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: Ben DeLuzio
Season stats: 22 G, 25 PA, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 CS, 3 BB, 5 K, .150/.292/.200, 46 OPS+, 0.2 bWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Statcast: .330 xwOBA, 72.8 exit velocity, 12.5 hard hit %, 20.0 K %, 12.0 BB %
Best Statcast category: Sprint Speed (99th percentile)
Worst Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (6th percentile)
Positives: Made his major league debut September 2 as a pinch-runner….got his first major league the next day, but was pinch-hit for in his second at bat during a six-run inning….got his first hit September 8 against Washington….made the postseason roster as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner….two of his three hits came on the road….went three for 10 with a double in the games he started….had a 1.000 OBP when leading off an inning (two plate appearances)….went 1-2 when swinging at the first pitch….had a solid season at Memphis, hitting .277/.353/.429 with nine home runs.
Negatives: Was often used as a pinch-runner for his speed but was 0-1 in steal attempts….went 0-4 against lefties, though did draw a walk….went 1-8 when behind in the count….when ahead in the count, went 0-3 with three walks.
Overview: DeLuzio wasn’t the first name people had in mind for promotion when the roster expanded in September, especially not with Alec Burleson hitting so well. Honestly, it was a name I didn’t know at all and while I know I haven’t been keeping up as well with what Kyle Reis has been putting out, I think it’s safe to say DeLuzio was no one’s idea of a top prospect. That said, he came up and played his role well with the Cardinals. He allowed Dylan Carlson to shift over and replace someone like Juan Yepez in the late innings, he provided at least speed if not necessarily base stealing, and he was just one of those players that you need at times to fill some gaps. Got to hand it to a guy like that getting a chance to make a mark in the majors.
Outlook: DeLuzio probably will spend next year at Memphis as well unless there becomes a need for the 40-man spot during the winter. I don’t know that he’ll ever get any extended run in the big leagues, especially since he’s already 28, but he may get a few more cups of coffee along the way.