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Matt Carpenter

Matt Carpenter

1B,2B,3B - STL
Age: 33College: TCUBats: LThrows: R

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Rank H #86
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Yahoo 1B,2B,3B
ESPN 1B,3B
CBS 1B,3B

Despite entering 2018 with health woes and batting .155 in April, Carpenter went scorched earth to hit .257/.374/.523 with a career-high 36 homers. Those who bet on a 2019 repeat are running out of time. The third baseman entered the All-Star break batting .216/.325/.381 with 10 homers in 77 games. He went on the IL with illness and back spasms. Shortly after returning, he went back on the shelf with a foot injury and didn't get activated until August 4. MLB's leader in hard-hit rate last year is now in the bottom-30 percentile, and his xSLG has dropped from .546 to .404. We saw his ability to adjust and heat up in a seismic way last year, but it's getting tougher to hold out hope.

Don't drop Carpenter quite yet. Remember, after all, that Carp was every bit as bad heading into July last year before he went scorched earth in the second half. You don't have to play him, but keep him on your bench and wait out the slump.

Carpenter blew away his previous career high by hitting 36 home runs in 2018, but that was fueled by a 19.1 percent HR/FB rate that was far higher than he's ever had before. To be fair, he did have the highest hard contact rate in MLB, so it's not like the home run spike was a total fluke, but fantasy owners should generally be cautious when a player has an outlier season this late in their career. The odds are against Carpenter hitting 35+ home runs again, and while he regularly produces an excellent OBP, he is a bit of a drag in batting average and has little speed to speak of. He's much better in points leagues and leagues that reward OBP than he is in traditional 5x5 roto/categories leagues, where he tends to be overvalued.

Matt Carpenter

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