Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season. This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason. More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter. Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.
This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre. A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience. No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking. Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there. Sign up today and give it a try.
Player: Carlos Beltran
Season stats: 145 games, 600 PA, 79 R, 30 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 84 RBI, 38 BB, 90 K, .296/.339/.491
Hero/Goat: Hero 14, Goat 9
Overall grade: A
Positives: Once again, Beltran led the team in a number of offensive categories. He had another dominant first half (.309/.346/.533 with 19 home runs) and showed again why he was considered one of the most feared postseason hitters with two home runs in the NLDS against the Pirates. His arm and bat won Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers. If he doesn’t throw out A.J. Ellis at the plate, that series might have gone a completely different way. He also was amazingly consistent home and away, with his 24 home runs evenly split between Busch and other venues and only a .002 difference in his batting average.
Negatives: Again, Beltran struggled in the second half of the season in a similar fashion as 2012. He hit just five home runs after the All-Star Game and hit 30 points lower over that span as well. While he rose to the occasion at times in the playoffs, he hit just .268 (with an OPS of .852) for the entire postseason and while he did muster a .294 average in the World Series, all five hits were singles. You could say that crashing into the wall in Game 1 was a mitigating factor, but it’s hard to be certain.
Outlook: Beltran has brought a lot of excitement and success to the Cardinals over the last two years and it’s a point of pride that he made it to his first Series wearing the birds on the bat. However, he will be 37 next season and the second-half slumps speak to a player that needs to be well-rested. The Cards proffered the qualifying offer, but it would seem Beltran could get a multi-year deal out of someone, like an American League team, and the two sides will part ways amicably.