Next up on our position countdown is perhaps the most reliable position in the Cardinals lineup: third base.
Matt Carpenter, in the midst of his career at 29 years old, is one of the most consistent hitters in the lineup and, barring injuries, will hold down this position and play it well for the Cardinals. Overshadowed by some of the other stars around the league like Josh Donaldson or Kris Bryant, Carpenter might be one of the most underrated players at his position, possibly all of baseball.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) March 29, 2016
In 2015, Carpenter hit .272 with 28 homeruns and 84 RBIs, with the majority oh his at-bats coming from the leadoff. He also boasted an impressive 3.9 WAR. However, perhaps the most encouraging statistic is the fact that Carpenter led the team in games played at 152. This shows that he is a durable and dependable player playing in one of the hardest positions on the team.
Matt Carpenter was good as contact hitter, but he's great as power hitter – ESPN https://t.co/r17mGBxMkD
— StL Cardinals new (@StLCardinalsnew) March 18, 2016
I predict that in 2016, Carpenter will hit for around the same average, but unfortunately his homerun number might drop a little. His total of 28 last year was a career high and he previous career high was only 11. However, because he doesn’t have a true backup, he will likely lead the team in games played again. If he can do so and hit for a decent average, that’s all the Cardinals’ need.
Behind Carpenter on the depth chart is Jedd Gyorko. Gyroko is a utility infielder who can play many positions and will likely play wherever he is needed. Last year on the San Diego Padres, he mainly played 2nd base and batted .247 in 128 games.
Cardinals’ fans shouldn’t worry about third base at all. Carpenter is very durable and consistent and behind him is a capable backup who can hit. This is a position of strength for the Cardinals this year.