Decent offensive numbers, but it wasn't his bat that the Cardinals were particularly interested in. Carpenter was an all Big East selection as a catcher for the West Virginia University Mountaineers with a cannon for an arm. In his junior and final season for WVU, Carpenter threw out 17 of 36 base stealers while picking off an additional 13 base runners.
Remind you of anyone?
Carpenter spent his first season in professional baseball at short-season State College, where he hit .189-0-9 in 37 games for the State College Spikes, who were then the Cardinals' New York-Penn League affiliate. Defensively, behind the plate, Carpenter committed just two errors in 182 total chances for a .989 fielding percentage.
Carpenter was slated to open the 2007 season in the Quad Cities, but a broken wrist during Spring Training caused him to miss the first half of the season and set his development back a year.
There isn't much chance that the spotlight is going to shine on you much when you are doing rehab and not getting to play, yet the Cardinals did call on Carpenter in February to report to Jupiter as a non-roster invitee, for spring training with the major league club.
Of course, even in camp with the major league club, don't expect a very big spotlight, if you are the seventh catcher in the dugout. Carpenter in camp to help with the additional workload for pitchers in spring training, didn't appear in a Grapefruit League Game for St. Louis.
After spring training, the 22-year-old from West Virginia started out the 2008 campaign going just 1-for-10, but Monday night, Carpenter delivered a clutch two-run single with two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning to give the River Bandits a 6-5 lead and the win. Carpenter has raised his batting average over the last week to .318 (7-for-22) with decent slash stats of .318/.423/.455.
Possessing good hands and a quick release, Carpenter has one of the strongest arms in the minors and to his credit, he didn't let his early struggles at the plate, effect his defense behind the plate. He threw out four-of-eight base runners attempting to steal second base in his first seven games of the new season.
Most the attention on catchers over the past two seasons has been focused two catchers; Yadier Molina and Bryan Anderson.
Molina a perennial Gold Glove candidateis entrenched behind the plate for the Cardinals, just signing a four-year contract extension recently with a club option for a fifth year.
Looking past Molina, the Cardinals catcher of the future is suppose to be Bryan Anderson, ranked by the Birdhouse as the Cardinals #2 prospect in the organization.
Carpenter was extended an invitation to spring training this season as the club's seventh catcher in camp, if he keeps playing like he has during the first two weeks of this season, he may not be able to avoid the spotlight much longer. He certainly won't be the "seventh catcher".