Last year Matt Carpenter had 44 extra-base hits in 130 games for the Memphis Redbirds. This year Matt Carpenter has five extra-base hits in eight games for the St. Louis Cardinals. You probably like him now! Here are some bullet points about Matt Carpenter, in case you haven't been following the minor leagues obsessively for the past three years. (If you'd like to, visit Future Redbirds right now.)
- He's actually best known for not having any power, and walking pretty much all the time, which is why it's odd that he's got five extra-base hits and one walk this year. Not that I'm complaining. The Best Shape of His Life narrative was that Mark McGwire was trying to get him to change his swing to produce more line drives and fewer slow-guy-texas-leaguers, which were his old stock in trade.
- He's 26—he started relatively late and was blocked all last year by David Freese and Daniel Descalso.
- He's a third baseman by training, and an outfielder by means of being blocked by David Freese and having first-rounder Zack Cox behind him on the depth chart.
- Something something no batting gloves. (There's a novelty account.)
No batting gloves, no problem.— Batting Gloves (@NoBattingGloves) April 15, 2012