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Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: MATT CARPENTER 3B ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

For the second season in a row, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter makes the BUST list but this time it comes at a different position on the diamond.  Specifically, Carpenter earns the bust status at third base only in 2015, wheras he made the list at second base also a season ago.  While we could live with Carpenter at second base considering how shallow the position remains, at third base he stands out as a sizable draft bust for more than a few reasons.  So with that said let’s dig in a bit more on Carpenter in order to see why he made the bust team yet again.

It was only a few years ago in the 2013 season where Carpenter became a sensation as he almost won a batting title while hitting .318 for the Cardinals while primarily playing second base.  The fact he also scored a monstrous 126 runs helped push Carpenter to upper tier status at his position.  Unfortunately there were some red flags associated with that 2013 season which we used to put Carpenter on the bust list a year later when he would transition into the team’s starting third baseman.  What we correctly pointed out during this time was the fact banking on such a terrific batting average to repeat itself is always a recipe for fantasy baseball disaster.  Batting average is THE most volatile stat in the game, prone to swings due to poor BABIP luck and slumps.  Most of Carpenter’s value came in his batting average and the runs which also made him doubly risky.  Despite the fact he hit 11 home runs in that magical 2013, Carpenter came up the minor league ladder showing little home run pop which made those dingers look suspicious.  Finally, Carpenter has little to no speed which is a big negative when you consider that you want to get a large amount of your stolen bases from your middle infielders. 

So it was no shock when Carpenter pretty much went with the bust script in 2014 as he lost the precious second base eligibility and proceeded to see his batting average sink to a shaky .272 as opposing pitchers were much more careful throwing to him.  The power was sketchy as well as Carpenter hit only 8 home runs and stole all of 5 bases.  Thus when you broke it down, the 99 runs Carpenter scored were pretty much the only category he made an impact in.  When you throw in the fact he now no longer carries second base eligibility going into 2015 and one can easily see how overrated Carpenter is. 

The fact Carpenter carries only third base eligibility is a major deal for his fledgling value as his lack of power really stands out in a bad way there.  You at least want to get a 15-20 home run guy from your third baseman but Carpenter won’t come close to that standard.  Since he still doesn’t steal bases, Carpenter has to rely on a batting average rebound and his 100 runs scored to make another impact. 

When you put things all together, Matt Carpenter is a major bust waiting to happen at third base.  You could have gotten by with Carpenter’s shortcomings at second base but at the hot corner he is a major liability.  There is no reason to bother here as Carpenter won’t change his ability as a hitter at this stage of his prime.  What you see is what you get and right now that is not very impressive.

2015 PROJECTION:  .293 5 HR 53 RBI 104 R 4 SB

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