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Matt Carpenter

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  • Matt Carpenter

    2016 is Matt Carpenter's sixth big league campaign. Already 30 years old, the infielder has been an All-Star three times, earned MVP votes twice (with a fourth place finish in 2013) and won one Silver Slugger Award. In 2012, he finished sixth in Rookie of the Year balloting. He owns a career 132 OPS+ and .381 on-base percentage.

    His brief stint in 2011 did not accurately presage his succeeding campaigns -- in 15 at-bats, he had just one hit. The next year, he batted .294 in 114 games and in 2013, he led the league in hits (199), runs (126), doubles (55) and slashed .318/.392/.481. Proving he wasn't a one-year wonder, he paced the loop with 709 plate appearances and 95 walks (to go along with 99 runs scored) in 2014 and was again league-leader in doubles, with 101 runs and a to date career-high 28 home runs, in 2015. This year, he is leading the league in OBP with a .420 mark.

    He's not just a regular season performer, either. Though his career slash line in the playoffs is a meager .243/.300/.449, he has shown flashes of excellence. In the 2012 NLCS, he slashed .333/.500/.778 and in the 2014 NLDS, he hit .375/.412/1.125 with three home runs and seven RBI.

    Defensively, he led the league in double plays turned at second in 2013.

    Among all active players with 2,000 or more plate appearances, he ranks 11th in on-base percentage and 18th in OPS+.

    What are your thoughts on Matt Carpenter? Should he make the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible? Does he have Hall of Fame potential? Did he ever have Hall of Fame potential?
    12
    Yes
    0.00%
    0
    No
    75.00%
    9
    Maybe
    0.00%
    0
    Not a Hall of Famer, but he HAS Hall of Fame potential
    25.00%
    3
    Not a Hall of Famer, but he HAD Hall of Fame potential at one point
    0.00%
    0

  • #2
    Saw the name and I immediately said no. Matt Carpenter is certainly underrated and may be people's pet Hall of Fame candidate 20 years from now, but he has almost zero recognition for anything he's done.
    46 wins to match last year's total

    Comment


    • #3
      I clicked potential, though it is very slim. I cannot say no, as he has have some league leaderships in baseball card categories which are nice. He is what appears to be an average fielding 2B/3B. That won't help with the WAR, as that becomes more and more of a litmus test. However, he does play for the Cardinals who have been near annual post-season visitors despite changing over the roster over the past decade. If he keeps racking up 100 R seasons, perhaps with .300 average and 200H, gets a few post season highlights, becomes the lasting centerpiece of a Cardinal mini-dynasty it could happen. It is unlikely as he broke in kinda late at 27. That means the traditional upward trajectory years were in the minors and what we have is what usually is a player's peak seasons also being his first seasons. So I can't say totally no way not ever can I see it and, as such, I say potential.

      Of course if I actually paid attention to who is getting elected in the last twenty years I should just say HECK NO! Gary Carter, who is on almost every top ten, if not top five, all-time catchers list took several years to get in. It will be hard if you are not Pujols, Jeter or a 3000 hit guy to get in from the stars of the 00s. I am not sure things will change for the players of the 10s.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SamtheBravesFan View Post
        Saw the name and I immediately said no. Matt Carpenter is certainly underrated and may be people's pet Hall of Fame candidate 20 years from now, but he has almost zero recognition for anything he's done.
        Really? He's won a ROY award, been on three AS teams, and finished 4th and 12th in MVP voting. Not bad for a guy who's really had only three or maybe four good seasons under his belt.
        The bad part is that he's already 30 years old. To be a HOFer he would have to continue the quality he has displayed this year for at least five more seasons (not likely).

        Comment


        • #5
          Carpenter may be top 5 most underrated players in baseball. That being said, he started late, will hit zero major milestones, and the thing he is best at (OB%) is still cast aside as some nerd stat by a massive portion of voters.

          No chance.

