St. Louis Cardinals 2021 Preview

Welcome to the final month before opening day! I hope you have been enjoying spring training as much as I have. Baseball is close! I am overjoyed! March begins the official Ball Boy Blog previews of all 30 teams. The previews feature all the Free Agent signings, trades, NRI, bold predictions, and some cool fun facts at the end! We are starting at the top of the 2020 ranks and working our way down from best to worst! Enjoy!

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St. Louis Cardinals(Red Birds)

Last Year Record: 30-28 and finished 2nd in the NL Central and lost in the WC round of the Playoffs

Record x2.7: 81-75.6

Vegas Projected: Vegas the Cardinals winnings 86.5. Vegas is rude; I got the Cardinals slotted to win 97G and win the division ahead of the Cubs by two games. Yes, I am taking the over.

Impact Departures:

1B Rangel Ravelo(Non-tendered), 1B John Brebbia(Non-tendered)

Traded:

OF Dexter Fowler, LHP Austin Gomber, 3B Mateo Gil, INF Elehuris Montero, RHP Tony Locey, RHP Jake Sommers.


Key Arrivals

Free Agent Signings:

C Yadier Molina and SP Adam Wainwright were both resigned to a 1-year deal.

VIA Trade:

3B Nolan Arenado- 8x Gold Glove, 4x All-Star. Arenado owns a career .293/.349/.541 slash with 235HR over 4558PA. He also has a total of 120DRS, 56.4UZR on defense.

C Ali Sanchez- Sanchez made his MLB debut in 2020; however, he only had 10PA, which he went 1-9 in. He split 2019 between AA/AAA, and he slashed .261/.326/.322. Over six MiLB seasons, he has slashed .259/.317/.331 in 1484PA.

RHP Johan Quezada- Quezada last pitched for the Twins Class-A Advanced affiliate in 2019 with a 3.44ERA/3.59FIP in 51.1IP out of the pen.

Tendered Contracts:

OF Harrison Bader, RHP Jordan Hicks, RHP John Gant, SP Jack Flaherty

Claims:

KEY NRI:

C Tyler Heineman- Over 62 MLB PA, he owns a .208/.288/.302 slash line. The switch hitter owns a much better MiLB slash line of .287/.353/.430. Andrew Knizneris the only C on the 40man roster-11/17

INF Max Moroff- Moroff carries a .183/.277/.319 slash line over 244 MLB PA with him. However, his ability to play 2B, SS, 3B could make him a valuable bench asset.

INF Jose Rondon- The 27yo Rondon has played in 106MLB games and played each INF position and LF in his career. He owns a career .201/.260/.336, 9HR over 290PA.

NRI:

RHP Jesus Cruz, RHP Conner Jones, LHP Evan Kryczynski, RHP Thomas Parson, LHP Domingo Robles, LHP Auston Warner, LHP Garrett Williams, C Aaron Antonini, C Dennis Ortega, C Pedro Pages, C Carlos Soto, INF Luken Baker, INF Delvin Perez, INF Kramer Robertson, INF Jose Rondon, OF Conner Capel, OF Scott Hurst, OF Lars Nootbaar, OF Justin Toerner

Selected Contracts, OF Mark Szczur

RHP Angel Rondon(Over 347.1IP in the MiLB, he holds a 3.01ERA. In AA 115IP over 20 starts, he has a 3.21ERA/3.97FIP)

OUT OF OPTIONS:

Miles Mikolas, P

John Gant, P

Tyler Webb, P

Daniel Ponce de Leon, P

Edmundo Sosa, SS

Prospect Watch in Camp

-INF Nolan Gorman, LHP Matthew Liberatore, LHP Zack Thompson, RHP Roel Ramirez, RHP Griffin Roberts, INF Evan Mendoza,

-The Rookie to watch in Cards camp is OF Dylan Carlson. After slashing only a .200/.252/.364, the 2016 1st round pick left much to be desired. The talent is there for Carlson, and with another great vet hitter around in Arenado, should help the young outfielder stay grounded.

Fantasy Impact Players

Pitchers- Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, Kwang Hyun Kim, Carlos Martinez, Andrew Miller

Position Players- C Yadier Molina, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Paul DeJong, Tyler O'Neill, Dylan Carlson

Upcoming 2022 Free Agents:

-Nolan Arenado carries a $35mil player option going into his age 32 seasons in 2020. Does he leave $169mil and a chance at a right with STL on the table for less?

-Adam Wainwright/Yadier Molina? Is this year it?

-SP Carlos Martinez carries a 17mil club option.

-37yo RP Andrew Miller is the team's only true free-agent with no options.


Storylines to follow

-Are we officially seeing the final season from Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina. We can only assume until otherwise told.

-We will all be following along to see how the team improves with Arenado on board and if he plans to stick around.

Bold Predictions

It is pretty bold to call a ten-game over on the Vegas odds. However, the Cardinals are coming into 2021 severely underrated and are about the run the NL Central and make a run at the World Series. I also think the Cardinals could take home the MVP(Arenado), Cy Young(Flaherty), and RoY(Carlson)

Fact Check:

Since the wild-card system began in 1995, there have been more NLCS played with either St. Louis, San Francisco, or both (11) than without (10). Fact-based on 2019 stats.


Thanks for reading today, I am so grateful for your time reading, and I hope you enjoyed reviewing the winners as much as I have. I also want to thank my partners over at Repp Sports for RAZE Energy. Thanks to this clean and sufficient energy, I can have the intense focus to deliver content to you guys consistently. Click here to save 15% right now with the code "BALL BOY" at check out.


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