Grading the 2012 Cardinals Outfield: A Fan’s Opinion

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The St. Louis Cardinals are coming off another successful season, the final three games of the NLCS notwithstanding. The team won 88 games and secured a spot in the first National League Wild Card Series. Now that a few days have gone by since the end of the year, it's fun to look at various parts of the team and see how they fared in 2012. For this purpose I will look only at regular season games. Here is my view of Cardinals outfielders in 2012.

Matt Holliday, LF - Holliday produced a solid 2012. He played in all but five games this season, and he ended up with numbers that, while not spectacular, were very good. He hit .295 with 27 home runs, 102 runs driven in and 65 extra-base hits. He did tail off in August and September, hitting just .252 and .226 in those two months. Overall, though, Holliday was a feared bat in the #3 hole in the lineup. Grade: A

Jon Jay, CF - Jay missed a fair amount of time with injuries in 2012, and they cost him enough plate appearance to qualify for the batting race. If not for that, his .305 average would have put him comfortably in the top ten of the NL. He was fairly consistent through the entire year, hitting .314 before the All-Star break and .300 after. Jay's steady defense started to gain recognition, and manager Mike Matheny began stumping for Jay to get Gold Glove consideration. Grade: A

Carlos Beltran, RF - Beltran saw some serious ups and downs during the 2012 season. He had a monster May, hitting 10 home runs and driving in 31 runs, but he also swooned considerably in July and August, hitting just .206 in those months. His defense was good, as fans would expect from a three-time Gold Glove winner, and he was second in the league in assists by right fielders with 10. His final numbers looked good (32 HR, 97 RBIs), but he gets marked down for disappearing for two months. Grade: B

Shane Robinson, utility OF - Robinson was decent enough to provide a spot start in the outfield and to be used as a late-inning defensive replacement, but he didn't show much at the plate. Robinson hit .253 with just 16 runs driven in for the season. With 51 pinch-hitting at-bats, Robinson was the team's primary pinch-hitter in 2012, but he failed to offer much in that area, either. He hit .216 and knocked in only three runs in the pinch. Grade: C

A native of St. Louis, Brad Boeker has rooted for the Cardinals for over 40 years.
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