(BaseballStL) -- Matt Carpenter has journeyed from utility man to All Star second baseman, and even made his way into the MVP discussion.
With second base a wide open position coming into the season, Carpenter worked through spring training to learn the spot.
His first full season at second either proved he was a natural, or suggested he had more work to do based on which stats one uses to evaluate.
His fielding percentage was .985, a hair higher than the league average of .984. His range left something to be desired, as he came in about four runs below average in total zone rating. Carpenter registered a 0 in runs saved, but was worth two runs saved in double plays.
He had 590 chances, ending the regular season with 211 put outs, 370 assists and nine errors.
97 times, Carpenter was part of a double play at second base this season. His partner in a good amount of those was shortstop Pete Kozma. When asked how Carp was coming along, Kozma said the guy who started the season isn't the same one in the playoffs.
"It's night and day from spring to where he is right now," he said. "It's great improvement. He's worked his butt off tremendously, working every day, trying to get better."
Now Carpenter will get his first chance to take his team to a World Series as a starter. Game 5 will see him bat in his familiar leadoff spot with Pete Kozma to his right in the field.