A St. Louis Cardinals player leads Major League Baseball in WAR. It’s just not Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado.
The two best St. Louis Cardinals players are unquestionably Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, who are both on pace to be Hall of Famers. But when checking the Baseball Reference leaderboard for WAR, neither lead their own team in the category.
It’s Tommy Edman, who just so happens to be tied for the league lead in WAR (4.3) with Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara. A close third is Los Angeles Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout, who has a 4.2 bWAR.
Edman, 27, has been a revelation for the Cardinals ever since taking over for Kolten Wong at second base in 2021. Last season, he hit .262/.308/.387 with a .695 OPS and won the Gold Glove award over Wong. This season, he’s hitting an even better .274/.347/.407 with a .754 OPS, seven home runs, 30 RBI and 17 stolen bases.
It makes him a strong candidate to make the All-Star team and puts him in position to be among the best second basemen in baseball. And while the Cardinals loved Edman’s ability, believing he had a bright future in the infield, not even they could have seen this coming. He’s emerged as a star and an irreplaceable player.
Take this year for example. With Paul DeJong struggling, the Cardinals shifted Edman from second base to shortstop while calling up top infield prospect Nolan Gorman to play second base. The move has been seamless and it makes their infield – Goldschmidt, Gorman, Edman and Arenado – perhaps the best in baseball. If anything, it’s definitely in the top 3. It’s that good.
And if Arenado opts into the remaining few seasons of his contract, it will be their long-term infield. Considering that Arenado and Goldschmidt are playing at high levels and Gorman will only get better with more experience, it has the potential to be even better than it is now.
Just don’t sleep on Edman. He’s proved that he’s one of the best infielders, both offensively and defensively, in the game this season.