These three players likely won't make the St. Louis Cardinals' opening day roster, but they should make significant contributions later in the season.
The St. Louis Cardinals have made a living by promoting lightly or moderately regarded minor league players and having them put on a show in the major leagues. Opposing teams mutter about "Cardinals Devil Magic," but Cardinals fans have come to expect minor league reinforcements to provide crucial support for the team.
In 2022, Brendan Donovan emerged from the woodwork of Triple-A Memphis and put on a hitting clinic throughout the season. Promoted early in the season, on April 25, Donovan replaced Lars Nootbaar and never returned to Memphis, slashing .281/.394/.379, finishing third in National League Rookie of the Year voting and winning the inaugural Gold Glove Award for utility players.
Nolan Gorman was a highly touted Cardinals prospect before last season, a former defender at the hot corner who transitioned to second base in deference to another Nolan. Gorman flashed his light-tower power but had issues against the high fastball and struggled defensively at the keystone.
Juan Yepez was another player who made his debut in 2022 and impressed for a few months before a forearm injury befell him on July 14. Through June 29, Yepez was hitting .284, although he tailed off before his injury.
While some players who don't start on the Opening Day roster have yet to debut in the major leagues, there are several players who are major league veterans but don't make the cut. These are three players who might not be on the team to start the season but should still have a positive impact on the Cardinals down the stretch.