With the 2013 MLB season right around the corner, the St. Louis Cardinals are looking to strengthen their weakest spot on the field, and that position is at 2nd base. The Cardinals have toyed around with different players at that position the past couple of seasons, using the likes of Skip Schumaker, who was lost to free agency to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pete Kozma, & Daniel Descalso.
This past week at the Cardinals’ Spring Training camp in Jupiter, FL, third base/infield coach Jose Oquendo has been practicing with Matt Carpenter, who has been primarily used as a part-time first and third baseman, and occasional outfielder. Carpenter, who has shown potential with his bat, has never played second base before, and has been anxious to get his practice in to show the Cardinals that he has what it takes to be the future secpnd baseman for the Cardinals.
In 2012, Carpenter played in 114 games with 296 at bats, six HR’s, 46 RBI’s, and a .294 AVG. He was used primarily at first base last season to help fill in for Lance Berkman, and Allen Craig, who both served time on the DL. At 6’3″, Carpenter would be considered big for second base, but he has shown he is agile, and showed decent speed last season when he hit for five triples, which trailed only Daniel Descalso‘s seven for the Cardinals lead in 2012.
I do think Carpenter would be the best fit out of who the Cardinals have, provided he has the talent to be consistent at second base, but this is a work in progress, and it’ll take a lot to show the Cardinals he can be the man.
A threat to him and anyone else hoping to acquire the second base job is the Cardinals No. 4 minor league prospect, Kolten Wong, and a lot of people have been watching this young man for quite some time. At 22-years old, Wong has showed promising potential both offensively and defensively, and many believe he is the future at second base for the Cardinals.
In 2012 for the Double A Springfield Cardinals, Wong hit with a .287 AVG, with nine HR’s, six triples, and 52 RBI’s. In MLB’s Top 100 Prospects, Wong ranks at No. 49, and is rated No. 1 in MLB’s Top 10 2nd base prospects. Wong has also showed he has great speed, by stealing 21 bases last season.
At 5’9″, and 190lbs, Wong is considerably smaller than Carpenter, and a lot quicker too, which helps tremendously playing 2nd base. Wong, has also played second base for a number of years, which also gives him more experience than Carpenter already has. Wong has not wasted any time at pleasing the Cardinals organization in terms of talent, and it shouldn’t be long before we see him called up to St. Louis.
For Cardinals Nation, if you’re not too terribly pleased with the talent that the Cardinals are showing right now, be patient, the up-and-coming stars in the Cardinals farm system should provide some energy and excitement for many of years to come.
For those of you who aren’t too familiar with Wong, get your Google fired up and start typing his name in. It’s a name you’re going to be hearing about for sometime to come.
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