Exit Interview 2017: Luke Voit

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: Luke Voit

Season stats: 62 G, 124 PA, 18 R, 9 2B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 7 BB, 31 K, .246/.306/.430, 92 OPS+, 0.3 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 1

Overall grade: C

Positives: Made his major league debut June 25….had a .830 OPS at home….hit .316 in the first half with three of his four home runs….hit .317 when the Cardinals won….had a 1.197 OPS when he was ahead in the count….had a .317 average with two outs….hit .429 in seven bases-loaded plate appearances….had a .364/.417/.818 line with two outs and runners in scoring position….hit .303 as a pinch-hitter….hit .327 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 74 games at Memphis.

Negatives: Made just one start in September (technically October 1)….started nine of his 14 games then 10 of his next 48….hit .211 in the second half….hit .207 in July with 14 strikeouts….hit .229 as a starter….had a .497 OPS on the first pitch….hit .176 when he worked a full count….had a .412 OPS when the pitcher was ahead….hit .219 with nobody out….hit .158 in late and close situations….had a .420 OPS in high leverage situations, which feels like an internet pun waiting to happen….hit .100 against the Pirates….struck out 53 times in Memphis.

Overview: There’s probably a debate that could be held about whether the Cardinals did the right thing in Voit’s development by leaving him on the bench in the big leagues instead of letting him play regularly in the minors.  With Matt Carpenter usually manning first and Jose Martinez developing into a capable backup whenever Carpenter had a day off or moved to a different position, there wasn’t a lot of time for Voit to get starts.  For example, he got all of six plate appearances in the first half of September.  He never got regular playing time which probably didn’t help him get into a groove.

That said, it would be a big stretch to say that he should have played over Carpenter and Martinez on a regular basis, especially the way Jose hit down the stretch.  Voit probably should have spent much more of his season in Memphis, helping that club and getting regular at bats.  Of course, it could be that the Cardinals weren’t too worried about impeding his development because 1) he wasn’t going to develop anymore or 2) he wasn’t a big part of their plans.  After all, he is going to be 27 next season, which may mean that he’s about what he’s going to be.

Outlook: With Carpenter expected to move around and the uncertainty that still surrounds the outfield, it’s hard to know what we’ll see from Voit next season.  It feels unlikely that he’d get a lot more playing time no matter what happens, though.  He’ll probably move back and forth between Memphis and the big league bench depending on needs.

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