The St. Louis Cardinals are off to a strong start as a team. But do any Cardinals have a shot at the end-of-season individual awards?
The St. Louis Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central. They’re grinding out tough wins. They’re getting healthy. And they’re showing signs they might be a real contender. As a team, a whole lot is going right.
But how do the Cardinals stack up on an individual level? As it gets closer, we’ll take a look at the all-star positional races (personally, I think Arenado, Goldschmidt, Edman and Helsley are locks, with cases to be made for Waino, Yadi, Albert, and Mikolas). But do any of the St. Louis Cardinals have a chance at the coveted year-end awards?
The only current Cardinals to win an MVP, Cy Young or Rookie of the Year is Albert Pujols. In fact, Albert is the last Cardinal to win Rookie of the Year (2001) or MVP (2009), while the last Cardinal to win the Cy Young was Chris Carpenter in 2005.
The current MVP drought of 12 seasons is the longest in franchise history since the 20 year gap between Willie McGee (1985) and Pujols. In fact, the 2010s were only the third decade since 1920 where a St. Louis Cardinal did not win an MVP award (1950s and 1990s).
It’s shocking to me, but Chris Carpenter and Bob Gibson are the only Cardinals to win a Cy Young. Wainwright had his stolen by Tim Lincecum in 2009, but surely a team that values pitching as much as the Cardinals should have the best starter on their roster, right?
And while Pujols is one, can you name the other five Cardinals to win rookie of the year? (answer revealed at the end!) The MVP drought might be long, but since the rookie of the year award was introduced in 1947, the Cardinals have never gone this long (20 seasons) without a winner.
So while we (rightfully) focus on if the Cardinals have what it takes to make a deep postseason run, let’s take a moment to examine the award races. We’ll start with MVP, move to Cy Young, and finish with ROY. Do any Cardinals have a shot?