2018 St. Louis Cardinals Depth Chart
The Cardinals take yet another run at the tough and always competitive NL Central division in 2018. Their road to the post-season has had its fair share of bumps and bruises, but this team strives on perseverance. A young core of pitchers mixed with some experience in the field create the necessary make-up to this team’s successes. Short-comings are few in 2018, which bodes well for the Cardinal’s chances at post-season birthing. The young rotation looks to continue their excellence while their core of batters keeps the production levels above the league standards.
|Catcher||Yadier Molina||Francisco Pena||Carson Kelly|
|1st Base||Matt Carpenter||Matt Adams|
|2nd Base||Kolten Wong||Greg Garcia|
|Shortstop||Paul DeJong||Yairo Munoz|
|3rd Base||Jedd Gyorko||Patrick Wisdom|
|Left Field||Marcell Ozuna||Tyler O'Neill|
|Center Field||Harrison Bader|
|Right Field||Jose Martinez||Adolis Garcia|
The rotation build is headlined by two new faces: Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty. Mikolas is leading the team in wins at 16. Keeping his ERA right around the 3.00-mark has written the story on his season. The 30-year-old strives in long-outing situations, usually favoring starts that reach the team to the 7th or 8th innings without trouble. His heavy command over his pitches create for precise placement and deter batters from lounging in their hot zones at the batter’s box. Flaherty is only 22-years-old and experiences his first, full MLB season. Adapting to a full workload has done little to shake this young righty. His off-speed pitches mirror his heavy heat, creating a duo of forces that keep batters on their toes. The talent development team in St. Louis has their hands full with a bevy of pitching prospects that are pro-ready. Luke Weaver has struggled with command, but a full body of work keeps his development in-check. Alex Reyes has spent a majority of the season on the disabled list. A return to health for Reyes gives the Cardinals 6 to 7 guys that can be placed within starting roles, brightening the future for this organization.
The infield cannot be assessed without reaching back into the fountain of youth. Many forget that Kolten Wong is still under the age of 28 due to his fast climb to the big leagues. Wong came up with Matt Carpenter, creating a duo of infield talent that is rarely met by another organization. While both has seen tail-off in production numbers, their contributions have them near the team lead in all major, statistical components. Paul DeJong has been a nice addition to this region. His 19 long-balls and 62 RBIs have him near the top of the team list. The return of Matt Adams also brings back a core piece that has been prevalent in past playoff runs, boosting the team morale and chemistry ahead of the post-season.
This second region of the field has been on pace for record production numbers. Heading the 3-way charge is Jose Martinez. Martinez leads the team in batting average at a clip above the .300-mark. Pacing closely behind Martinez is the team’s big off-season acquisition in Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna’s 22 homeruns create consistencies in the middle of the order, allowing for him to be slotted anywhere from the 3 to 6-spot. Harrison Bader is the youngest of the outfielders at 24-years-old. He has been a nice change of pace guy for the Cardinals. His elements of speed and plate consistency mesh him into a serviceable player that can slot anywhere in the order.
Due to the team’s depth at the infield and outfield, they can really play the numbers game. Creating favorable hitting and pitching match-ups allows for proper rest between starts and increases the stamina level on a day-to-day basis. This team can mirror the attack of the opposition at all tiers, creating manageable deficits and limiting the overall damage an opposing offense can produce. Jedd Gyorko, Tyler O’Neill, and Jairo Munoz are the bench talents for offensive and defensive sets. All sit near the top of the team in batting average, which allows for teaming them with the correct talents for success. O’Neill and Munoz are still getting their feet wet with the team, so once they locate their areas of success and weakness, the tear this team can go on will be unlimited in terms of potential. Gyorko is the practiced veteran and his strong come-on as the season reaches a close means big things for this organization.