For the fourth straight year, we’re taking some time in that time between the end of the season and the winter meetings to discuss each player that made an appearance on the St. Louis roster this season. Whether they played almost every day or never actually got into a game, they get covered in this series. All stats are exclusively their time in St. Louis. Just think of this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a quick evaluation before heading home for the winter.
Player: Matt Adams
Season stats: 60 games, 186 PA, 14 R, 9 2B, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 10 BB, 41 K, .240/.280/.377, 77 OPS+, 0.3 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Hero 3, Goat 3
Overall grade: C
Positives: Even in his limited time, his PA/HR rate was about what it was in 2014, though both numbers were significantly less than his breakout 2013 campaign….was able to return to the team in September after a serious quad injury kept him on the shelf most of the summer….hit .329 and had an .805 OPS at home, even though four of his five homers were away from Busch….hit .304 with three home runs in April…..hit .375 in 16 pinch-hit plate appearances.
Negatives: Losing 2/3rds of the season is never a good thing….only had one home run after returning in September (a pinch-hit blast in Cincinnati) and was left off the postseason roster….continues to struggle against left-handers, hitting just .200 against them (though just in 27 plate appearances)….didn’t exactly destroy right-handers either, putting up just a .683 OPS against them….unable to do much against power pitchers, hitting .233 with a .538 OPS against those types as classified by Baseball-Reference.
Overview: It was a season to forget for Adams. It looked like he might be able to get something going, as on May 3rd he was hitting .309 with three home runs. Alas, that was an aberration and Adams then hit .159 for the rest of the month before succumbing to his quad injury. The Cardinals eventually got Brandon Moss to try to replace him and by the end of the season Stephen Piscotty was camped out there, but losing the power of Big Fill-In-The-Blank was a tough thing to try to overcome. Significant credit does need to be given to him for working hard enough to get back to the club before the end of the season, but it was pretty much a moot point with him not playing in the NLDS.
Outlook: There are no guarantees with Adams. His power potential, his youth, and his team-friendly contract (though he’ll be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter) make him someone that you’d expect the club would keep around. That said, there’s a lot of folks that aren’t enamored with Adams’s skill set, thinking that he’s hopeless against lefties and not nearly as valuable as he should be on offense. With Piscotty likely spending a lot of time at first (assuming Jason Heyward resigns), Adams could be dangled to help solve other problems. Most likely, he’ll be splitting time between the bench and first base for the Cardinals next season, though.