Bourjos seems content to bat at the bottom

Posted by Scott Wuerz on January 20, 2014 

It will be interesting to see how Peter Bourjos fits into the St. Louis Cardinals puzzle after the talk and speculation are done and he lets his play do the talking.

Bourjos said Monday during the last day of the Winter Warm-Up that he has set the goal of stealing 40 bases during the 2014 season. At least that's what he initially said. He seemingly backed off and later said he'd be happy stealing somewhere between 30 and 40.

Either way, Bourjos is likely to be the best St. Louis base swiper since Delino DeShields. But that's not good enough.

I was a bit surprised to hear Bourjos say that he's seemingly okay with the idea of batting eighth in the St. Louis order.

Bourjos said he's never been much of a guy to take walks because it's not something he considers himself good at. Because of that, he said he's not much of an on-base percentage guy, so that's going to put him at the bottom of the order. I can accept that he realizes he's not been sufficient in getting on base in the past. What I don't get is his lack of a sense of urgency to change it.

In one sense, I'd like to see him want to get better as a ballplayer and push himself to address the weak points in his game. But in other, I'd like to see Bourjos embrace the competition and want to prove he deserves to be a starting ballplayer instead of seemingly expecting to be handed the job.

He must not be the slacker sort, or I'm pretty sure the Cardinals wouldn't have coveted him in trade. But how can a modern ballplayer -- especially one who isn't a power hitter -- think it's acceptable just to not be much of an on base percentage guy.

I had dreams this off-season of Bourjos taking over the top spot in the batting order which would allow Matt Carpenter to move into a number two role and chase the rabbit in front of him around the bases. But there is no way a .306 on-base percentage cuts it in this era.

My biggest wish for Bourjos is that with exposure to more consistent playing time he'll up his game by finding a groove. While there is little doubt that he's a better fielder than Jon Jay, the Cardinals can't afford to have Bourjos anywhere in the order if he can't get on and score runs.

 

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