After an awful start to the season, Matt Carpenter has rebounded, to the point where he almost made the All-Star team (he is part of the final fan ballot where, if I’m honest, there are better candidates like Max Muncy from the Dodgers).
Currently his slash line is .258/.365/.513 with 17 homers in 356 PA. Those 17 homers at the half season give him a solid chance to crack 30 homers, which he’s never done before, though he has come close. In 2015 he hit 28 in 665 PA.
Personally, I’ve never really thought of him as a home run hitter, but more as just a super patient hitter who knows what he can hit. He isn’t Barry Bonds, who waited for just about *any* strike because he could mash it. Carp doesn’t have that kind of power. Rather, he knows where his sweet spot is and knows what to do with pitches thrown to him there. Offhand, without video to compare, I’d also say his swing probably has a little more uppercut to it than it used to, but that’s true of just about every hitter these days unless they were already a masher.
So can he crack 30 this year? Well, if you look at his splits and view the first month or so of this season as an aberration, I think it’s a very real possibility.
After his slow start in March/April where he hit .155 with two homers in 105 PA, he warmed up considerably. He hit .297 in May with five homers in 103 PA and .313 in June with eight homers in 114 PA.
If you play it forward and add three homers to the two he already has in July, he would have 20 homers heading into August, meaning he’d have to hit five in that month and September as well, which I think, given the way he has hit the last two months, is easily doable.
Really, that first month or so was an aberration. Anybody can have a bad month, but what we’re seeing now is the real Carpenter. He had his slump early, got it out of the way, and been chugging along ever since. He’s making contact, taking walks and mashing some homers, enough at this pace to become an actual 30 homer guy, whether I view him as a power hitter or not.
Keep it up Carp.
As always, thanks for reading.