It might be weird to think, but St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday might be one of the most underrated players in the league right now.
I know what you’re thinking — how can a player who finished second in National League MVP voting in 2007 be underrated?
Well, that’s exactly it. He has not been able to duplicate those numbers from those early days with the Colorado Rockies — especially that magical 07′ season he had, when he led the NL in hits (216), doubles (50), RBI’s (137) and batting average (.340).
He’s still been good, just not AS good. This is why I say he is a little under appreciated.
He was traded to the Oakland Athletics after the 08′ season and spent about half of the 09′ season in the Bay area before being traded to the Cards and helping them reach the postseason with a very impressive .353 batting average.
He seems to be the forgotten man, for whatever reason. Whether it’s his former teammates Albert Pujols or Carlos Beltran, magical years by Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter last season or this season most of the run producing expectations being placed on Matt Adams, it seems that Holliday seeming flies under the radar.
He IS a six-time All-Star and he did bat .300 and drive in 94 runs last season. This year, the average is down a little, at .269, but he does have 81 RBI’s on the season.
12 of those RBI’s have come in the last three games.
I’ll say that again — 12 of those RBI’s have come in the last THREE games. It would be a complete understatement to say that he is on a roll right now. He’s been the main reason the Cards have turned a four-game losing streak and a game and a half deficit in the Central into a full two-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, who have lost six in a row all of a sudden.
The Cardinals haven’t stood alone at the top of the Central all season — until now. There was one brief moment on July 12th when they beat the Brewers 10-2 and they were both tied for first with identical records of 52-43.
Holliday’s numbers are impressive during this current hot stretch. But let’s forget the fact that he has batted .636 (7-11) during the first three games of this current winning streak.
Let’s talk about the times that he has come through for his team:
He hit two homers and drove in five runs on Saturday during the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs. They won that game 13-2 — but Holliday wasn’t finished yet.
The Cards erased a 5-0 deficit during Sunday’s game against the Cubs — Holliday got the scoring started with a solo HR in the fifth inning, drove in another with a double later and a two-run single in the eighth inning put them ahead for good as they pulled off a 9-6 comeback win.
They had another comeback win on Monday and Holliday’s fingerprints were all over it yet again. A 3-0 lead by the Pittsburgh Pirates was erased with a two-run double by Holliday in the third inning and he put them ahead for good with a seventh inning RBI single as the Cards held on for a 5-4 win.
Since that July 12th meeting, the Cards have gone only 22-20 and the Brewers have gone only 21-21 — that shows how mediocre they both have been. Sometimes mediocrity gets you into the postseason.
There’s one guy who has not been mediocre lately, and his name is Matt Holliday.
– Khristian Peel