St. Louis Cardinals: Ranking the top Cardinal “killers” from the 21st century
By Kyle Jasper
10. Gary Sheffield: 174 wRC+ (2002-2009)
If you think of all the times you’ve played wiffleball in your backyard, there had to be one time in your life that you impersonated the famous Sheffield bat wiggle. A man with an iconic batting stance also had tremendous numbers versus the St. Louis Cardinals. For his career, Sheffield put up a stat line of .351/.376/.691 against the Redbirds.
While Sheffield was with the Braves for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, he was a force to be reckoned with every single time he stepped foot in the box against our Cardinals. In 2003 alone, he went 10-25 with four homers and eight RBI.
Sheffield continued his dominance against the Redbirds throughout most of his career and even went 6-13 with 2 homers in 2008 in a single series. The man with one of the most recognizable batting stances of all time sure did have the Cardinals number and there is no surprise that he ended up on this list.
9. Bryce Harper: 176 wRC+
Bryce Harper, you either love the guy or you hate him. There really is not much in between it seems from most baseball fans nowadays. Whichever side you choose to be on, there is one thing for certain, this man can crush baseballs. And when it comes to crushing baseballs, he seems to do it exceptionally well against the Cardinals.
Harper sports a career line of .329/.435/.613 against St. Louis and his wRC+ of 176 is actually his highest of any other opponent in the MLB not named the Seattle Mariners. I have no clue what drives him against the Cardinals. Maybe it is the sold-out crowds or maybe that he is just really really good and our pitching strategies just have never worked. Either way, Bryce Harper is a Cardinal killer and I am certain that will not be changing any time soon.
8. Christian Yelich: 177 wRC+
The former Marlins outfielder flew under the radar as one of the most underrated players in the entire league for two years before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. Yelich really rose to popularity as he was one of the key contributors for Team USA during the 2017 World Baseball Classic where USA came away with the Gold Medal.
More from St Louis Cardinals All-Time Lists
- Cardinals: Was Albert Pujols really inferior to Derek Jeter?
- Picking the five best St. Louis Cardinals third basemen since 1967
- St. Louis Cardinals: From Oz to McGee, 51 iconic uni numbers
- The St. Louis Cardinals’ 29 greatest (and slightest) rivals
- St. Louis Cardinals’ top 10 greatest one-year wonders
Along with being a gold medalist, he also performs extremely well versus the St. Louis Cardinals. Yelcih is one of those guys that seems to just get a hit every single time he comes up to the plate during a series. You almost just pray that you just give him four wide and just take our chances with the next guy.
Yelcich owns a gaudy 1.062 OPS against the Cardinals and in 2019 he fared exceptionally well while playing at Miller Park. At home against the Cards in 2019, Yelich posted splits of .469/.614/1.250 with a staggering wRC+ of 334. Christian Yelich is surely a Cardinal killer and the BFIB should not expect anything different for years to come.
7. Brian Giles: 180 wRC+ (2002-2009)
For those who are wondering who Brian Giles was, let me refresh your memory a little bit. Brian Giles was a very consistent right fielder for the Indians, Pirates, and Padres who was also very consistent and had a funky batting stance.
Prior to the 1999 season, Giles was traded to the Pirates for Ricardo Rincon. Giles really broke out into one of the best outfielders in baseball after the trade. From the years 1999-2005, Giles held an average fWAR of 5.8 and over that time, his lowest wRC+ was 127.
For his career against the Cardinals, he posted splits of .341/.453/1.069 in 285 plate appearances. Giles was very consistent and was rarely ever taken out of the lineup because durability was one thing he prided himself on. During his “prime” (1999 season to 2005), he averaged 152 games played and had at least 600 plate appearances in all seven of those seasons.