We all love the players like Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera who slug the ball out of parks every night, but what about the players that are quietly leading their teams to victory night after night? It’s easy to get caught up in the “long-ball” guys and rightfully so. Who doesn’t love seeing a ball get crushed 400+ feet into the bleachers, giving a young baseball fan a souvenir? And what about the pitch that just clears the fence by two feet while the center-fielder leaps and just misses the ball?
Let’s face it: everyone loves the power hitter. There’s a reason we cover players like Davis, and it’s all about the home run. There are guys however that are the true difference makers by doing things a bit more under the radar.
A player like Allen Craig.
You’ve probably heard Craig’s name before, but he’s not a player that you would probably follow on a daily basis. In fact, you probably don’t know that he is second in the National League in average behind only his teammate Yadier Molina, hitting .331. Also, did you know that he has 79 RBI’s, third in the NL? Chances are, unless you are a devoted Cardinals fan, you probably didn’t, and that’s not your fault! Unfortunately, unless you are cranking out home runs on a nightly basis and are on top of the power hitting charts, recognition among media comes pretty tough.
It’s the players like Craig who play every night and day, giving a tremendous performance not only at the plate, but the field as well who deserve the real recognition. It doesn’t help that he’s playing on a team full of stars, but he’s quickly making a name for himself, becoming a fan favorite in St. Louis.
The 29-year-old hitter is helping the Cards in crunch time, hitting for an unheard-of .485 with runners in scoring position in 97 at-bats. He’s 5-8 with 14 RBI’s with the bases loaded, and an overall .400 average with runners on base. Maybe he just likes hitting when pitchers are in the stretch, who knows?
In a league filled with highlight reel players and big-name superstars, it’s nice to have guys like Craig who can say they made a big difference without doing things the most popular way. You might not hear his name very often, but Allen Craig is deserving of big time recognition!