Matt Carpenter (baseball)

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Matt Carpenter
MattCarpenter2013photoday.jpg
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 13
Third baseman
Born: (1985-11-26) November 26, 1985 (age 28)
Galveston, Texas
Bats: LeftThrows: Right
MLB debut
June 4, 2011 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average.306
Home runs17
Runs batted in124
Doubles78
Teams
Career highlights and awards
 
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Matt Carpenter
MattCarpenter2013photoday.jpg
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 13
Third baseman
Born: (1985-11-26) November 26, 1985 (age 28)
Galveston, Texas
Bats: LeftThrows: Right
MLB debut
June 4, 2011 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average.306
Home runs17
Runs batted in124
Doubles78
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Matthew "Matt" Martin Carpenter (born November 26, 1985) is a professional baseball second baseman and third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Cardinals drafted Carpenter in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB Draft from Texas Christian University. St. Louis called him up to the majors for the first time on June 3, 2011, and he made his MLB debut the following night at Busch Stadium.[1]

In 2013, Carpenter became an All-Star for the first time in a season in which he also played second base regularly for the first time as a professional. That season, he led the major leagues in hits (199), runs scored (126) and doubles (55) while batting .318. Further, Carpenter earned the first Silver Slugger Award by a second basemen in team history. He is signed through 2019, with an option for 2020.

Early life and family[edit]

Matt Carpenter was born and raised in the Galveston, Texas, area, to Rick and Tammie Carpenter.[2][3][4][5] The elder Carpenter is a former college ball player turned high school baseball coach. His mother played softball in her youth. The Carpenter family spent seven years in La Marque, Texas where Rick Carpenter taught and coached at La Marque High School before moving to Lawrence E. Elkins High School where Rick coached for fifteen years.

Matt Carpenter's brother, Tyler, was a minor league baseball player in the New York Mets organization.[6]

Amateur career[edit]

At Elkins High School, Carpenter was a three-year first-team all-district performer and two-time all-state tournament team selection. He helped lead team to the USA Today National Championship in 2002. That year he was named the District Sophomore of the Year. He was honored as a 2004 TPX second-team High School All-American. He holds the Elkins High School record for most career hits. One of his high school teammates was Tampa Bay Rays player James Loney.

Carpenter attended Texas Christian University (TCU) and majored in communications. In his freshman year as an athlete, Carpenter played 50 games and finished with a .289 batting average with 27 runs batted in (RBI), eight doubles and one home run (HR) with 11 multi-hit games and eight multiple-RBI games. The next season, he finished second on the team with a .349 average, one home run and 36 RBIs in 62 games. he also hit safely in 47 games and reached base in 56.[7]

However, Carpenter's junior season was cut short due to injury and was granted a medical redshirt (RS); he appeared in just eight games, making seven starts. In Carpenter's RS-junior season, he played in all 63 games and was named second-team all-conference at third base. He finished the season with a .283 batting average, team-high 11 home runs and 46 RBIs and ranked third on the team with 48 runs scored. During his collegiate career, Carpenter broke career records for games played (241) and at-bats (843), and finished second in hits (263), doubles (57) and walks (BB, with 150). He was named second team All Mountain West Conference in 2006, 2008 and 2009.[7]

Professional career (2009–present)[edit]

Draft and minor leagues (2009–11)[edit]

The St. Louis Cardinals selected Carpenter in the 13th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. He spent his first professional season with various A-level teams, including the Batavia Muckdogs, Quad Cities River Bandits and the Palm Beach Cardinals. Between the three clubs, he batted .283 with hitting two home runs and 22 RBI. Carpenter spent his first 28 games of 2010 with Palm Beach, again hitting .283. He also drew 26 BB, placing his OBP at .441. This resulted in a call-up to the Springfield Cardinals, where he played another 105 games in 2010. With Springfield, he batted .316 with 76 runs scored, 26 doubles, 12 HR, 53 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. He was chosen Topps Double-A All-Star, Texas Mid-Season All-Star and Texas Post-Season All-Star for his 2010 season.

After his 2010 performance, Carpenter started to garner attention, and was expected to compete for one of the MLB Cardinals final roster openings the next spring training. Despite a good spring training, Carpenter started the 2011 season in the minor leagues. He spent 130 total games with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, batting .300 with 12 HR, 70 RBI, 84 BB, a .417 OBP and .483 SLG.

St. Louis Cardinals (2011-present)[edit]

2011–12[edit]

Carpenter made his Major League debut on June 4, 2011. During his brief stint in the Majors that year, he played seven games, collecting one double, a .067 batting average and four walks. The Cardinals qualified for the postseason by clinching the wild card, but left him off the postseason roster. St. Louis became the World Series champions when they defeated the Texas Rangers. In spite of his scant contributions to winning the Series, the Cardinals awarded Carpenter a championship ring.

After the 2011 season, the departures of Albert Pujols and Nick Punto – along with an injury to Allen Craig – opened up an opportunity to make Cardinals opening day roster. During spring training, he worked at first base as well as in the outfield to increase his versatility which would help him make the team. Carpenter served as a backup bench player and spot starter for the Cardinals during the 2012 season, with playing time mostly at first base and right field. He played in 114 games, batting .294 with six home runs and 46 RBI.

