Friday, July 24, 2009

What should we expect of Holliday in St. Louis?

Matt Holliday must really enjoy returning to the National League (and a contender) after his trade to St. Louis. The runner-up to the 2007 NL MVP Award (narrowly lost to Jimmy Rollins), went 4-5 in his debut with the Cardinals.

I wouldn't expect the same production with the Cardinals that he had with the Rockies because Colorado always inflates the stats at least a little (more likely a lot).

Career Batting Average, OPS
Home: .349, .1047 (.357, .1068 at Coors Field)
Away: .281, .801

2009 w/ Athletics
.286, .831, 11 HR, 54 RBI

In a good environment like St. Louis he would seem to be a solid .300, 25-30 HR, 100 RBI middle of the lineup hitter.

Larry Walker, another good player who looked like a combination of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams when he played at Coors Field, played a key role with the 2004 Cardinals. Walker was a .381 career hitter (and a .710 slugging %) in 2500 at bats at Coors Field and a .278 hitter on the road.

After being traded to the Cardinals in 2004, he hit .280 with 11 home runs in 44 games. He even hit .357 in the World Series. Walker was near the end of his career and 37 when he was traded, whereas Holliday is 29, but the same principal still applies.

In 1999, when Walker hit .379 and won the batting title, he hit:
Home - .461 (not a misprint)
Road - .286

When he played in Colorado, Holliday put up numbers comparable to Albert Pujols, such as his 2007 season (.340, 216 hits, 50 doubles, 36 home runs, 137 RBI). He's not Albert Pujols, and will almost certainly not put up numbers like that in St. Louis, but he will be a valuable addition to the Cardinals. He will have a lot of runners on base in front of him (especially Albert with his .450 OBP), so he could get a lot of RBI.

The Matt Holliday of his Colorado days might be able to somewhat protect Albert Pujols in the lineup, but no one can do that now. Hopefully fans know what to expect from Holliday, and that it's probably not Pujols-like numbers. It is constantly said that St. Louis fans are the most knowledgeable in all of baseball, so it shouldn't be a problem.

6 comments:

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