(BaseballStL) — Matt Adams is making everyone aware he’s more than a shift-beating pull hitter with surprising speed.
While Mike Matheny and company never had any doubts about his power, his three home runs through the his first 52 games gave some fans pause.
Then he returned from the DL with a vengeance, hitting three homers in three games.
Monday, he picked up two more against Colorado to push his total to eight on the year. His six RBIs (four on the home runs) took care of offensive load while Lance Lynn handled the pitching duties.
The big lefty is hitting .328, best in the MLB for first baseman and fifth overall. His three triples are also tops at his position.
When Carlos Beltran left for free agency, the biggest question mark his departure left in its wake was how the Cardinals would replace his 56 home runs in the last two seasons.
Adams, with his considerable power, was earmarked as a potential locum for the eight-time All Star. He was projected to reach the 30 homer plateau, and his slow start engendered concern from those looking to see the Cards improve on their lackluster power numbers.
The 25-year-old’s stint on the DL has seemingly done wonders for his home run totals, even as he continues to beat the shift deployed so liberally against him.
Matheny has preached patience when considering home runs, especially with Adams, and his approach appears to be paying dividends.
Though the first baseman only projects to hit 16 based on current totals, that 30 mark seems to be far more likely given his recent outburst.
Adams has said time and again that he’s not concerned with the homer column, and is focused on having quality at bats. If he can continue to beat the shift with regularity and sprinkle in a few hits that go over the wall, he’s going to be far more valuable than the club could have expected.