2017 Cardinals Review: Comparing the Last 20 Years

St. Louis Cardinals

Part of my usual season recap for the Cardinals is to look at their numbers versus the league averages. In preparing that, I decided to also look at year to year trends of the Cardinals. I compiled stats for the last 20 years to see how this year’s team compared to those of the past.

I also took it a step further; each stat shows where hitting coach changes were made. Here is the list of hitting coaches for the last 20 years.

Coach Years
Dave Parker 1998
Mike Easler 1999-2001
Mitchell Page 2001-2004
Hal McRae 2005-2009
Mark McGwire 2010-2012
John Mabry 2013-Current

I want to preface everything with the fact that I’m not a fan of John Mabry as hitting coach. He’s shown that he tinkers too much with guys and will completely change their approach. See Allen Craig (power hitter to slap hitter) and Matt Carpenter (slap hitter to power hitter) as 2 examples; he’s also attempted it with Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia, trying to get both to hit for power. I don’t mind working on improving, but Garcia, the latest example, was the best pinch hitter for the team prior to using an upper cut swing to hit for power; after his July 4th homer, he acknowledged to working with Marby on hitting for more power.

Counting Stats

The Cardinals have bounced back from a 20 year low in runs in 2014, but those early 2000s teams still dwarf the current team on runs. The team under Mabry has averaged 718 runs per season, which is well below the 776 average over the last 20 seasons. In fact, the team has only been below 700 runs and both of those teams belonged to Mabry (2014 and 2015).

Read more at Pop Culture Abstract.

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