Ranking the St. Louis Cardinals players with the most value beyond 2022
By Ben Remis
27 & 28: Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright
Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright should never be ranked this low on any list. With that being said, players that aren’t going to be on the team after 2022 just can’t be ahead of younger guys under contract.
There’s no understating the importance that these two legends have had on the franchise. Their impact is simply unmeasurable, and even after they stop playing, that impact will be felt for years to come.
If you’re leading a team into the playoffs, there’s no understating what value that provides. However, everyone ahead of these two is under contract beyond 2022, and that’s what keeps them from the bottom of this list.
26. Brendan Donovan
25. Juan Yepez
24. Lars Nootbaar
23. Edmundo Sosa
We move from the timeless veterans to the Cardinals Devil Magic group. Four mostly unheralded prospects who have shown signs of breaking out in the big leagues. None of them will be counted on to lead the roster, but all have the potential to be impact bats in 2022 and beyond.
Edmundo Sosa is the most familiar and most experienced. He did well with the starting job at shortstop late last season, providing energy and getting on-base from the bottom of the lineup. Sosa can play all over the infield and is looking to take the next step as a big-leaguer in 2022.
Everyone’s favorite lefty Lars Nootbaar will have a lot more expected of him this season. As the Cardinals have stabilized their starting outfield trio (more on them soon), he took control of the fourth outfielder role in 2021. He showed continued improvement in the Arizona Fall League a few months ago, and there’s no reason why he can’t thrive both offensively and defensively off the bench going forward.
Juan Yepez and Brendan Donovan were the breakout prospects in AAA-Memphis last season. While neither are known for their defense, both provide some positional versatility which should allow an easier path to the big leagues. Bottom line is these two can hit, and with a strong spring training, Yepez and Donovan might force their way onto the St. Louis roster.