3 players the Cardinals gave up on too soon

St Louis Cardinals v Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals v Toronto Blue Jays / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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The St. Louis Cardinals gave up on these three players way too soon.

Over the years, the St. Louis Cardinals have regularly been one of the best teams at acquiring talent, whether it be through the draft, free agency, or trades. There is little doubt about that,

However, there are a handful of players that the club didn't see turning into anything special at the big league level and perhaps gave up on them a bit too soon.

There are many more possible entrants to such a list than the ones we single out. As great as the team can be at handling talent inside of the organization, even the Cardinals are not immune to misreading a player's potential and moving on before it was absolutely necessary.

Let's check out 3 players the Cardinals moved on from too soon.

Zac Gallen

Gallen, a third-round draft pick by the Cardinals in the 2016 draft, only spent a few years in the organization before he was flipped to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Marcell Ozuna. We're all intimately familiar with this deal by now, as this was also when the Cardinals lost eventual Cy Young winner Sandy Alcántara.

Gallen had posted a 2.93 ERA in 26 starts in 2017, bursting onto the scene in a big way for three different minor league affiliates. This was enough to warrant his inclusion in the Ozuna trade as the Marlins were looking for a pitcher with a high upside. Clearly, this worked out for them as they got two in one deal.

What makes his departure hard to swallow for Cardinals fans is how much success he has found at the big league level, with both the Marlins and his current club - the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Last year, Gallen was one of the National League's best starters, going 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA and 158 ERA+ in 31 starts and 184 innings. He led the league in WHIP (0.913) and hits per nine innings (5.9) and finished fifth in the Cy Young voting.

The Cardinals have assembled some solid starting rotations in the years since Gallen was gone, but I'd be lying if I said he wouldn't look great in the current starting group heading into 2023.