3 underlying stats that show the Cardinals fall from offensive prowess

Since 2022, the St. Louis Cardinals offense has sputtered. These three stats could explain why.
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals
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There are a few things that make an offense in baseball good. It starts with the hitting coach and his ability to inspire, prepare, and execute an offensive game plan. Most of the work, however, falls on the players and their ability to perform. The sum of an offense is only as good as its parts. If those players aren't meeting expectations, then it seems logical that a sub-par offense will follow.

That has been the case with the St. Louis Cardinals this year. Only Masyn Winn and Willson Contreras are exceeding their preseason projections, and key players such as Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Lars Nootbaar, and Brendan Donovan are not meeting expectations. While Turner Ward, the team's hitting coach, could be at fault here, in the end, performance on the field should fall primarily on those who are playing the game.

When looking at basic stats, it is very clear where the Cardinals are struggling. As of May 3rd, they ranked 26th in batting average, 28th in on-base plus slugging percentage, last in home runs, 27th in runs per game, 27th in slugging percentage, 27th in wOBA, and 28th in OPS+. Those stats give us results, then what? What I want to find out is the reasoning behind these dramatic drops in performance, also known as the why.

There could be any number of reasons why a player is slumping or why an entire offense goes dark for long periods of time. Perhaps a player is trying out a new stance. A hitting coach could be pushing players to try for sacrifices or finding gaps rather than hitting home runs. Regardless of the philosophy behind a transition in offense, certain underlying stats can begin to paint a picture as to why the Cardinals' offense can't get off the ground.

Plate discipline, hitting fly balls, and seeing pitches can all lead to offensive success. Seeing more pitches allows hitters to learn more about pitchers; fly balls are the easiest way to hit a home run; a quality at bat leads to positive results on the field.

These 3 statistics could describe why the St. Louis Cardinals offense has been anemic to start the 2024 season.