For the fifth 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.
This year’s Exit Interview series is “being brought to you by” some of the various Cardinal podcasts that are out there for your listening pleasure. Our focus this time is Cubs Cards Cast. No doubt it’s been tough for Dan, a Cards fan in Chicago, to talk with John, a Cubs fan in St. Louis, this season but they always are able to discuss both teams with only good-natured ribbing. Find them on iTunes or check out their site!
Player: Stephen Piscotty
Season stats: 153 games, 649 PA, 86 R, 35 2B, 3 3B, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 51 BB, 133 K, .273/.343/.457, 112 OPS+, 2.9 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Hero 11, Goat 13
Overall grade: A-
Positives: Picked up where he left off from his rookie debut season and was a solid and reliable force in the lineup, missing less than 10 games….hit .304 over the last week of the season….hit .297 with a .952 OPS against lefties….hit .295 and 13 of his home runs came at Busch….hit .346 in May….hit .309/.386/.553 in wins….had a 1.032 OPS and one homer in 10 plate appearances off the bench….was 1-1 with a home run playing first base….hit .310 when he batted second….hit .291 with two outs….hit .363 with a 1.017 OPS with runners in scoring position….hit .305 when men were on any base….with a runner on third and less than two outs, .400/.391/.900; with two outs, .429/.429/.686….hit .353 with two outs and RISP….had a .904 OPS in high leverage situations….hit .299 off of relievers….hit .351 against the Brewers.
Negatives: Hit .247 in the second half and struck out nine more times in 11 fewer games….58 of his strikeouts came in August and September….hit .209 in June….hit .244 with a .657 OPS hitting third….hit .199 with two strikes on him….hit .222 in the first inning, the inning he came to bat the most….hit .230 against power pitchers….hit .225 against the Cubs, but did have three homers against them….hit .233 with 16 strikeouts over the last two weeks of the season.
Overview: It was a really successful year for Piscotty overall and he proved to be a valuable pillar to the club both now and for the future. Piscotty was his normal stoic self, a guy that didn’t seem fazed at all by pressure situations. And, occasionally, he showed just a hint of emotion.
The end of the season was a little rough and either due to the league adjusting to him or the fact that he wasn’t used to playing such a long season, the strikeouts piled up as the season wound down. It seemed like the sliders out of the zone would get him fishing every time and it was frustrating to see so I can imagine how frustrating it was for him to experience it. That’s a slight black mark on what otherwise was a great first full season in the big leagues and there’s no reason to think that he can’t correct that going forward.
Outlook: Piscotty’s not likely to ever be a national star, but All-Star Games are not out of the question at all. This season saw the last of Matt Holliday in a Cardinal uniform, but Piscotty could well be that solid, reliable, slightly underrated presence in St. Louis for some time to come.