2 St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training aberrations and 2 players who were legit

Spring Training can be fluky or a sign of things to come, and these four Cardinals are examples of that
St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Fluke: Jake Woodford

Jake Woodford tied Steven Matz with the most innings pitched for the Cardinals in Spring Training, with 17.2. During that time, Woodford had a 2.04 ERA and 18 whiffs. With Adam Wainwright on the injured list to begin the season, it was logical for the Cardinals to see if Woodford could serve aptly in Wainwright's absence.

It wasn't to be, as Woodford struggled to a 5.72 ERA and an opponent batting average of .316 in his six starts. The Cardinals demoted Woodford to Memphis in May but brought him up again in June, where he has pitched out of the bullpen to less-than-stellar results so far.

Although his spring stats suggested that a breakout was coming, Woodford has failed to flourish in the major leagues. The 39th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Woodford is increasingly looking like a Quadruple-A pitcher.

Legit: Jordan Walker

After an outstanding start to his Spring Training, highly touted rookie Jordan Walker fell off a bit in the second half of spring. Still, he hit .277 and made the major league roster, and he then proceeded to embark on a historic 12-game hitting streak to start his career. Pitchers found his weaknesses, though, and the Cardinals sent him to Memphis to get him more seasoning.

Upon Walker finding his footing in Triple-A, the Cardinals promoted him after an injury to Lars Nootbaar, and he has since gone on another tear, collecting hits in 13 consecutive games. Walker still needs to improve in the outfield; with -10 defensive runs saved, he has graded out as one of the major leagues' worst outfielders this season.

But offensively, Walker has proven that his performance in Spring Training was not a casualty of the small-sample-size effect. If he can continue to improve on hitting the ball in the air more often, he should be a beast for over a decade.

Spring Training is one of the most misleading times of year for baseball fans when it comes to players' performances, but sometimes players are able to bring their new skills over to the regular season. It's impossible to predict who will prosper and who will falter coming out of spring, but that's just another one of the beautiful parts of baseball.