First Things First: Besides writing about the St. Louis Cardinals for Rant Sports, I am also the main contributor for the Tampa Bay Rays as well. And I just finished up the AL’s version of Baseball America’s best Tools list. But my “First Things First” for that article is very similar to this one. How great would it be if Major League Baseball would add a 2nd Wildcard to each League? The race for that last Wildcard spot would be great in both the AL & NL. In the NL, the San Francisco Giants would lead the Cardinals for the last Wildcard spot by just a 1/2 game.
Alright, not to the business at hand. Baseball America comes out with a Best Tools list for each League every year – and it is voted on by the Managers of that particular League. Baseball America gives the Top 3 for tons of different categories – Sooooo….here is the list of Cardinals that made the list:
Albert Pujols was voted:
#1 for Best Hitter
#3 for Best Power, behind Milwaukee Brewers 1st Baseman Prince Fielder and the young slugging OF of the Florida Marlins, Mike Stanton
#2 for Best Strike Zone Judgement behind only Cincinnati Reds All-Star 1st Baseman Joey Votto
Tied for 2nd as the NL’s Most Exciting Player with Los Angeles Dodgers OF Matt Kemp…the #1 – New York Mets oft-injured Jose Reyes (I feel like you need to be on the field to be exciting – but who am I?)
2nd Best Defensive 1st Baseman behind Reds Joey Votto
Chris Carpenter was voted to have the 2nd best curveball in the NL behind the Dodgers young ace Clayton Kershaw
Cardinals Yadier Molina was voted Best Defensive Catcher
Newly acquired Shortstop Rafael Furcal was voted 3rd Best Infield Arm behind Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki & Jose Reyes
It’s great for the Cardinals to be listed here…but I would say the bad news is this Cardinals fans. Pujols could be playing for another organization in 2012, Carpenter is 37 years old and a free agent at the end of this year and Furcal is a free agent, rarely is healthy and is approaching his mid 30’s. Not a great sign for the future of the Redbirds.