Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat. Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them. The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable. Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter. Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.
Player: Luke Voit
Season stats: 8 G, 13 PA, 2 R, 2 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, .182/.308/.455, 106 OPS+, 0.1 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Goat 1
Overall grade: B
Positives: Only had two hits for the Cardinals, but one of them cleared the fence….drew two walks in eight games….hit .299 in Memphis with nine home runs in 67 games….hit for the cycle in a game that spanned months (a delayed game that started June 30 and resumed the next day)….hit .314 in night games while a member of the Redbirds….hit .364 in June but five of his nine Memphis homers came in July….hit .480 in 25 plate appearances in the second spot in the order….hit .325 with two outs while a part of the Memphis club….had a 1.045 OPS when ahead in the count.
Negatives: Made John Mozeliak look bad by turning into a folk hero with the Yankees after being dealt….struck out four times in 13 plate appearance with the Cards….hit .231 against left-handers when at Memphis….only hit two of his home runs at AutoZone Park….got off to a slow start, posting a .611 OPS in April….had a .374 OPS in 25 plate appearances hitting fourth….hit .130 in late and close games as a Redbird.
Overview: Luke Voit was the feel-good story, a local guy playing for the local team with his Grandma Joan kicking in money every time he went yard. If the club had known he’d go off and hit 14 homers in 39 games for the Yankees, they might have been a little hesitant to ship him off when they were in need of power. However, nobody really was clamoring for Voit to take over first and Matt Carpenter slide to third, bumping Jedd Gyorko and causing even more issues in the infield. The front office thought they could fill a current need for a lefty (with Chasen Shreve) and get a relief prospect (Giovanny Gallegos) as well. Shreve, as we’ve discussed, didn’t quite pan out the way they thought and given Voit’s production, the trade doesn’t look so hot from St. Louis’s side. There wasn’t much chance that Voit would have done for the Cardinals what he did for the Yankees, though, and at least this way he got a chance to get into the postseason.
Outlook: Cardinal fans are likely to continue to root for Voit no matter where he winds up, but it remains to be seen if he can adjust if the league adjusts to him. Baseball is littered with folks that made a big impact in a couple of months in a new town or new league and then taper off as things become more familiar. While it’s possible that Voit will wind up playing first and DHing for the Yankees next year and hit 30 bombs for them, that’s not exactly the way to bet. Still, Voit’s made a name for himself and that can pay huge dividends when it comes to getting chances in MLB.