          He did not win a ROTY award, BTW. Has no awards.
          1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

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          The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
          The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

          Comment


          • #6
            Bothrops is spot on, great player, broke in too late sadly.
            Jacquelyn Eva Marchand (1983-2017)
            http://www.tezakfuneralhome.com/noti...uelyn-Marchand

            Comment


            • #7
              He missed some time to injury, but still managed a 135 OPS+ and 36 doubles this season. His most similar comp through age 30 is Corey Koskie, so that doesn't bode well for his Hall of Fame chances.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
                I clicked potential, though it is very slim. I cannot say no, as he has have some league leaderships in baseball card categories which are nice. He is what appears to be an average fielding 2B/3B. That won't help with the WAR, as that becomes more and more of a litmus test. However, he does play for the Cardinals who have been near annual post-season visitors despite changing over the roster over the past decade. If he keeps racking up 100 R seasons, perhaps with .300 average and 200H, gets a few post season highlights, becomes the lasting centerpiece of a Cardinal mini-dynasty it could happen. It is unlikely as he broke in kinda late at 27. That means the traditional upward trajectory years were in the minors and what we have is what usually is a player's peak seasons also being his first seasons. So I can't say totally no way not ever can I see it and, as such, I say potential.

                Of course if I actually paid attention to who is getting elected in the last twenty years I should just say HECK NO! Gary Carter, who is on almost every top ten, if not top five, all-time catchers list took several years to get in. It will be hard if you are not Pujols, Jeter or a 3000 hit guy to get in from the stars of the 00s. I am not sure things will change for the players of the 10s.
                HOF voting is capricious. Carter should have been first ballot. I still marvel at Dawson making it while Dale Murphy, his superior contemporary, didn't.

                Matt Carpenter will likely have some break out seasons if he stays healthy. His batted ball numbers are among the best in the game. Though he's less of a contact hitter than he was earlier in his career, his hard hit numbers are among the best in the game. His HR/FB % should go up. His line drive % remains elite.

                His K% spiked in 2012 when he began employing his new power approach. It decreased last season and his contact numbers rose, though not to the elite level they were his first couple seasons. He seemed to have begun to integrate contact and power more effectively.

                I think he'll have a few really good seasons. It's not likely he'll make the HOF, but if he stays healthy I think he has a better shot than most here think.


                "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mongoose View Post

                  HOF voting is capricious. Carter should have been first ballot. I still marvel at Dawson making it while Dale Murphy, his superior contemporary, didn't.

                  Matt Carpenter will likely have some break out seasons if he stays healthy. His batted ball numbers are among the best in the game. Though he's less of a contact hitter than he was earlier in his career, his hard hit numbers are among the best in the game. His HR/FB % should go up. His line drive % remains elite.

                  His K% spiked in 2012 when he began employing his new power approach. It decreased last season and his contact numbers rose, though not to the elite level they were his first couple seasons. He seemed to have begun to integrate contact and power more effectively.

                  I think he'll have a few really good seasons. It's not likely he'll make the HOF, but if he stays healthy I think he has a better shot than most here think.
                  Bump.!!!!!!

                  Carpenter's contact numbers are down again, from close to 90% when he broke in, to 77% this season so far. His hard hit % is currently 51.2%, though, according to Fangraphs. That's the best in the game. 76.4% of his contact is in the air. That's also the best in the game.

                  You could see a transformation like this in progress when I made my earlier post.

                  He's sold out batting average and doubles for home runs, at the cost of more strikeouts. As a consequence, his situational hitting has declined from elite levels his first couple seasons, to more average levels. I'm probably the only person on this board who pays attention to situational hitting, though, and might question the utility of the sacrifice. I guess it depends on whether the extra times he drives himself in exceed the amount he'd previously driven others in.

                  I think most would agree, though, this is a break out season. His power is now elite, and though his strikeout % is now fairly high, it's an order of magnitude lower than players like Joey Gallo or Aaron Judge.
                  Last edited by Mongoose; 08-10-2018, 02:30 AM.


                  "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mongoose View Post

                    Bump.!!!!!!

                    Carpenter's contact numbers are down again, from close to 90% when he broke in, to 77% this season so far. His hard hit % is currently 51.2%, though, according to Fangraphs. That's the best in the game. 76.4% of his contact is in the air. That's also the best in the game.

                    You could see a transformation like this in progress when I made my earlier post.

