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More on Matt Holliday

As I mentioned on Twitter this morning, since writing about Matt Holliday’s start, he has hit .500 with 2 HR in 5 games. Maybe he’s starting to hit his stride and get warm, which would be a welcome sight for the Cardinals offense and their fans.

But discussion of that this morning, led me to wonder how Holliday’s extra base hit rate (xBH/PA) was stacking up compared to previous seasons with the Cardinals. So here are Holliday’s extra base hit rate for his time with the Cardinals:

Now looking at that, you can easily see why there are many people who feel that Holliday is in full on decline. At age 36, he is definitely declining and I wrote about that back in November. But with the rounded skillset that Holliday has always had, a rapid decline always felt unlikely to me. He should be a guy whose game generally ages well.

But believe it or not, the real difficulty for Holliday this season has been getting base hits. Here are his singles rate (1B/PA) during his time as with the Cardinals:

As you can see, his singles rate stays pretty steady around 15%, give or take, in previous seasons with the Cardinals, except this year where it has fallen just below 12%. You would think that that’s going to be the easiest thing to correct, far easier than a lack of power.

Seeing those numbers actually gives me more hope that Holliday can and will be a quality contributor to the lineup this year. If you give him a 2% bump in his singles rate (turns into 4 additional singles), he would still have his lowest singles rate during his time with the Cardinals. But he’d be hitting .280/.351/.514 which is still a little lower than usual, but not quite as panic inducing as we’ve seen early this year.

Jon Doble has been writing about the St. Louis Cardinals since 2010. You can follow him on Twitter at @JonDobleRBD, find him as R27 at RedbirdTalk.com and you can hear him co-host The UCB Podcast every fourth Wednesday night of the month. Redbird Dugout is a member of the United Cardinal Bloggers.

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