Exit Interview 2017: Matt Adams

For the sixth straight year, we’re taking a look back at everyone that played for the St. Louis Cardinals this season.  Whether they were a major contributor or a bit player, here all year or for just a little while, we’ll look at their season and talk about what went right and what went wrong.  The stat line listed is just their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers in the discussion may be for the entire year.  Imagine this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a little review on their way home for the winter.  As always when you see incredible artistry in the blogs, all credit for the header work goes to @cardinalsgifs.

Player: Matt Adams

Season stats: 31 G, 53 PA, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 17 K, .292/.340/.735, 94 OPS+, -0.3 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 1

Overall grade: B-

Positives: Handled a difficult situation well, putting up acceptable offensive numbers in limited playing time….hit .357 in May before his trade to the Atlanta Braves (14 PA)….for the year, hit .309 coming off the bench with at least half of that time being in St. Louis….was charged with no errors during his time under the Arch, even in the outfield, which is more telling of official scoring but it’s still a fact….was above average in range factor per nine innings in his 13 innings at first for the Cardinals.

Negatives: He was stationed in the outfield and fans still remember some of his adventures out there….hit .180 against left-handers for the season….was unable to reach his past power production in St. Louis, hitting just one home run in those 31 games….was basically given away by John Mozeliak to find a roster spot for Stephen Piscotty‘s return from the DL, which is another story entirely.

Overview: I was always one that liked Matt Adams.  I felt like if they’d just leave him at first on a regular basis, he’d produce well enough for what this team needed.  His defense was always fairly strong, especially for his size, and he had some really big moments as a member of the Redbirds.

However, once they moved Matt Carpenter to first, there really was no place for Adams.  The experiment of trying him in the outfield was pretty silly to start with, even if the Braves did the same to him late in the season.  Trying to learn a position at all at the big league level is a difficult task and I guess if you are going to do that, outfield might be the best place (especially if you have ground ball pitchers) but unfortunately those times that the ball did find him were comical at best, it seemed like.  Again, all sorts of kudos to Adams for being willing to really do whatever the team asked, even if it wasn’t a comfortable transition, but you have to figure he was glad to get to Atlanta.  He had a pretty solid season for the Braves–his .271/.315/.543 with 19 HR is low on the OBP, but otherwise could have looked nice in the Cardinal lineup at times–and hopefully he’s building value around the league.

Outlook: While the Braves did move Freddie Freeman to third for a while, showing that they were quite impressed with what Adams brought them, it’s hard to see that lasting long term.  He only made three starts in the month of September and while bench bats are definitely valuable, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Braves flip him to a team that could use a first baseman or a DH type.  It still feels like Adams can contribute on a regular basis but if no one else agrees, at least he can come off the bench and do some damage.

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