(BaseballStL) - If you look up the definition of the word 'blocked' in the dictionary, you'll find this: "To obstruct someone or something by placing obstacles in the way."
They could really save money on the ink by just putting the name "Matt Adams" there instead. It would save time and energy.
The Cardinals 23rd round pick - the 699th overall - back in 2009 out of Slippery Rock University, Adams has crushed professional pitching ever since signing that initial contract.
2009: .355 avg, .400 on-base percentage, .947 on-base plus slugging percentage, 10 home runs (rookie league)
2010: .310/.355/.896 with 22 HR (A)
2011: .300/.357/.923 with 32 HR (AA)
2012: .329/.362/.986 with 22 HR (AAA)
So far in spring training 2013 he's 3-5 with one absolutely massive home run against the Red Sox.
There's just this one small problem though. Adams only plays first base. And the Cardinals have this guy named Allen Craig who's expected to play there from now until the day the economics of the sport take him somewhere else.
Hence, Craig becomes that 'obstacle' blocking Adams from playing in St. Louis on a regular basis.
So, what in the world do you do with a power hitting, left-handed first baseman who's crushed pitching everywhere he's gone but can't find a spot in the lineup? It's tough to have someone like that on the bench because, as a young guy, they're not used to playing everyday. Getting only a few at-bats a week off the bench isn't something they're used to. They get rusty.
Send them back to AAA in case of an injury? Please.
Option C might be the only one. Trade them. There's no shame whatsoever in redirecting resources from one area of your team to another. Having an abundance of power hitting first basemen isn't the worst thing in the world. Heck, another team would be more than happy to take one off your hands for the right price.
Drafting players isn't all about developing them for use in St. Louis. They're also drafted for potential trade bait. Some might consider - or many would consider - 2010 first round pick Brett Wallace a bust. He was traded from St. Louis to Oakland. Then from Oakland to Toronto. Then AGAIN from Toronto to Houston. Wallace was worth less and less value each time.
But does that mean he was a wasted pick? Heck no. Wallace got them Matt Holliday. The Cardinals drafted a player many believed would be able to hit but didn't have a set position. Turned out he couldn't hit after all. The Cards were able to cash in on his value before that came to light though. Hence, a good pick.
No one has any idea exactly what Matt Adams will do once he gets regular playing time at the big league level. He could be a star. He could be a dud. He could be somewhere in the middle.
One thing is clear though. His opportunity to show that in St. Louis is minimal. Allen Craig is proof of that.