What if the St. Louis Cardinals were members of The Avengers?
By Ben Remis
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – SEPTEMBER 24: Tyler O’Neill #41 of the St Louis Cardinals gets ready in the batters box against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 24, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Tyler O’Neil: Hulk
Watch this clip. Then try to explain to me how Tyler O’Neil isn’t the Hulk.
He’s got a hard-hit rate in his career of 41% and max exit velocity in his career of 113.1 MPH. Neither of these marks is top of the league, but after battling injuries and inconsistent playing time, O’Neil has shown his potential for tremendous power.
There remain some questions about strikeouts, but even The Hulk has his weaknesses (i.e. Avengers: Infinity War– very strange). The Hulk is at his best for the Avengers when he’s allowed to go out and swing away. A fully realized Tyler O’Neil would be a similarly great boost of power for the Cardinals.
Kolten Wong: Black Panther
Black Panther immediately established himself as an Avengers standout, bursting onto the screen in Captain America: Civil War, and then playing crucial roles in practically every MCU movie since.
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Kolten Wong’s rise has been slightly slower, struggling for consistent playing time early on, before breaking out offensively and winning a Gold Glove last season. They each took different paths, but both Wong and Black Panther have succeeded with similar skill sets.
From his left-handed stroke at the plate to the way in which he covers the entire right side of the infield, Kolten Wong has displayed catlike-reflexes in every aspect of his game. Like Black Panther, Wong seems to absorb energy and then release it at big moments to crush the opposition.
As Black Panther continues his rise as one of the leaders of the Avengers, so too does Wong establish himself as a key member of the Cardinals. In case anyone forgot how good this guy is, just take a look at this clip: