This Yahoo piece, about how Brett Wallace was part of the 2009 trade that brought Matt Holliday to St. Louis, got me thinking.
What if Matt Adams is a glorified Brett Wallace?
First, a glorified Brett Wallace is still better than the actual Brett Wallace, who never met his minor-league touting, but has met some minor-league concern levels, about fielding range, etc. In his 2012 cup of coffee and 2013 half season, Adams has shown he's at least a glorified Brett Wallace, and not a replacement-level Brett Wallace.
It's another way of saying this is the Prince Fielder concern: When will Adams' build potentially start causing problems?
Because, while he's definitely better than Wallace at the plate, Adams was league average in 2012, and by dWAR and fielding runs, a deficiency in 2013.
If Adams can keep a BA above .280, slugging at or above .500, and OPS+ at at least 125, and preferred 130 or better, he's at least a small plus. OPS+ of 135 or better is what will make him more than a small plus.
And, improving his splits against lefty pitchers will be key in 2014. I've already noted how Allen Craig can slide from right field to first against lefties, but in the longer term, the Cards would certainly like to have Adams pick up the slack. He also needs to get more patient on drawing walks.
Again, "glorified Brett Wallace" is not bad. It's just not that good. The team hopes for more; we fans do, too. At the same time, we should temper expectations until Adams gets a full season under his belt.