Not much time has passed since Brendan Donovan finished third in the race for the National League Rookie of the Year and earned a Gold Glove Award.
The St. Louis Cardinals rookie sensation burst onto the scene early in the 2022 season and became a key contributor for a team that won 93 games and captured their 13th NL Central title.
But Donovan’s contributions are nothing new for St. Louis, and they even invoke some memories of a former Cardinals great in Matt Carpenter.
Carpenter and Donovan’s rookie seasons were 10 years apart, yet they were very similar in a lot of ways.
MLB Network posted a graphic showing just how similar these two players were in their youth.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 16, 2023
The stats show just how similar Carpenter and Donovan were in their rookie seasons.
Carpenter has a slight edge in batting average, having hit .294 in 2012, while Donovan hit for a still impressive .281 mark.
In OPS+, Donovan has a slight edge over the former Cardinals great, with his sitting at 126 compared to Carpenter’s 125.
Walk rates and pitches per plate appearance are quite similar as well, and the stats go to show just how patient, yet gritty these two stars are when it comes to taking at-bats.
Both work the count and attempt to draw an at-bat out as long as possible.
The two stars are also super utility players.
When Carpenter came up with the Cardinals, he primarily served as a utility infielder, playing at first base, second base, and third base before later adding the two corner outfield spots.
Donovan can play all over the infield and all over the outfield as well, which is part of what led him to claim the Gold Glove Award for utility players.
St. Louis truly has something special in their Rookie of the Year finalist.