The St. Louis Cardinals’ All-Time 28-Man Roster

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Bench Spot #5 – 1B Mark McGwire

How can you not want this guy on your bench? 220 home runs as a Cardinal, off the bench you say? Sign me up! Look, we all know he took PED’s to enhance his performance and it showed big time when he hit the wall after the 1999 season. However, my all-time roster does not discriminate, and Mark was such a critical figure at a time when Cardinals’ baseball as a whole was not all the exciting.

McGwire finished his brief Cardinals’ career with a slash of .270/.427/.683 translating into a ridiculous OPS of 1.111, with 278 extra-base hits (220 homers, 57 doubles, and one triple). If you notice the lack of a high average and doubles, that is what kept him out of a starting spot. He is in no way, shape, or form better than Pujols who did it all for the Cardinals and actually helped the Cardinals win two titles.

However, off of the bench McGwire will be lethal. We all know McGwire’s best season was 1998, when he hit his 70 home runs and drove in 147. Looking deeper shows some incredible numbers for McGwire’s season.

He had an incredible ISO of .454 that year as well as an incredible wRC+ of 205 (both stats according to Fangraphs), which were of course both career highs. The fact that he finished second in the MVP race that year to Sosa, who played in an easier park to hit homers in and struck out more than McGwire that year, is crazy.

Some would leave McGwire off of this roster, but not me, I cannot ignore his “lights out” power.

Next: Bench Spot #6 - OF Curt Flood