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Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: MATT CARPENTER 2B ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

                                                            Matt Carpenter

Every drafting season in fantasy baseball brings some new names to the forefront of the various position rankings and one such case can clearly be seen in the second base hierarchy which includes the St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter.  After being given the stating second baseman's job right from the start of the 2013 season, Carpenter put together a terrific year that garnered some low end MVP consideration.  The ultimate result puts Carpenter into the top ten of the 2014 fantasy baseball second baseman and thus has turned him into a trusted option when only one year ago he was nothing but a curiosity.  Before we delve into what we could expect out of Carpenter heading into this season, let's rehash his 2013 numbers.

.318 average
11 HR
78 RBI
126 R
3 SB
626 at-bats.

When looking into those numbers, what quickly jumps out is the classic leadoff skills that Carpenter employs such as major gains in average and runs scored.  Carpenter was in the batting title race for a good portion of 2013 and his very low K rate and high walk rate makes him almost a lock to hit .300 and likely do better.  In addition, the always productive Cardinals batting lineup allows Carpenter to cross home plate with regularity as he led all of baseball in that stat last season with 126.  It is those two stats where Carpenter gains his most value.  From there things get a little dicey however.  Expecting Carpenter to repeat the 78 RBI he had out of the leadoff spot this season is asking a ton and it is not likely to be repeated.  The 11 home runs were nice from a second baseman but not so much when you factor in that Carpenter got them in an extreme 626 at-bats.  Finally, Carpenter supplies very little in the stolen base department as he swiped only 3 bags in 6 attempts in all of those at-bats last season.  When you consider that your best strategy is to get a bunch of your team steals from your middle infielders, Carpenter is a big negative there.  The kid clearly has limitations but he also has excellence in certain aspects of the game.

Overall, Matt Carpenter is our number 7 ranked second baseman for 2014 fantasy baseball.  His lack of steals is a drawback and honestly you can argue Carpenter is a two-category guy who can do enough to help in two others while being a big zero in another.  As long as you structure the rest of your team to make up for the steals Carpenter won't provide, you can't really do wrong with investing in the guy this season.  Solid and steady is the best way to summarize  his total outlook for this season.

2014 PROJECTION:  .315 10 HR 67 RBI 117 R 4 SB

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