The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals spring phenom named Matt will return to earth

Don’t get me wrong. I like Matt Adams as a player. In fact, he is The Cardinal Nation’s ninth-ranked prospect in 2012.

On the other hand, the 23-year-old is not going to continue to produce as he has over the first four games of spring. Sure, let’s give him credit for the grand slam against the Mets and the bases-clearing triple to help sink the Red Sox on Thursday. Then again, no one should be mistaking the big first baseman for Ted Williams, so that .417 batting average is just not sustainable.

Still, the internet is exploding over Adams’s feats, with some already penciling his name onto their projected opening day roster for St. Louis. Calm down, please. I never say “never,” but I give it less than five percent odds of actually happening. Even that would seemingly require an avalanche of injuries to others that would mean significant problems for the 2012 Cardinals.

Some folks seem to have short memories.

Just one year ago, there was another reigning organizational Player of the Year in major-league camp garnering similar attention for unexpected standout play. Further, the infielder had excelled at Double-A Springfield the prior season and had yet to play even one game in Triple-A.

Along with all the other similarities, his name is also Matt – Matt Carpenter.

Until the final week of 2011 camp, it seemed both by playing time given and results delivered that Carpenter might make the season-opening major-league roster. Then, reality set in. He couldn’t sustain his hot play and began the season with Memphis.

Though Carpenter was added to the 40-man roster just before he made his MLB debut last June, he struggled with St. Louis. Despite a good Pacific Coast League campaign, including a .417 OBP, Carpenter did not even receive a September call up. It serves as yet another reminder not to get too high or too low over spring training performances.

A year later, Carpenter is back in big league camp, more prepared to compete for a  job as a utilityman. He remains a decent prospect, number 11 in our 2012 system-wide rankings, but seems destined for a reserve role – in this organization, at least.

Like Carpenter last spring, Adams is also not yet on the 40-man. A more realistic goal than opening the season with St. Louis would be for him to follow Carpenter’s 2011 trail of solid play in Memphis, snag a 40-man roster spot and make a major-league cameo mid-season. Adams could then more realistically compete for a major-league spot next spring.

In summary, no matter what happens this month, the best move for Adams’ long-term development would be for him to don a Memphis Redbirds uniform to start the regular season and play first base each and every day.

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30 Responses to “Cardinals spring phenom named Matt will return to earth”

  1. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    all that incredible logic and long range sensibility……………………. anyone would grant you the obvious…………… but try to imagine a scenario in which all that seems reasonable……is disregarded …………. that would get my attention ………… Jay batting 4th suggests they are trying to get some control over the situation………..

  2. friendmouse says:

    Excellent article, Brian. I agree 100% with your assessment(s). Seriously, barring injury, why would we need Adams to come aboard the 25-man? Hopefully, Berkman won’t need much relief at 1B, and (also hopefully) Allen Craig will soon be with the club to give Berkman a blow as needed. Stay in Memphis and develop…the tried and true process. If he improves (which would be expected with another year’s experience), then we’ll have that much more leverage relating to our desires to give Lance another contract.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      then we’ll have that much more leverage relating to our desires to give Lance another contract.

      It just kills me to read a statement like this…………………. of all the perspectives one might imagine….. where in gods name to do folks come up with this organizational angst against the players…..Berkman being the absolute outstanding example of a professional athlete and his commitments to a team and his teammates ……… especially after “hoping” he won’t need much relief…………….???????????

      Footnote…………………did Berkman volunteer to take the bus ride today…..to back Waino as I postulated days ago………….????????? thus leaving MA behind…. probably/////////// Furcal went for the poker game…

      • crdswmn says:

        It could be a further step in the grand conspiracy, or it could be that Berkman only got one AB in the game yesterday because of the rain delay. :)

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          Crd………..the conspiracy has played out……………..this is about the team establishing a new way of doing business……… they don’t want MA on this team ……….. but they would create a hoopla if they thought they might profit by it ………….. it will get old in hurry believe me ……….. Berkman stepped up….. …………………………………………….. to get a few F’ing AB’s……………… give me a break…

      • blingboy says:

        Lance is probably enjoying the bus rides again. Memories. Having . . . . . fun!

      • southeast redbird says:

        Brian, that was a good article. I think that people get too worked up over spring training.

        I don’t think that Matt Adams expects to be on the opening day roster, this is just good experience for him and Berkman doesn’t really play hard until close to the end of spring training. He doesn’t have to either does he? I think he is along for the ride as he provides good experience just being with the younger guys (so I have heard).

