As mentioned earlier in this series, one upside of the multitude of injuries suffered by St. Louis Cardinals starters Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Matt Adams in 2015 was the creation of playing time for three rookies.
Randal Grichuk had used his power bat to make the Cardinals out of spring training. He remained with the club all season, getting double-digit numbers starts at all three outfield positions. By the end of the season, the 24-year-old had essentially earned the starting job in center.
Stephen Piscotty was called up in late July and in an unusual situation for any call up, never returned to the minors. The former Stanford standout saw time in both corner outfield spots, first base and even made an appearance in center.
Ironically, when Grichuk went onto the disabled list for the second time, in August, it opened the door for the return from Triple-A of a third outfielder, Tommy Pham. Pham essentially stepped in for his fellow rookie and immediately contributed down the stretch.
Coming into the season, The Cardinal Nation had Grichuk and Piscotty ranked among the system’s top five prospects with Pham at 13.
Here is the tale of the numbers. In aggregate, they contributed 29 home runs, 104 RBI and all told, an impressive 5.6 bWAR.
|Outfielders (Top 40)||bWAR||PA||HR||RBI||BA||BABIP||OBP||BB%||SLG||XBH%||OPS||SO%|
|Randal Grichuk (4)||3.2||350||17||47||0.276||0.365||0.329||6.3%||0.548||13.4%||0.877||31.4%|
|Stephen Piscotty (5)||0.9||256||7||39||0.305||0.372||0.359||7.8%||0.494||10.2%||0.853||21.9%|
|Tommy Pham (13)||1.5||173||5||18||0.268||0.333||0.347||11.0%||0.477||9.8%||0.824||23.7%|
Together, the three rookie outfielders were significant contributors to the 100-win 2015 Cardinals – to the point they are all currently expected to be members of the 2016 opening 25-man roster.
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