The St. Louis Cardinals are set to compete this year, but also for years in the future. Who on the roster has the most future value?
A year ago, amidst a quiet offseason from the St. Louis Cardinals, I ranked the players on the 40-man roster in terms of future value. Of course, three weeks later the front office shook up those rankings entirely and traded for Nolan Arenado. Despite that setback (or maybe because of it?) I thought that while baseball takes some time off, it would be an interesting exercise to try the rankings again.
You can look at last year’s rankings here. Again, it was before the Arenado trade, so don’t get mad at me. Of the 40 players ranked a year ago, only 27 remain in the organization– and two of them were removed from the 40-man roster.
This year’s rankings include the 36 members of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster, as well as three top prospects expected to debut at some point in 2022. It’s a balanced mix of veterans and youngsters, proven talent and untapped potential, players looking to rebound and players looking to build upon recent success. Players have more defined roles than a year ago, too, and that made the rankings a little smoother.
This exercise showed where the Cardinals have depth – future Cardinals like Jordan Walker, Mason Wynn, and Josh Baez will all fit in further down the line – and where the Cardinals need to acquire more talent.
A quick shoutout to Justin Williams (ranked 33 last year), Seth Elledge (31 last year), Ljay Newsome and Andersen Tejeda. They are the four players in the organization with major-league experience who are not on the 40-man roster.
Now, without further ado, here are the official 2022 St. Louis Cardinals future value rankings. Subject for plenty of debate, as always.