A month ago the thought of Matt Carpenter playing second base for the St. Louis Cardinals was a novelty.
It was another throw everything against the wall and see what sticks experiment from the Redbirds that was as likely to be abandoned as it was to be successful.
But, what a difference a few Grapefruit League games can make. Now a Yahoo! fantasy sports column names Carpenter as possibly the biggest sleeper pick in the National League.
A utility man last year who spent a lot of time at first base covering for oft-injured starter Lance Berkman has been taking balls at second base this spring. He's done more than adequately in the field and the Cardinals will likely use him regularly to keep his bat in the lineup. Especially since starting shortstop Rafael Furcal will be out for the the season.
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Carpenter's bat could take a lot of pressure off youngster Pete Kozma, allowing him to focus on making the plays at short.
While he gets on base at a good clip and drives in a surprising amount of runs for a guy without a lot of home run power, the article notes that Carpenter will offer a lot of additional value because he'll be eligible to play three fantasy position -- second, first and his natural position, third base.