DeJong Finds Swing Hitting Near Bottom of Cards Lineup

Since Shildt has moved him back to a more comfortable No. 5 spot, DeJong has been rejuvenated. 

August 14, 2018 - 2:47 pm
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After the first walk-off hit of Paul DeJong's career, could the second-year short stop be on the cusp of late-season turn around like fellow St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter? 

While we won't expect MVP numbers from DeJong, he's getting closer to his rookie-year marks that were good enough to finish runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2017. Currently, DeJong is hitting .243 with 13 home runs, 36 RBI and slugging .532. With last night's heroics, the 25-year-old has helped St. Louis to a six-game winning streak.

To start the season, DeJong looked like there wasn't a sophomore slump coming his way. Through May 17, he was hitting .260 with eight home runs and he was on pace to surpass his 25 long balls from 2017. And while his strike outs were just as high, his walk rate was also up, compared to last year. 

Then he was hit by a pitch and fractured his left hand, putting him on the DL for a month and a half. When he returned he couldn't find his power. 

Through 21 games he hit just one home run and was slugging .325. He was moved up to the No. 3 spot in the lineup by interim manager Mike Shildt, but DeJong couldn't find his power their.

Since Shildt has moved him back to a more comfortable No. 5 spot, DeJong has been rejuvenated.  In his last seven games, DeJong is batting .276 with four home runs and a .793 slugging percentage. 

Although he's been batting fifth in seven straight games for St. Louis, Shildt may want to even think about moving him down one more spot. Because his career splits say sixth is his favorite position to hit in. His batting average in the sixth spot this year is .346.

We'll see where DeJong hits tonight for game two of a four-game series at home against Washington – but Cardinals fans should hope it's fifth or sixth.