(BaseballStL) — No player on the Cardinals - maybe no player in baseball - has changed the perception of what his ceiling is over the last three years more than Matt Carpenter.
A few years ago he was viewed as no more than an organizational body. Then he tore up AA.
The next year he was thought of as someone who might make the Major Leagues but probably wouldn't amount to much more than a bench player. Then he tore up AAA.
In 2012 Carpenter forced his way onto the big league club and hit .294 with a .365 on-base percentage while coming off the bench. He then forced the Cards front office to see him as a potential everyday player.
2013 rolls around and Carpenter shows everyone he's much more than just a starter. He's an All Star who hits .318 with a .392 OBP and collects nearly 200 hits.
So who are we to look at what this 28-year old has done for the last few seasons and try and put a limit on what he's capable of? For all we know the TCU alum will hit 30 home runs next year and every year thereafter and wind up in the Hall of Fame.
Carpenter's grit, determination and willingness to work exceeds almost everyone else around him. He simply won't be outdone on the practice field or in the batting cage. It won't happen.
Well, with all the changes that took place this year on the Cardinals (Carlos Beltran and David Freese departing) there's a significant need for more power. We've talked about speed and how that's necessary as well but you can't underestimate power.
This Cardinals team didn't have much of it last year and lost the best power hitter it had in Beltran.
Throw in the fact part of the changes include moving Carpenter from 2nd base (a position that doesn't typically have much power potential) to 3rd base (a position that typically does). Add all of that up and you start to look at him as someone who the Cards would love to see have an increase in power.
Carpenter hit just 11 home runs last year in 626 at-bats. He hit just six the year before in 296 ABs. Is there room for 20-25? Most so-called experts would say "no".
But considering Carpenter has altered his professional ceiling several times already in his career who are we to say he can't?