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: Matt Adams
Season stats: 108 games, 319 PA, 46 R, 14 2B, 17 HR, 46 RBI, 23 BB, 80 K, .284/.335/.503
Hero/Goat: Hero 6, Goat 3
Overall grade: B+
Positives: Adams made a pretty significant mark in his first year in the big leagues. While he spent most of it coming off the bench and occasionally playing first when Allen Craig gave Carlos Beltran a day off, he brought a power option to the late innings that no one else could match. When Craig went down with his injury, Adams stepped up and seemed to hit better, or at least more consistently, with the regular time. Without his contributions, it is credible to believe that the Cardinals would have wound up as one of the wild card teams and likely struggled to get as far as they did in October. His 17 home runs were third on the team, even in his limited playing time. It was nice to have one of those big sluggers available, a guy you knew could hit it a long way if he got around on one.
Negatives: While he didn’t have the most exposure to them, Adams did as expected struggle against left-handed pitchers. He hit only .231 against them in 52 at-bats, though he did get three home runs in that span. Almost a full quarter of his strikeouts came against lefties, even though he faced righties over 80% of the time. Adams’s glove work was nothing outstanding either, though he did get better as time went on and made a few nifty plays around the bag.
Outlook: For a while, it looked like Adams might be the top trade chip for John Mozeliak during the offseason. However, with his successful stint as a starter when Craig went down, it seems less likely that he will be moving out of town. It would seem likely that Craig will find a lot of work in the outfield, manning first when left-handers are on the menu, with Adams seeing most of the rest of the first base playing time. There’s no guarantee on that–finding a new shortstop might require his departure–but my personal bet is that you can go ahead and buy the Adams jersey.