Matt Adams: The Next Great Cardinals 1B?
When Albert Pujols decided to take his talents West, he left a void in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup, at 1B, and in the organization’s future plans. The Cardinals thought they had solidified their roster at 1B in case Pujols left when they signed veteran Lance Berkman to a 1-yr/$12M contract for 2012. However, that plan hinged on Berkman staying healthy. Unfortunately, Berkman went down with what looks to be a serious right knee injury this weekend. So, where do the Cards turn from here?
Enter Matt Adams.
Adams, selected by the Cards in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft, is the first player from the Slippery Rock University program to make it to the Majors. The 23-year-old stands at 6’3”, weighs 230 pounds and swings from the left side.
Here are three reasons why he could be the future at 1B for the Cardinals:
1. Unbelievable Power: Adams was born to hit baseballs a long way. Here is how Adams has fared in the Minors:
-A Quad Cities (2010): 22 HRs, 88 RBIs, 41 2B, .541 SLG in 121 games
-AA Springfield (2011): 32 HRs, 101 RBIs, 23 2B, .566 SLG in 115 games
-AAA Memphis (2012): 9 HRs, 27 RBIs, 10 2B, .602 SLG in 37 games
What has been amazing is how smooth his transitions into higher levels of competition have been.
2. Strong Lineup: With players like Beltran, Holliday, Craig, Freese and Molina already racking up great numbers, Adams will not be expected to be the main producer in this lineup. Thus, he will be able to focus on the adjustments that he will need to make in the Majors without immense pressure to perform.
3. Tough Out: There has been some concern over the few number of walks that Adams earns, but he does not strike out very often. To go along with his plate discipline, he has managed to maintain a .300 AVG in every minor league level (A - .310, AA - .300, AAA - .340).
As the injury bug makes its way around the Cardinals clubhouse, let’s hope Matt Adams can come right in and produce for St. Louis.
Make sure you follow him on Twitter (@Matt25Adams). By the way, the first time he goes yard, it will be an #AdamsBomb.