Just missing the top four, these five are going to be counted on if the Cardinals are going to make playoff run. A fairly young group, they each have the potential to get better and break into the final grouping.
9. Dakota Hudson
Dakota Hudson came back from Tommy John surgery and pitched a few valuable innings for the Cardinals in 2021, a welcome sign as the Cardinals built their rotation this offseason. Hudson pitches to contact, which makes him a perfect fit for the Cardinals strong defense. Still only 27, he is a key part of the Cardinals rotation, both this year and for the foreseeable future.
8. Tommy Edman
Now a Gold Glove winner, Edman has shown he is more than just a utility man. Whether he bats leadoff or eighth, plays second base or outfield, Tommy Edman will be counted on by the St. Louis Cardinals.
7. Steven Matz
Anytime you sign someone to a four-year, $44 million deal, they immediately become an integral part of your ballclub. Matz has struggled with consistency and staying healthy over the course of his professional career, but if he can steady the middle of the St. Louis rotation for the next four years, he will be worth the price.
6. Harrison Bader
After a difficult, injury-filled start to the season, Harrison Bader came into his own in 2021. Bader remained the elite defender in center field that he has always been, but this time, he was consistent at the plate. There are few things more valuable to a ballclub than a high-level center fielder, and Bader has all the tools to be one.
5. Tyler O’Neill
After frustrating many Cardinals fans with a lack of consistent production, O’Neill became the powerful bat they relied on for most of 2021. He will look to improve on his outstanding season next year. An unsettled spot since the Matt Holliday years, left field at Busch Stadium belongs to Tyler O’Neill.