With Tommy Edman swiping 30 bases last season, have the St. Louis Cardinals finally exorcised their decade-long baserunning demons?
For nearly two decades, the St. Louis Cardinals have had a problem with base running. Their strengths have typically been hitting, starting pitching and defense. In 2022, Tommy Edman could bring a serious change of pace depending on how new skipper Oliver Marmol wants to use his speed.
Edman led the Cardinals in stolen bases last season with 30. This was the first time a player has stolen 30 bases in a single season since Edgar Renteria successfully stole 34 bases in 2003.
With this elite speed, Edman was only caught stealing five times. If Marmol is willing to risk the lead-off hitter running the bases, Edman could add quite a few stolen bases to his collection. His 83.3 steal percentage last season was above the usual-average of 75%. This means that he not only swiped a team-leading amount of bases, but he also picked his spots effectively and did not hurt the team with his baserunning.
As Edman enters his fourth season, his career .321 OBP coupled with his fantastic baserunning could provide an extra spark for the Cards’ lineup in 2022. Assuming he stays in the leadoff spot under the new manager, Edman could be a breakout candidate for the Cardinals.
St. Louis is coming off of a season in which it featured five Gold Glove winners in its starting lineup. The defense is capable of competing for a World Series. For the Cardinals to make the next jump, something is going to have to be taken up a notch.
The baserunning, which has been the bane of the Cardinals for so long, may finally have its time in the sun. Behind Tommy Edman’s legs, the Cardinals could be in line for a big year on the bases in 2022.