Cardinals: Matt Carpenter (.272/.375/.375 +8 HR in 2014)
Cubs: Kris Bryant (.249/.341/.435 +16 HR in 2014)
Analysis: Matt Carpenter is one of the most beloved figures in St. Louis. The 29 year-old veteran has given Cards fans plenty of fond memories (who could forget his NLDS performance after all?), and the hope is that he will be able to give them even more this upcoming season. Bryant’s time is coming though, with only Mike Olt standing in Bryant’s way this Spring, expect to see the number one pick from 2013 sometime in April, as he has nothing to prove in the minors. But there is no denying Carpenter’s track record of success, and with Bryant still unproven, and possibly not around for the season’s Opening series against the Cardinals at Wrigley…
Bryant has the makings of a great player, but Carpenter already is one. An All-Star in 2013 and 2014, Carpenter is an all around good player, he can hit and offers plus defense at the hot corner, and just in 2013 Carpenter led the league in doubles, runs scored, and hits in general. Carpenter came back to earth a bit in 2014, but was still an All-Star, and was still a solid leadoff hitter for the Redbirds. Again, let’s not forget how Carpenter was playing out of his mind in the postseason either.