Hot MVP debates: Cabrera vs. Trout and Kershaw vs. McCutchen
Carpenter also gets extra value points for his ability to play multiple positions. When the Cardinals' best option at second base heading into the season was Daniel Descalso, Carpenter filled that hole, and when the team's best alternative to a struggling David Freese at third base was rookie Kolten Wong, he slid over to his natural position at third to give Wong a chance to improve the team at second. Carpenter is also the only middle infielder on these lists other than Cano, and his slash stats compare well to Cano's, particularly when factoring in their home ballparks. Finally, Carpenter has been underrated this season because, at 27, he's not budding superstar, and as a leadoff hitter with doubles-power, his most impressive stats have been those listed to the left of the traditional Triple Crown stats, which is why I extended his line above to include that black ink.