By Nolan Silbernagel on March 30, 2014
The St. Louis Cardinals boast one of the most complete lineups in the entire MLB with potential All-Stars at almost every position. See what each position player will bring to the plate when they bat for the Cards in 2014.
Having Matt Carpenter lead off will give St. Louis a huge advantage over the rest of the teams in the National League. As the reigning Hits champion, Carpenter should get on base very frequently and create ample RBI opportunities for the big bats behind him. With 199 hits last season, do not be surprised if the third baseman breaks the 200 mark in 2014.
Kolten Wong enters 2014 with the least amount of big-league experience in St. Louis' lineup as he only appeared in 32 games last year. However, he had an extremely impressive Spring Training as he owned a .375 batting average and smacked two homers to go along with nine RBIs. He might be unproven, but Wong could have the making to be a very serviceable second baseman for the Cardinals.
Matt Holiday represents the ideal, all-around hitter as he can hit for both power and average. He has hit at least 22 homers every year since 2006 and has batted over .300 six times during that stretch. Hitting third will in this stacked lineup should give home good RBI opportunities and protection at the plate so the Cardinals can expect similar consistent production in 2014.
Matt Adams provides a powerful bat that would fit perfectly in the cleanup spot for St. Louis. The young slugger hit 19 homers in only 108 games last year and he should have no problem hitting over 30 home runs with a full season in 2014.
Allen Craig saw his home-run production decrease from 22 long balls in 2012 to only 13 in 2013, but he was still as lethal as ever at the plate. He had career highs in RBIs (97) and batting average (.315) last season and there is no reason to think this young hitter will slow down in 2014. His high caliber production from the fifth slot will be hugely beneficial to St. Louis.
The fact that Yadier Molina, who finished third in the NL MVP voting in 2013, is probably going to bat sixth for the Cardinals this year proves how stacked of a lineup St. Louis has. Molina hit .319 last season with 12 homers, 80 RBIs and 44 doubles while playing the taxing position of catcher. Coming from such a weak offensive position, Molina gives the Cardinals a clear edge over any lineup.
Jhonny Peralta definitely represents the biggest Wild Card in this lineup as he is coming off a 2013 in which he was suspended for 50 games for using PEDs. The shortstop was putting up a great season before being suspended as he hit 11 homers, drove in 55 runs and batted a career-high .303. However, it will be interesting to see what he is able to bring to St. Louis post-PED suspension.
Peter Bourjos enters 2014 as the only new addition to St. Louis' lineup. The center fielder only has one full season under his belt when he played 147 games in 2011. He had 12 home runs, 43 RBIs, 22 stolen bases and batted .271 that year and the Cardinals should be very pleased to get that type of production from the last slot in their lineup.
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