2015 Arch Awards: Who was St. Louis’s Rising Star in 2015?

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Randal Grichuk, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Before Piscotty became the Cardinals’ trendiest rookie in August, Grichuk was all the rage and was starting to receive consideration as a Rookie of the Year candidate. With traditional catalysts like Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina struggling a bit and Matt Holliday sidelined with a quad injury, Grichuk was the lifeblood of the Cardinals’ offense during the heart of the summer as they dominated the National League. Unfortunately, an elbow injury sidelined Grichuk from August 16 to September 7 and afterward inhibited his ability to play in the field, which effectively ended his ROY candidacy, but Grichuk’s success before then should not be discounted.

Prior to his ailment, Grichuk was hitting .284 with 15 homers and 44 RBI. Though his ability to make contact dropped off a bit after his return, he still finished the season with a respectable line of .276/.329/.548, as well as 17 homers and 47 RBI. He showcased himself as the team’s long-term center fielder to the point where the team felt comfortable letting go of Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos this offseason, and he’ll be counted on to be one of baseball’s more dynamic slugging center fielders during 2016 as he moves into a full-time role. Grichuk will have to avoid the injury troubles that limited him as a minor-leaguer and halted his progress on two separate occasions during 2015, but if he can stay healthy, he’ll become another great member of the Cardinals’ plentiful stable of great young position players.

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