                    He's sold out batting average and doubles for home runs, at the cost of more strikeouts. As a consequence, his situational hitting has declined from elite levels his first couple seasons, to more average levels. I'm probably the only person on this board who pays attention to situational hitting, though, and might question the utility of the sacrifice. I guess it depends on whether the extra times he drives himself in exceed the amount he'd previously driven others in.

                    I think most would agree, though, this is a break out season. His power is now elite, and though his strikeout % is now fairly high, it's an order of magnitude lower than players like Joey Gallo or Aaron Judge.
                    Has the highest wRC+ in baseball over the last 30 days.

                    Profile at Baseball Savant shows a huge jump in barrel % to 14.7, in the top 15 of MLB, his exit velocity is up 2 mph from last year, and his xwoba and xwobabacon are top 5: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savan...-r-hitting-mlb
                    Great year for Carpenter so far.
                    Jacquelyn Eva Marchand (1983-2017)
                    http://www.tezakfuneralhome.com/noti...uelyn-Marchand

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is only the seventh full-time season of Carpenter's career and he turns 33 this November. He has only started 70 games or more at a given position within the same year four times, effectively being a utility infielder throughout his career. While this does not mean Carpenter's defense is necessarily poor, his inability to excel at one position defensively and remain there will detract from his case. Assuming the unlikely event of essentially doubling his career numbers by the time he turns 40, Carpenter would have approximately 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 250 home runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 walks. Let's (unrealistically) also posit that his OPS+ doesn't drop much throughout his thirties; Carp would be lucky to sport a career OPS+ around 125. That's a very good major league career, but for a guy who rarely played at an MVP level (this year looking to likely be his best ever), there isn't a great peak to distinguish him from other players with similar numbers. This is, of course, a superficial analysis. The point is that you don't need to do a deep dive to realize that Carpenter hasn't been great enough, nor is likely to be good enough for long enough, to put him on a Hall of Fame path by the time all is said and done. A very good player to have on your team and one who provides a lot of value for his club, but he would have to further improve his performance to likely be worthy of Hall conversation. That said, he might be lucky to fashion a solid enough career to stay on the ballot a second year. Had he been on this career pace since the age of 22 or 23, then we're looking at a different candidacy. Unfortunately for Carpenter, that's not the case.
                      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
                        This is only the seventh full-time season of Carpenter's career and he turns 33 this November. He has only started 70 games or more at a given position within the same year four times, effectively being a utility infielder throughout his career. While this does not mean Carpenter's defense is necessarily poor, his inability to excel at one position defensively and remain there will detract from his case. Assuming the unlikely event of essentially doubling his career numbers by the time he turns 40, Carpenter would have approximately 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 250 home runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 walks. Let's (unrealistically) also posit that his OPS+ doesn't drop much throughout his thirties; Carp would be lucky to sport a career OPS+ around 125. That's a very good major league career, but for a guy who rarely played at an MVP level (this year looking to likely be his best ever), there isn't a great peak to distinguish him from other players with similar numbers. This is, of course, a superficial analysis. The point is that you don't need to do a deep dive to realize that Carpenter hasn't been great enough, nor is likely to be good enough for long enough, to put him on a Hall of Fame path by the time all is said and done. A very good player to have on your team and one who provides a lot of value for his club, but he would have to further improve his performance to likely be worthy of Hall conversation. That said, he might be lucky to fashion a solid enough career to stay on the ballot a second year. Had he been on this career pace since the age of 22 or 23, then we're looking at a different candidacy. Unfortunately for Carpenter, that's not the case.
                        Similar situation to Murphy, who I also predicted would break out into an elite hitter. The hard hit percentages are remarkable, and he's squaring up the ball to a near 30% line drive rate when he makes contact. Both reached their peaks a bit late. Both, probably Carpenter moreso, have been excellent underrated hitters their whole careers.

                        Carpenter's performance this season is who he is now. With health it's sustainable for a few more seasons. Ultimately Murphy was able to boost his hard hit and fly ball percentages without losing any of his contact skills, so if healthy, he'd put up slightly better offense. I think batted ball numbers are among the most honest, and they suggest Carpenter might be the best hitter in the Majors right now. Carpenter is at his career peak, and it portends to be a very good one; for an infielder, this is a HOF type season. The way his batted ball numbers have trended, his performance is no fluke.

