St. Louis Cardinals: 7 Cardinals who were blessed by Devil Magic
Devil Magic remains alive and well in St. Louis, as the versatile Tommy Edman came onto the scene in 2019 looking like a man on a mission. Edman was drafted in the sixth round in 2016 and debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals on June 8, 2019, and while he hit increasingly well in the minor leagues as he ascended the ranks, few could have foreseen his outburst in the major leagues.
Edman’s 2019 was likely somewhat of an aberration: His barrel percentage was in the 24th percentile, and his exit velocity was in the 18th percentile. Still, the results speak for themselves: A line of .304/.350/.500 had opponents once again grumbling about the Devil Magic and the pixies aiding the Cardinals.
Edman even displayed power that had never been seen before. He hit 11 home runs in 326 at-bats, eclipsing his high of seven with Memphis in 2018. He also hit seven home runs during his time with Memphis in 2019, but that was likely because of Triple-A’s status as an experimental launching pad.
Edman predictably came back to normal in 2020. All the usual caveats for the abridged 2020 season apply, but his passiveness at the plate was worth noting, as he tended to take too many good pitches for strikes, an observation confirmed by Baseball Savant. If Edman can also have a better eye for pitches outside the zone, he could improve his low walk rate as well.
But unlike the other players on this list, Edman’s tale is not yet over: He remains a Cardinal, and if he can adjust to pitchers, he can have a fruitful career. Devil Magic isn’t meant to be an insult, after all; it simply speaks to the Cardinals’ ability to find that extra gear in players. Only time will tell if Edman will be a sprint like Bo Hart or a marathon like Ryan Ludwick.
The Cardinals have been able to help overlooked players serve as key pieces. Fans of opposing teams can prattle on about the Cardinals’ dumb luck, but the team’s ability to draft, develop and deploy players has few parallels in baseball. And it’s always nice to have a little pixie around to help them out.