As of the time of this writing, 271 people voted in yesterday’s poll and 55% of you would utilize Matt Carpenter in a kind of super utility role between the corner outfield, corner infield and second base positions. there’s not a wrong answer to yesterday’s question and I think I personally would be inclined to keep in majors in that role as well.
One of the comments caught my eye, however. Lou Schuler wrote:
I love [Carpenter] as a utility player, but [Zack] Cox looks like a guy who’s going to be an everyday player hitting in the top half of the lineup.
It struck me as an undervaluation of Carpenter (the “utility player” label) but it’s one that I think consistently happens to him because of his somewhat unusual offensive profile. Assume that Matt Carpenter is going to have an OBP between .320 and .340 (ZiPS projects .342). Since wOBA is scaled to OBP, we can use that as a decent approximation for his production. For someone with limited power potential, we would scale that number down slightly from his OBP. That range (.320-340) is still going to make Matt Carpenter a league average-ish player.