2023 is full of unknowns for the St. Louis Cardinals. Here are five reasons to look forward to the season.
The winds of change are blowing in St. Louis, as 2022 was the end of an era for the St. Louis Cardinals. Future Hall of Famers Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina rode off into the sunset after a sudden and unceremonious exit from the postseason, and Bally Sports Midwest cut ties with longtime play-by-play broadcaster Dan McLaughlin during the offseason.
Perhaps more than any time in recent memory, the Cardinals are entering a season with few certainties, and that's what makes 2023 so enticing. These are five reasons I'll be tuning in to this season.
1. Jordan Walker's potential debut
Many Cardinals fans have paid close attention to Jordan Walker's domination of the minor leagues over the past few years, and he appears to be knocking on the door to the majors. With the Cardinals' outfield full of question marks regarding the health of Tyler O'Neill and the production of Dylan Carlson, it's quite feasible that Walker will pry his way into a large role early in the season.
The hype surrounding Walker hasn't been this high for a Cardinals position player prospect since Oscar Taveras was set to make his debut in 2014. Walker breezed through Double-A last year, hitting .306 with 19 home runs, and at only 20 years old, he was over four years younger than the average player at that level.
The Cardinals could receive a draft pick if Walker were to win Rookie of the Year honors, and while the Cardinals are generally on the conservative side when it comes to promoting their players, the temptation to let Walker loose on the highest level of pitching to see if he can continue to mash might be too large to ignore. He will be a fascinating player to watch in Spring Training.