St. Louis Cardinals: Ranking the players with the most value beyond 2021

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with Dylan Carlson #3 after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 20, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with Dylan Carlson #3 after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 20, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals
ST LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 10: Austin Gomber #36 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning during game two of a doubleheader at Busch Stadium on September 10, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

ORGANIZATIONAL DEPTH:

35-32: John Nogowski, Edmundo Sosa, Justin Williams, Austin Dean

31-26: Seth Elledge, Junior Fernandez, Austin Gomber, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Kodi Whitley, Jake Woodford

This is an odd section of the roster. This group has some very talented players, and most of them will play a role on the Cardinals for the next few years. However, the most likely contribution from this group is to be a depth piece on the backend of the bullpen or the bench.

The biggest strength of the Cardinals organization is depth, and that is reflected here. Nogowski is a sure-handed first baseman with pop. Sosa is going to play an important utility infield role this season and has the tools to surprise people. And both Dean and Williams have done nothing but hit in the minor leagues.

The pitchers in this group are no slouches either. Gomber and Ponce have provided valuable innings as starters and relievers the past few seasons, and Fernandez and Whitley in particular have shown an exceptional arsenal on the mound.

But as you’ll see moving forward on this list, each of these ten is blocked by one or more prospects who do the same thing that they do. A surprising performance in 2021 could vault any of them higher up on this list, but as currently situated, these guys are not the ones the St. Louis Cardinals should be focused on building around.