                        WAR has traditionally liked Carpenter. It's not crazy to think he could top 60 WAR in his career. Depending on the bias of the HOF voters after he retires, he might stand a chance.


                        "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It is as irrelevant as it was unnecessary to bring up your contentions that Daniel Murphy is awesome and that you predicted it.

                          So far as Carpenter is concerned, the man has only one season of 5.0 WAR so far, this likely to be his second. His career WAR is somewhere around 25-26, depending on which system you prefer. If he doubles that, he'll wind up closer to 50, than 60, WAR which may or may not suggest he had a great career, but is not as rare for non-Hall of Famers. It seems you are suggesting that Carpenter can or will maintain this summer's pace for the foreseeable future as he moves into his mid-thirties?
                          "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                          "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                          "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                          "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
                            It is as irrelevant as it was unnecessary to bring up your contentions that Daniel Murphy is awesome and that you predicted it.

                            So far as Carpenter is concerned, the man has only one season of 5.0 WAR so far, this likely to be his second. His career WAR is somewhere around 25-26, depending on which system you prefer. If he doubles that, he'll wind up closer to 50, than 60, WAR which may or may not suggest he had a great career, but is not as rare for non-Hall of Famers. It seems you are suggesting that Carpenter can or will maintain this summer's pace for the foreseeable future as he moves into his mid-thirties?
                            Actually Murphy's relevant, as is being able to spot whether Murphy or Carpenter were due for a breakout. Carpenter's batted ball numbers have been better than his statistical results. They've also been portending even better power numbers. Carpenter was already hitting at a fairly elite level. It was only a matter of time before it manifested in results.

                            Same batted ball numbers indicated Murphy's breakout was no fluke. They're a great predictive tool. You could see great results coming down the road.

                            Murphy's also relevant because his change in approach was similar to Carpenter's. Both were line drive hitters with some pop. Both seem to have embraced the "Launch Angle Revolution". Both have shown hitters who master contact first seem to be able to incorporate power to be better overall than most hitters who were power hitters all along.

                            Because of this, barring injury, Carpenter should be excellent going forward. If healthy, he might be able to reel off a few 5-8 WAR seasons in a hurry.



                            "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                              Actually Murphy's relevant, as is being able to spot whether Murphy or Carpenter were due for a breakout. Carpenter's batted ball numbers have been better than his statistical results. They've also been portending even better power numbers. Carpenter was already hitting at a fairly elite level. It was only a matter of time before it manifested in results.

                              Same batted ball numbers indicated Murphy's breakout was no fluke. They're a great predictive tool. You could see great results coming down the road.

                              Murphy's also relevant because his change in approach was similar to Carpenter's. Both were line drive hitters with some pop. Both seem to have embraced the "Launch Angle Revolution". Both have shown hitters who master contact first seem to be able to incorporate power to be better overall than most hitters who were power hitters all along.

                              Because of this, barring injury, Carpenter should be excellent going forward. If healthy, he might be able to reel off a few 5-8 WAR seasons in a hurry.
                              This is good stuff Mongoose. Do you think last season was a transition year to the power approach? He still leads the league in doubles. Hit 55 his second year. I don't see him hitting .346 but he has more power than Murphy.

                              Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
                              It is as irrelevant as it was unnecessary to bring up your contentions that Daniel Murphy is awesome and that you predicted it.

                              So far as Carpenter is concerned, the man has only one season of 5.0 WAR so far, this likely to be his second. His career WAR is somewhere around 25-26, depending on which system you prefer. If he doubles that, he'll wind up closer to 50, than 60, WAR which may or may not suggest he had a great career, but is not as rare for non-Hall of Famers. It seems you are suggesting that Carpenter can or will maintain this summer's pace for the foreseeable future as he moves into his mid-thirties?
                              I agree Carpenter probably isn't going to the HoF. You seem pretty down on him though. 50 WAR is pretty good. The Reds fan in you?
                              Last edited by bluesky5; 08-10-2018, 08:13 PM.
                              "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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