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Talking Cardinals 2017 Draftees

Paducah-995-the-fan-200On Saturday morning, I joined host DJ Cleary’s weekend sports radio show in Paducah, Kentucky.

The primary subject was a look at the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2017 draft, both their penalty situation as well as key players selected. We also discussed a few of the top short-season players preparing to take the field this coming week as well as how the challenges facing the major league club may drive behavior as the trade deadline approaches.

Cleary’s show can be heard on Paducah’s 99.5 FM from 8-10 a.m. CT each weekend. You can listen live on @995TheFan,  or the Tune In Radio app by searching for WPAD. Follow DJ on Twitter @DJCleary5.

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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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13 Responses to “Talking Cardinals 2017 Draftees”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    After finally shedding weight and Mike Matheny, Matt Adams is hitting superbly for the Braves.

    The cards seemed to give up on Adams during 2016, shifting Carpenter to first. This finally motivated Adams to shape up. We unloaded him for a low A prospect without testing if slimmed Adams could hit. The Braves gave him opportunity to earn a lot of money next year. Great for Adams.

    • Brian Walton says:

      The Braves will also prosper, trading Adams for prospects this summer when Freddie Freeman is healthy. The Cards have to hope for good things from 19-year-old Juan Yepez, who has five HRs in 21 games, but also eight errors in 19 games at 3B for Peoria.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        One problem with the lineup is too many right swingers. Piscotty, Gyorko, Diaz, Molina, Pham, Grichuk. It’s up to Fowler, Carpenter, and Wong to do damage against RHPs. Gyorko and grichuk are not high On base guys. Piscotty is still learning. The best offense would have been slimmed Adams at first, Carpenter at 3rd, and Gyorko off the bench.
        Adams has an the tight swing of a good hitter. After he finally shaped up, the Cardinals would have been well served to try him again at first.
        It’s hard to reverse course. They moved carpenter to first and gave him a long deal. They lost patience with Adams’ fitness. To better compete in 2017, however, they would have been well served to factor Adams’ reshaping, but such was not to be.

  2. Brian Walton says:

    I have heard and read nothing about Adams’ fitness causing the team to lose patience in him. In fact, there were stories many different springs over the years about how Adams was reporting to camp in his best shape ever. I know because I wrote a couple of them.

    Fitness was not the issue.

    He was in his sixth year with the team, having been given many chances to prove he was an every day player and could not do it consistently on the field. Ultimately, he was traded because he was blocked – and he was blocked because the Cardinals preferred Carpenter over him.

    I do think it is fair to wonder why there is such a difference in Adams’ results in 26 games with Atlanta (1.013 OPS) vs. his immediately preceding 31 games with St. Louis (.735) this season. If he had been OPSing 1.013 here, he would still be here.

    One thing I know for sure is that his fitness level was the same in both cities.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      I read stories too about how hard Adams worked out in the offseason during his early years. He had a trainer and I do not doubt he worked out very hard. He also did not appear to shed much weight.
      He did visibly change by spring 2017. He shed enough weight that even his facial appearance changed. I was surprised by a facial photo. He may have followed a new dietary regimen?

      One season was curtailed by tearing a muscle running to second on an easy double. That had to damage his standing with the team because we need durable players. We added Moss who was more durable. I don’t have any problem with carpenter or moss over bulky Adams. Bulky Adams did not look like an everyday defender and sometimes landed on the DL.

      Slimmed 2017 Adams was stuck behind Carpenter, until given steady at bats by the Braves. My guess is slimmed Adams could hit the same with the Cards as with the Braves. A famous architect had an expression, less is more; this as proved so for Matt Adams too. Too bad adams did not shed some pounds years earlier.

  3. blingboy says:

    Adams market value must have been rock bottom to have ended up going to a team just looking for a fill in for a few months. He can’t say he didn’t get a chance here. A guy has to be prepared to jump on a chance when it comes, not expect a team to create a chance for him when he wants one. Needless to say, the team stunk before he left an it still does. No hope in sight, but Mo’s new ferns in the dugout are nice.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      The problem for the Cards is they did not understand that their highest upside hitter on the roster was a newly slimmed down first baseman. That’s a talent evaluation problem. You need to know your own people.

      • Brian Walton says:

        Between spring and the regular season, the slimmed down Adams had well over 100 plate appearances, not to mention the 1500 in the five years before that. He hit nothing like he is in Atlanta. I don’t think evaluation is the problem and more than weight.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          The 1500 at bats with a bad body are irrelevant, agreed.

          One lame idea by Ortiz at the dispatch is Atlanta has a better hitting coach than Mabry. No, Adams has always had a good swing. His uptick has nothing to do with Atlantans coaches. Rather he finally shed unhelpful poundage.

          • Brian Walton says:

            You often look for nice tidy ways to tie up loose ends and rationalize things that are often far more complicated. This is another such example.

            I bet even Adams himself cannot explain.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Adams has an iOS of 993 with the braves. I am not surprised in the slightest. He has a good swing.

              I would be surprised if Grichuk or Brandon Moss were to hit as well as Brave Adams. I don’t think they can. They uppercut too much and strike out. Adams has a short stroke and will take a single.

              I am surprised Adams lost some weight. I never would have predicted that. But the hitting is zero surprise. It’s why I did not like trading a slimmer Adams.

              It’s not inexplicable. Sometimes a simple answer is correct.

              Adams might twist a hamstring tomorrow. That would not be surprising either. But if he can stay healthy at a lower weight, then I predict he can keep an ops above 900, what mo used to say he wanted at first base.

              • Brian Walton says:

                Adams says what is behind his recent success is playing everyday against RHP and LHP, giving him rhythm and timing as well as confidence. His body size was not mentioned by Adams (or his manager). But what does he know? He should just ask you.

  4. cardstatman says:

    PA at 1B for STL since 2013 (from fangraphs).
    1299 Matt Adams
    475 Allen Craig (2013-14)
    429 Matt Carpenter (2016-2017)
    311 Mark Reynolds (2015)
    284 Brandon Moss (2015 and late 2014)
    Nobody else had more than 50 PA.

    Adams spent 15 days in 2013, 15 days in 2014, 105 days in 2015, and 23 days in 2016 on the DL. That’s practically a full season missed and there were other times when he was not on the DL but wasn’t fully healthy (quad, shoulder).

    If he lacked playing time, it was due to his being on the DL a lot early and later due to being below average in 2015-16 such that the Cardinals decided to replace him with Matt Carpenter at 1B, Peralta/Gyorko at 3B, and Wong at 2B.

    His current hot streak could never have occurred with STL unless Carpenter got hurt. The Cards traded low this time… unless they know something about Yepez.

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