Carpenter throwing from 3rd base, Game 3 of the NLDS vs. Washington Nationals, October 10, 2012.

Carpenter hit the first career postseason home run of his career on October 17, 2012, during Game 3 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) against the San Francisco Giants. The two-run home run came with two out in the bottom of the third inning off Giants starter Matt Cain. Carpenter was not a starter in the game, but came off the bench to replace an injured Carlos Beltrán in the second inning.

Said Carpenter of his home run: "When guys get hurt, especially a guy like Carlos, sometimes that can be kind of a letdown from an energy standpoint as a team. I wanted to do something that would bring some life back."[8] His parents and wife were on hand to see the career milestone, having driven through the night from Texas to be at Busch Stadium for the game. After a lengthy rain delay, the Cardinals won the game 3–1, to take a two game to one lead in the NLCS.[8] Although the Cardinals led the series 3 games to 1 at that point, they collapsed and lost to the eventual World Series champion Giants after a deciding seventh games.

2013–present[edit]

With no one who could play second base and hit adequately, the Cardinals advised Carpenter to work out there in the off-season prior to the 2013 season. Considering that he had played mainly third base and had not played second base since the Cardinals drafted him, it was a bold move. Carpenter had his tryout in spring training and made the team as the starting second baseman.[9]

Because the Cardinals also lacked a prototypical leadoff hitter, manager Mike Matheny moved him into the leadoff spot midway through April, in spite of lacking the speed sought after for that spot in the lineup. Carpenter proved an all-round hitter, gaining his first All-Star selection at Citi Field with 25 doubles, 65 runs scored and two 12-game hitting streaks at the All-Star break. He finished the season leading the Major Leagues in hits (199), doubles (55), and runs (126), while batting .318.[9] He also finished in the top ten in the NL in batting average, on-base percentage (.392), total bases (301), singles (126), triples (seven), walks (72), and adjusted OPS (143), among others.[3] With his 54th double on September 21, Carpenter broke Stan Musial's six decade-old franchise record for doubles (Musial's 53 came in 1953) by a left-handed batter.[10]

Despite his stellar regular season, Carpenter batted only .203 in the postseason. Against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLDS, he started slowly, managing just one hit in 19 at-bats (.053). He improved his batting average to .261 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS and to .296 in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. However, against Boston closer Koji Uehara, Carpenter struck out for the final out of the series, resulting in the Cardinals' elimination from the final round of the postseason.[11]

The following November, in earning his first Silver Slugger Award, Carpenter also became the first winner at second base in Cardinals history.[12] He finished fourth in the NL Most Valuable Player Award balloting.[13] The club then signed Carpenter to a six-year, $52 million extension to run through 2019 on March 6, 2014. Included was an option for 2020 worth $18.5 million. Mozeliak cited his work ethic as another factor in the extension.[14]

Awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

When he was in high school, Matt Carpenter was given a framed poster of Lance Berkman, his childhood hero and teammate from 201112. The poster was a gift from his now-wife, Mackenzie (Detmore) Carpenter.[15] The couple were married on December 10, 2011.[16][17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leach, Matthew (June 3, 2011). "Cardinals promote Hamilton, M. Carpenter". MLB.com. 
  2. ^ "MLB Player Stats (Matt Carpenter)". MLB.com. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Matt Carpenter". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Matt Carpenter". ESPN. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ "#13 Matt Carpenter". The Sporting News. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (June 15, 2012). "Carpenters build Matt's baseball future together". MLB.com. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Matt Carpenter Player Bio". TCU Horned Frogs baseball. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Langosch, Jenifer (October 18, 2012). "Wood supplied by Carpenter; Cards take 2-1 lead". MLB.com via St. Louis Cardinals website. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Langosch, Jennifer (July 6, 2013). "Beltran, Molina among Cards' five All-Stars: Matt Carpenter, Craig, Wainwright also named to National League squad". MLB.com. 
  10. ^ Goold, Derrick (September 21, 2013). "Adams powers Cardinals to lead". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  11. ^ Warry, Richard (October 31, 2013). "Boston Red Sox beat St Louis Cardinals". BBC Sport. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Langosch, Jenifer (November 6, 2013). "Molina, Carpenter named first-time Silver Sluggers". www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved November 6, 2013. "MVP hopeful pairs Gold Glove with offensive honor; second baseman rewarded" 
  13. ^ "Andrew McCutchen wins Pirates’ 1st MVP since 1992". Baseball Writers' Association of America. November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ Cocoran, Cliff (March 8, 2014). "Cardinals reward Carpenter with a warranted, intelligent six-year extension". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ Pearlman, Jeff (March 22, 2011). "Cardinals' Matt Carpenter moves closer to dream of big leagues". Sports Illustrated. 
  16. ^ "Matt Carpenter and Mackenzie Detmore wedding". Wedding Channel. December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Mackenzie Detmore and Matt Carpenter". Bed Bath and Beyond. December 2011. 

External links[edit]