You know that feeling when you're putting on a pair of pants and find $20 in the pocket? Isn't that just the best feeling in the world? Now multiply it by several hundred thousand, and that's how the St. Louis Cardinals feel every time Matt Carpenter takes the field. Carpenter came up through the Cards farm system after being drafted in 2009 and always looked like a pretty decent hitter. Not a ton of power, but he was known for taking tough at-bats, smart at-bats, always working, always grinding. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be any easy way to get him playing time in the majors; he was stuck behind David Freese at third base, Allen Craig at first, and he wasn't much of an outfielder. So the Cardinals continued a bit of a tradition for the franchise and moved him to second base. There, Carpenter has been a revelation. His defense has far outstripped even the most optimistic expectations, and he has become one of the best leadoff hitters in the National League. He's always on base. Literally always. You think you've seen a game he wasn't on base? Nope, sorry, you're mistaken. Always. On. Base. Coming into the season, no one would have expected Carpenter to be an All-Star second baseman, but that's exactly what he is.
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