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 Holliday
Season stats: 141 games, 602 PA, 103 R, 31 2B, 1 3B, 22 HR, 94 RBI, 69 BB, 86 K, .300/.389/.490
Hero/Goat: Hero 14, Goat 7
Overall grade: A
Positives: Holliday just keeps doing what he does, pairing a good average with power that was second only to Carlos Beltran on the team this season. This past season was the first time Holliday had made it to the .300 mark since 2010, showing that even though he is on the downside of his contract (three more years), there are no signs that he is going to step off a cliff like Wile E. Coyote and plummet into obscurity. In fact, he was one of the few Cardinals to have a positive offensive experience in the World Series, helping to mute those few who still claim he’s not “clutch”.
Negatives: Of course, one of the reasons those naysayers haven’t been silenced entirely is the fact that not only did he lead the league in double plays with 31, but they always seemed to come at the most inopportune times. Holliday did battle injury again this season, something that is likely to only increase going forward, and had to sit out the last couple of days to make sure he didn’t lose that .300 average. He’s adequate in the outfield, but he’s never going to win any fielding awards.
Outlook: Holliday will be the third Cardinal to step to the plate during the 2014 season, that can almost be guaranteed. He’s not going anywhere and there’s no reason to wish he would. His solid production on the field and his quiet leadership in the clubhouse make this one big-time contract that has been worth the money.