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

TCN blog 2013 top story #4: Matt Carpenter’s rise

As 2013 began, Matt Carpenter was still known by many St. Louis Cardinals observers as the “other” Carpenter. By the end of the season, he cemented his place in the Cardinals lineup and in fans’ hearts. With the retirement of veteran Chris Carpenter this fall, he can now be “Carp” for years to come.

What the now-28-year-old accomplished this past year was nothing short of amazing. While learning a new position, second base, Carpenter participated in a team-best 157 games and played solid defense.

Before long, manager Mike Matheny moved the former TCU star into the leadoff spot in his lineup. From there, Carpenter started 136 games while delivering a high on-base percentage of .398 (compared to his overall mark of .392).

Overall among all major leaguers in 2013, Carpenter finished first in runs (126), hits (199), doubles (55), multi-hit games (63) and tied for most three-hit games (18).

Carpenter was named a National League All-Star and ranked in the following spots among NL leaders: batting average (fifth, .318), on-base percentage (seventh, .392), walks (tied for ninth, 72), extra base hits (third, 73), total bases (third, .301), triples (seventh, seven), singles (fifth, 126) and sacrifice flies (tied for fifth, seven).

Like most of his Cardinals offensive teammates, Carpenter slowed in the post-season. He batted just .237 (15-for-69), including 17 strikeouts and just four extra base hits.

Following the World Series, Carpenter was announced as the fourth-place finisher in the NL Most Valuable Player voting, and was named as high as second on six ballots. He was included on all 30 ballots with 27 of the voters placing him sixth or higher.

Returning to third base defensively in 2014, what can Carpenter accomplish as an encore?

Link to The Cardinal Nation Blog’s top 20 stories of the year countdown

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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16 Responses to “TCN blog 2013 top story #4: Matt Carpenter’s rise”

  1. […] year 6. La Russa’s unanimous Hall selection 5. Wainwright’s continuing leadership 4. Matt Carpenter’s rise 3. 2. […]

  2. Bw52 says:

    Solid defense.continue getting on base.Hit .300,drive in 70 Runs and provide 35 or so doubles.That would be a solid season.

  3. blingboy says:

    “Yasiel Puig was arrested near Naples, Fla., after officers clocked him driving at 110 miles per hour in a 70-m.p.h. zone”

    From NY Times

  4. Bw52 says:

    Fidel doesn`t have speed limits? Isn`t that where Puig learned to drive?

    • Brian Walton says:

      Well, Fidel is retired and Raul is in charge now, but that isn’t the issue. My guess is that Puig did not own a car in Cuba, but if he did, it was probably a pre-1959 one. The auto ownership laws there are very restrictive, but were just relaxed a bit. Details here.

      • blingboy says:

        I can’t imagine what would have happened if somebody had given me millions of dollars when I was 22. Well, actually, I can imagine it.

        • crdswmn says:

          As I expected, the response to Puig’s arrest was a little bit of mild rebuke, but mostly a who cares. Enabling of bad behavior by popular athletes is pretty typical. I just hope the enabling doesn’t end badly.

          • Brian Walton says:

            I haven’t read up on the responses, but they probably aren’t much different than we saw when Freese went off-roading.

            • crdswmn says:

              Oh yes they are. Freese was skewered, especially on the PD. The response to Puig has basically been “who cares, everybody speeds”.

              • blingboy says:

                LA and Florida aren’t St. Louis. Our media isn’t used to celebs doing what they do. They should be signing autographs in pediatric wards when they aren’t singing in the chior.

                • crdswmn says:

                  True, but Puig isn’t getting much censure even from Cardinals fans. Mostly it is just a shrug. This is the second time this year this has happened to Puig and if it happens again and someone gets hurt or killed…..well things will have to be different but it will be too late.

                  Freese was subject to accusations of drinking, paying off the cops, and every other conspiracy theory folks could cook up. Guess it’s more fun to lambast the local boy. Puig is just an annoyance.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    Matt Carpenter was indeed a huge success story in 2013. Also, an unlikely one. Little sought after by scouts, undrated as a junior, regarded as too old or not powerful enough for 3B. He has turned out to be exceptionally motivated and to be a modern Wade Boggs, a high average left swinging 3B. Hard work makes good.

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