2 potential X factors for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2024

The Cardinals have a better team now than they did entering 2024, but there are still some question marks. These two players could be potential X factors.
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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1. Paul Goldschmidt

Two seasons ago, Paul Goldschmidt was the National League MVP. He helped carry the Cardinals to another division title and reach the postseason for a fourth straight year.

Sadly, Goldschmidt took a few steps back in 2023, hitting only .268 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI, a stark contrast to when he hit .317 with 35 homers and 115 RBI in 2022.

But even at the age of 36, Goldschmidt remains a very productive player. He is somebody the Cardinals can always count on in the clutch. He still plays elite defense as well.

Granted, he likely won't fully return to his MVP form, but I do think he'll be better this year. If he can make a few improvements, then the Cardinals offense should click like it did for most of 2022. Couple that with the constant evolution of Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman, Masyn Winn, and Brendan Donovan, and the Cardinals should have a much better offense in 2024.

Like Lynn, he is also a leader in the clubhouse and somebody young guys can go to for guidance. Given that he is in the final year of his contract, the young players on the roster should try to take advantage of having him around as much as possible, as it's not a guarantee he'll be back in 2025.

But going off of that, if he performs well, not only will the Cardinals improve, but he will likely have a spot on the 2025 roster.