was sent back to Memphis around the All-Star Break….wasn’t promoted in September and, in fact, was eventually removed from the 40-man roster when the Cards added and promoted Travis Tartamella in the wake of the Yadier Molina injury….hit just .238 in Memphis this season.
Overview: The X-Man never could get a foothold in the big leagues. Playing first only didn’t help, as during his time in the Cardinal minors the big league club had Albert Pujols, Allen Craig, and Matt Adams covering the position. It was surprising to see him get three hits in Miami and then not play again until a few days later. After his second good start, he did start three of the next five games, but just couldn’t continue that success. Scruggs might have had a career in a different organization, though it’s also just as likely that he was at best a Quad-A player, able to flash power at AAA but not able to translate it in the majors.
Outlook: Scruggs elected free agency last week and, as such, will try to find that organization that will give him a chance. Most likely, he’ll wind up with a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, being insurance in case someone else’s starting first baseman goes down. Hopefully he’ll get that opportunity somewhere and take advantage of it.