One of our regular offseason traditions is the Exit Interview, where we look back at each player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals in the past season. This is the 11th season we’ve done this and it’s a good way to get a view of the whole year, not just a short stretch of games. It’s sort of like a performance review before the players went off to their offseason work, spending a little time with Oli Marmol and going over what went right, what went wrong. Stats and grades are only for a player’s time in St. Louis, though splits numbers may include other teams. As always, my sincere thanks to the legend of cardinalsgifs for providing the header image!
Player: Conner Capel
Season stats: 9 G, 19 PA, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, .176/.211/.353, 59 OPS+, -0.1 bWAR, 0.0 fWAR
Statcast: .339 xwOBA, 6.8 barrel %, 87.6 exit velocity, 31.8 hard hit %, 16.9 K %, 8.5 BB %
Best Statcast category: Arm Strength (84th percentile)
Worst Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (44th percentile)
Positives: Made his major league debut June 27, though he didn’t get an at bat until his third appearance on June 29….hit his first home run July 4 against the Braves….hit .258 with 10 home runs in 87 games at Memphis….was actually claimed when the Cardinals put him on waivers, going to Oakland where he had a strong last two weeks.
Negatives: Only had three hits in his 17 at bats….was really just a placeholder when Harrison Bader went on the IL before Corey Dickerson was ready to return….with his departure and the September release of Jhon Torres, you can close the book on the Oscar Mercado trade and chalk that win up to the Indians/Guardians.
Overview: Capel was never expected to be much, even when he was acquired from Cleveland. He could have been a serviceable fourth or fifth outfielder, perhaps, but for much of his time in the organization the Cards were flush with better players at that position. He always put up reasonable if unspectacular numbers in the minors and it’s great the Cards gave him a shot for a small run this season. I don’t know if they expected him to be claimed off waivers but it wasn’t a big deal if he was.
Outlook: With Oakland rebuilding and always looking for cheap, cheap talent, Capel probably has a decent chance at making their team next year. (The .371 average and pair of homers he hit while wearing the green probably doesn’t hurt him any either.) Hopefully he’ll get a foothold in the bigs and the Cardinals will see him again when the two teams match up in 2023. If not, he probably will wind up in some team’s minor league system.