        I hear that Adams is the real deal from people that have played with him, sort of the Prince Fielder type, uses his size to his advantage and most surprisingly very light on his feet. Defintely needs work at the position.

        Maybe the organization is so impressed with him (which they are) it was easier to let AP go?

        • Brian Walton says:

          Thanks, se. I highly doubt that Matt Adams entered into the equation of how much money to offer Albert. I sure hope not.

          • CariocaCardinal says:

            but haven’t you implied that one reason you thought they went all out to sign Yadi was lack of a strong option in the minors should he go elsewhere? That seems inconsistent.

          • southeast redbird says:

            Nothing to do with how much to offer AP, maybe other considerations.
            The organization needs a franchise player to replace AP , he might be the one.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Check back when he actually reaches the majors and has some success.

              • southeast redbird says:

                Will do as I guess no ones opinion about players counts .

                • Brian Walton says:

                  Everyone who posts has opinions. No one should expect that we will always agree (fortunately), though based on your first post, it looks like we are mostly in agreement about Adams. In many of these kinds of discussions, time will tell who is right, as in whether Adams will become a franchise player. Regarding Pujols departure, we’ll never know for sure if Adams was a factor. It is fine with me if we agree to disagree.

                  • southeast redbird says:

                    We don’t have to agree. No we don’t know what they were thinking but it could be that we have a good opportunity here. Hopefully they will do the right thing by him and not rush him there is no need to.
                    I know you have seen him play you can’t tell me he doesn’t show potential he will never be a pujols but he could grow into a good replacement. Much more so than matt carpenter.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    What I would like to see………… is this kid go wild……..like AP did……….or any other young prodigy…….. I would like to see him validate himself in games…….in competitor …..under pressure…… feeding of the color and grandeur of the Big Leagues………… I would like to see him become the feared bat off the bench………..that we have never had………… Craig became that in the playoffs last year……. why not use two this year………… Matt Carpenter isn’t the answer ………. Decalso is going to be backing everyone……why carry along a smuck like Cora when Descaslo and Green can both cover SS…….. lets teach Adams to be a killer…………. and set him about this task…………..working on his 3rd and 1st base chops everyday ……………….

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        teach him …………….. this kid is taking the ball away ……….. once he figures out how to set up for the inside pitch …………….. he will cause problems ……. Berkman could be a huge influence on this kid……….you can’t pay for that………… let it happen…….. let Lance fearlessly prepare the understudy ……….. Anything can happen to that kid in the minors …………… somebody might try to coach him…..

        I saw AP’s first two AB today…………….. both premeditated first pitch swings……….. short pop up for a sac fly because he had a speedster at third….committed way to soon…got off speed and still attempted contact…… second he got more off speed inside……..he decided to pull to the 3rd base hole…….missed completely and flared it off to center…….bloop single….just luck…………. there are some signs of struggle around him…Abreu……. the point is…AP is going mental instead of instinctual…………it what he did last year………. I will be curious to see if they can head him off……..he is getting input….and no doubt some kid glove treatment………. he is starting to gage the dugout reactions to his activities………… he is starting to feed………… bound to be fun…….

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          3rd ab he doubled……….he is taking it deeper…full extension……. he hit a pitchers pitch to the wall….low and away……….. he has been coached some there………. hope he hits 400 ………..

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Lets try……..making Big Matt…………………………………into…..a …… pitcher. A reverse …………….Babe Ruth………BD can have it both ways………

  4. blingboy says:

    Carp is officially missing his start next week. I’d say opening day is going to be out of the question.

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Komatsu cf

    Molina c

    Berkman dh

    Freese 3b

    Adams 1b

    Schumaker rf

    Greene 2b

    Chambers cf

    Cora ss

    Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinal-beat/molina-to-hit-second/article_ada58ff0-6abb-11e1-aeed-001a4bcf6878.html#ixzz1ojJ2Xu1i

    Many ways of looking at whats happening………………enjoy them…………. kind of cleans you pallet doesn’t it…………..

    • blingboy says:

      I like having the extra defender up the middle. But if they get around on Lohse we’ll be in trouble. :)

    • crdswmn says:

      Molina batting second? Is it April Fool’s Day already?

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Its actually kind of sweet CRD………………….. It little league psychology ………… you’re just like the other boys Yadi……………… He could be hitting 2nd…….and be DHing…..putting Anderson behind the plate……. that would be good………… Marlins big vulnerability is having us facing Johnson two or three times before the opener ……………… We’re sure sticking it to them…………

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