Matt Carpenter (baseball)
|St. Louis Cardinals – No. 13|
November 26, 1985 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Right|
|June 4, 2011 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||124|
|Career highlights and awards|
Matthew "Matt" Martin Carpenter (born November 26, 1985) is a second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Cardinals drafted Carpenter in the 13th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft out of 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.
Early life and family
Matt Carpenter was born and raised in the Galveston, Texas area, to Rick and Tammie Carpenter. 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.
High school career
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 RBIs, eight doubles and one home run 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.
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 (150). He was named second team All Mountain West Conference in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Professional career (2009–present)
Draft and minor leagues (2009–11)
Carpenter was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. He would spend his first season with various A level teams batting .283, hitting two home runs and hitting 22 RBIs. This resulted in a call-up to the Springfield Cardinals. He was chosen Topps Double-A All-Star, Texas Mid-season All-Star and Texas Post-season All-Star for his 2010 season. With that season behind him he 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.
St. Louis Cardinals (2011-present)
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. Carpenter played in 114 games, batting .294 with six home runs and 46 RBI.
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." 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
The following November, Carpenter earned his first Silver Slugger Award, becoming the first winner at second base in Cardinals history. He also finished fourth in the NL Most Valuable Player Award balloting.
When he was in high school, Matt Carpenter was given a framed poster of Lance Berkman, his childhood hero and teammate from 2011–2012. The poster was a gift from his now-wife, Mackenzie (Detmore) Carpenter. The couple were married on December 10, 2011.
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- "MLB Player Stats (Matt Carpenter)". MLB.com. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
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- Langosch, Jenifer Carpenters build Matt's baseball future together, MLB.com (15 Jun. 2012)
- "Matt Carpenter Player Bio". TCU Horned Frogs baseball. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- 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.
- Langosch, Jennifer (July 6, 2013). "Beltran, Molina among Cards' five All-Stars: Matt Carpenter, Craig, Wainwright also named to National League squad". MLB.com.
- Goold, Derrick (September 21, 2013). "Adams powers Cardinals to lead". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Warry, Richard (October 31, 2013). "Boston Red Sox beat St Louis Cardinals". BBC Sport. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- 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"
- "Andrew McCutchen wins Pirates’ 1st MVP since 1992". Baseball Writers' Association of America. November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
- Pearlman, Jeff (March 22, 2011). "Cardinals' Matt Carpenter moves closer to dream of big leagues". Sports Illustrated.
- "Matt Carpenter and Mackenzie Detmore wedding". Wedding Channel. December 2011.
- "Mackenzie Detmore and Matt Carpenter". Bed Bath and Beyond. December 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matt Carpenter (baseball).|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- TCU Horned Frogs bio