Paul DeJong has recently returned to his old form after two down seasons at the plate.
DeJong had lost his job as the starting shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals and spent a good portion of the 2022 season in the minor leagues.
However, he’s back in action and is helping carry the Cardinals back into the NL Central race.
On Monday, he hit his eighth home run of the year against the Cincinnati Reds and pulled the team out of an early 2-0 deficit.
DeJong is in fact tied for second in MLB in home runs for a shortstop this season.
MLB.com writer John Denton pointed out this fact on Twitter.
With his three-run long ball on Monday night, #STLCards shortstop Paul DeJong is tied for second in baseball in HRs among SSs with eight. Read here about the mindset that is helping DeJong stay in the present and remain balance. https://t.co/GN9VnxYSn6
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) May 23, 2023
The Cardinals came into the season expecting Tommy Edman to be the everyday shortstop.
However, DeJong has forced the Cardinals’ hand this season and has earned his job back.
It’s also important to note that four star shortstops were available this past offseason in free agency.
Many Cardinals fans were hoping to see the team make a play for one of them.
But it appears as if the Cardinals didn’t need to do that and were ultimately smart to sit out on the shortstop market.
DeJong his just .197 in 2021 and .157 in 2022.
With the emergence of Brendan Donovan, the Cardinals didn’t have a clear spot for DeJong.
But since his return, he has been one of the team’s hottest hitters.
The 29-year-old is hitting .289 with a slugging percentage of .627, an OPS of .992, and an OPS+ of 170 since being activated from the injured list.NEXT: Stat Proves That Willson Contreras Was Never The Problem