Matt Carpenter
Matt Carpenter
32-Year-Old First Baseman1B
St. Louis Cardinals
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Carpenter was a top-45 real-life hitter last season as measured by wRC+ (123), but his .241 average kept him outside the top 100 among hitters in terms of earned value in traditional fantasy formats. He maintained a strikeout rate right around 20 percent while upping his walk rate to 17.5 percent, which was the fifth-best mark among qualified hitters. Opposing pitchers rarely fooled Carpenter -- his 16.6 O-Swing percentage was the second-lowest in baseball, trailing only Joey Votto -- and Carpenter routinely squared the ball up, posting the eighth-best hard-hit rate. However, he may have gotten a little too flyball happy (50.8 percent), and that combined with some tough luck on balls in play (.274 BABIP) hurt his overall numbers. Carpenter's performance against lefties did decline (.202/.343/.321), but it was a relatively small sample (109 at-bats). Expect a rebound, and it's possible Carpenter will regain eligibility at second base at some point. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $504,000 contract with the Cardinals in March of 2013.
Rare day off Saturday
1BSt. Louis Cardinals
September 15, 2018
Carpenter is not in the lineup against the Dodgers on Saturday.
Carpenter will take a seat for the first time since Aug. 29, when he was battling a minor illness. Though Carpenter did go 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Friday, it's a little surprising manager Mike Shildt would keep him out of the starting nine during such a pivotal showdown with Los Angeles as both teams fight for postseason contention. That said, there hasn't been any word on a potential injury and with another left-hander in Rich Hill on the mound Saturday, it's entirely possible Shildt is just giving the 32-year-old a well-earned day off. Patrick Wisdom will man first base and bat sixth in the order in Carpenter's absence.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .796 476 60 16 52 1 .245 .359 .437
Since 2016vs Right .916 1333 213 63 162 5 .266 .391 .526
2018vs Left .888 165 24 9 20 0 .252 .370 .518
2018vs Right .948 456 77 26 57 4 .274 .388 .559
2017vs Left .664 137 14 2 12 1 .202 .343 .321
2017vs Right .883 485 77 21 57 1 .253 .395 .487
2016vs Left .809 174 22 5 20 0 .270 .363 .446
2016vs Right .920 392 59 16 48 0 .271 .388 .532
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .844 894 126 30 93 4 .260 .380 .463
Since 2016Away .920 919 147 49 121 2 .259 .383 .537
2018Home .806 307 47 12 27 3 .246 .365 .441
2018Away 1.039 318 54 23 50 1 .286 .396 .643
2017Home .802 310 43 9 33 1 .240 .374 .428
2017Away .867 312 48 14 36 1 .243 .394 .474
2016Home .930 277 36 9 33 0 .296 .404 .526
2016Away .842 289 45 12 35 0 .247 .357 .486
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Stat Review
How does Matt Carpenter compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Consistency has been the name of the game for Carpenter, who recorded a batting average above the .270 mark for the third consecutive season. While this has become expected from the 30-year-old, he drastically improved his patience at the plate. As a result, he finished the season with a .380 on-base percentage and was regularly the club's leadoff hitter. Naturally, the switch to hitting first came with a drop in RBI as he knocked in just 68 runs, nearly 20 fewer than he did in 2015, but he could move back down in the order following the addition of Dexter Fowler. He'll be highly valuable no matter where he hits in the order. It's worth noting that Carpenter dealt with an oblique injury that landed him on the disabled list for nearly a month in the second half of the season, but if he can stay healthy, Carpenter should have no problem reaching 20 home runs for the third straight year.
Carpenter hit like a third baseman upon moving to the position in 2015, and he swatted a career-best 28 home runs and delivered a league-leading 44 doubles. His .505 slugging percentage was a career high but he also struck out a whopping 151 times on his way to matching his .272 average from 2014. Carpenter almost certainly promises to provide value to his fantasy owners in 2016, but what kind of value isn't completely known given the recent change in approach, and the real question is whether owners can still profit at his increased cost. He's only two years removed from hitting .318 with a .392 OBP and just 98 strikeouts. Locked up through 2020, Carpenter at 29 figures to be the Cardinals' starting third baseman for the foreseeable future. He will likely hit near the top of the lineup again and is a near lock for 100 runs as he's averaged 109 a season over his last three years.
While Carpenter wasn't able to repeat his unlikely 2013 season when he posted a terrific 6.9 WAR and racked up a gaudy 126 runs he delivered another very good season, this time at third base for the Cardinals. Carpenter scored 99 runs while hitting .272/.375/.375 in 2014, but he lost his eligibility at second base with the permanent position switch. His BABIP fell from .359 to .318, explaining some of the decrease in his numbers, but he did see his walk rate tick up to 13.4%. Even though he doesn't provide much pop Carpenter, proved to be a solid third baseman in a year where there were few options at the position. It's possible the Cardinals could move him down into the second or third spot in the lineup, giving him a chance to drive in more runs. Regardless of where he lands in the order, Carpenter will look to deliver another top-10 season at the hot corner in 2015.
The Cardinals got a lot more than they were expecting from Carpenter when the 28-year-old utility man excelled in his first year at second base, hitting .318 in 717 plate appearances. He's not a prototypical leadoff hitter in that he does not offer great speed, but most of his advanced stats suggest that his 2013 season was not a fluke. As long as he's hitting near the top of the Cardinals' stacked lineup, he should be good for 100-plus runs again in 2014. Even with a move to third base following the trade of David Freese to Anaheim, Carpenter will offer fantasy owners flexibility by qualifying at second base as well this season.
It seems like Carpenter had a better year than his numbers showed. You may scoff at the 44 runs and 46 RBI from a corner infielder, but he did that in just 296 at-bats and qualifies at first, third and outfield (and possibly second base) in most leagues. Further, the 27-year-old has regularly posted an on-base percentage north of .400 in the minors. With Lance Berkman out of the picture, Carpenter could get the opportunity to win the everyday job at first base this season and post numbers reminiscent of Mark Grace.
Carpenter spent a couple of weeks with the Cardinals in June, but managed a single hit in 15 at-bats. That's the bad news. The good news is he had a 4:4 BB:K ratio in that stint, which perfectly illustrates his main strength as a hitter - his batting eye. With an 84:68 BB:K ratio with Triple-A Memphis leading to .419 OBP, Carpenter has the potential to be a good hitter at the major league level. His power isn't immense, especially for a corner infielder, and he's already 26, but if he can continue to get on base, he should be able to make a dent in the majors.
More Fantasy News
Keeps rolling in loss
1BSt. Louis Cardinals
September 14, 2018
Carpenter went 2-for-5 with two runs in a loss to the Dodgers on Thursday.
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On base thrice in blowout victory
1BSt. Louis Cardinals
September 12, 2018
Carpenter went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs in a win over the Pirates on Tuesday.
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On base three times in win
1BSt. Louis Cardinals
September 5, 2018
Carpenter went 1-for-3 with a two-run single, two walks and a run in a win over the Nationals on Tuesday.
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Continues second-half tear
1BSt. Louis Cardinals
August 31, 2018
Carpenter went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run in the Cardinals' 12-5 win over the Reds on Friday.
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Draws start at third base
1BSt. Louis Cardinals
August 30, 2018
Carpenter (illness) is back in Thursday's lineup at third base for the series finale against Pittsburgh.
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