5 St. Louis Cardinals Who Will Breakout in 2022

May 2, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Dylan Carlson (3) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Dylan Carlson (3) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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St. Louis Cardinals
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 17: Dylan Carlson #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during an MLB baseball game at Citizens Bank Park on April 17, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Dylan Carlson

When determining a breakout candidate on the 2022 Cardinals team, Dylan Carlson is a trendy pick, and for good reason.

After struggling in the pandemic shortened 2020 season, Carlson turned in an excellent rookie season, slashing .266/.343/.437 with 31 doubles, 18 home runs, and 65 RBIs while playing solid defense and finishing third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. What is even more encouraging is that Carlson really came into his own during the second half. His average and slugging percentage rose 19 and 114 points respectively, all while maintaining the exact same OBP.

The most noticeable part of Carlson’s rookie year was his splits against right and left handed pitching. Carlson was a menace against left handed pitching, posting a .394 OBP and .923 OPS. There was a large dip against right handed pitching though, as his numbers dropped to a .329 OBP and .739 OPS. It is only a matter of time before Carlson’s bat catches up against right handed pitching, and if he takes a step forward there this season, he can truly become one of the most dangerous on base threats in the league while maintaining great extra base hit potential.