5 Cardinals players most likely to have a breakout season in 2023

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Alec Burleson

There's never been a doubt that Burleson has some serious talent at the plate. While he's not much of a defender (average results in the corner outfield), his bat is by far his biggest calling card.

The 24-year-old entered the 2023 season without a guaranteed spot on the big league roster. He figured to be locked in a battle with Juan Yepez for the backup first base/corner outfield gig. In 19 Spring Training games, Burleson proved he was the man for the job, going 16-for-58 (good for a .276 batting average) with six doubles, a home run, eight runs driven in, and eight runs scored.

This is on the heels of an excellent season for the Triple-A Memphis Cardinals last year where he hit 25 doubles and 20 home runs in 109 games with 87 RBI and a batting average of .331.

To start the year, Burleson has been consistently proving why the Cardinals were right to pick him over Yepez for this role. In three games and 13 at-bats, he has two doubles, a home run, two RBI, and a .308 average. This is a small sample size, but the success is most welcomed from the perspective of both Cardinals fans and the Cardinals management.