Cardinals Farm Report

Matt Carpenter
Third Baseman
Springfield Cardinals
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 200 lbs
Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Just like every Saturday here on i70baseball, the Cardinals Farm Report spotlights one of the prized Cardinal minor leaguers. This week, it is Matt Carpenter, who very well could be the best Cardinal hitter in the Minors.Just a year and a couple months ago, Matt Carpenter was drafted in the 13th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Now he’s making everybody do a double-take. In his first professional season, the other “Carp” hit .309/.418/.471 with 93 runs, 31 doubles, 13 home runs, 69 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and 90 walks. He started the year in Palm Beach but quickly go the call-up to Springfield. Again, this is his first year in the Minors.

The interesting thing about this kid is that, even with so little Minor league experience, he seems ready. In fact, I believe he’s by far the most MLB-ready prospect lower than AAA in the Cardinals organization. His defense has room to improve, but when you’re talking about his bat, there isn’t much you can say other than “wow”.

The big knock on him heading into the season was his power, but that has obviously improved as well. His 13 home runs and .471 SLG indicated there is some pop in that bat. He won’t be a 25 home run guy in the Majors, but I think 10-15 is reasonable. He’ll be a top of the order player that should always have a high OBP due to his great plate discipline and judgement.

The think that intrigues me the most about Carpenter, is what happens next year. First of all, will he be ready for his Major League debut in 2011? Freese is an injury waiting to happen and we are not very deep at third base in St. Louis. Freese is the only true third baseman of the bunch, and if he hits the disabled list yet again, does Matt get the call up?

I say give it a shot. I have never been a fan of rushing players to the big leagues, and I understand that this would be rushing him to the big leagues. However, he shows incredible polish. Especially at the plate. He’s an extremely mature player who very well could end up being a .300 hitter for STL in the future.

The other big thing that I wonder about is what happens when Zack Cox makes his way to AAA and eventually the Majors? I would hate to see either one of them traded, so I do not condone that whatsoever. The move that should be made is Zack Cox to second base. The Cardinals are obviously struggling in the middle infield department and Cox could be the savior. He has second base experience, so don’t think I’m just pulling this out of thin air. And if that is what the organization is planning on doing, he needs to start next season at second base. Not third. He needs to play one position and stick with it. He’s one of our top prospects and we cannot afford to mess around with him defensively.

In the long run, I honestly think we’re looking at a future Major League third baseman. A successful one. Mainly because his approach at the plate. It’s so refined, so impressive. By far the best in the organization, and one of the best I’ve ever studied. His approach reminds me so much of Scott Hatteburg’s, and that is saying an awful lot.

Keep an eye on this one, people. He’s flying under the radar as a prospect, but I can assure you that will not last long.

AAA-Memphis Redbirds
PLAYOFF record to date: 3-2 — This past week: 0-2, PCL Championship didn’t get off to a great start for the ‘Birds — Coming up: Memphis will continue the PCL Championship series with Tacoma.
AA-Springfield Cardinals
PLAYOFF record: 2-3 — This past week: 1-2, the Cardinals’ season came to an end with a loss to NW Arkansas
Matt Carpenter, 3B, Springfield
.500 AVG (6-for-12), .583 OBP, .932 SLG, 5 runs, 1 double, 1 home run, 4 RBI
Wasn’t I just talking about this guy? Seriously, he’s unbelievable at the dish. Very, very impressive. In the regular season, Carp hit .308/.418/.471 with 93 runs, 31 doubles, 13 home runs, and 69 RBI in 495 at bats.
Brian Broderick, SP, Springfield
W, 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 5 strikeouts
Is it just me, or does it seem like Broderick receives this award two or three times a month? In 26 appearances in the 2010 regular season, Broderick was 14-7 with a 3.66 ERA and 92 SO in 150 innings.

Justin Hulsey covers the Cardinals for i70baseball and his blogs, Cardinals Front Office and Rising Redbirds, that are also dedicated to Cardinals baseball and their minor league system.You may follow him on Twitter @JayHulsey by clicking here.

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