The St. Louis Cardinals have five players on the brink of breakout seasons
Who expected St. Louis Cardinals like like Brendan Donovan, Andre Pallante, Lars Nootbaar, Juan Yepez, and Nolan Gorman to have the impact that they had last season? All of those players were in their first or second season in the MLB and brought a spark to the Cardinals in what was a breakout season for those guys. There are players who have made the opening day roster who have that opportunity to have a breakout season for the Cardinals, here are some guys who I think could do that.
1. Tyler O'Neill
We have seen the potential that Tyler O'Neill has when he finished top 10 in the National League MVP voting in 2021. However, outside of that one season, O'Neill has struggled with hitting more consistently and staying healthy. 2022 looked like would've been O'Neill's breakout year, especially after a 5 RBI performance on Opening Day against the Pirates, but he was limited to just 96 games after dealing with shoulder, hamstring, leg, and neck injuries.
The goal for O'Neill this year is obviously to be healthy, and he will need to with top prospect Jordan Walker making the club and expected to play in the outfield, at-bats will have to be earned. When he is 100% physically, he has the potential to hit 40 home runs, steal 15/20 bags, and play Gold Glove defense as he has already won two Gold Gloves. I expect O'Neill to show his abilities again this season and be a key piece to the Cardinals' success.