5 St. Louis Cardinals that could have breakout seasons in 2023

Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
4 of 5

4. Jake Woodford

A lot like Zack Thompson, Jake Woodford flew under the radar last year and was very efficient. In small sample sizes, Woodford's era has gone down by one and a half runs every year in the big leagues from 5.57 in 2020. to 3.99 in 2021, and 2.23 last year. He's a pitcher that distributes weak contact, as he had a 53.3% ground ball rate last season, over 10% above league average.

It appeared that Woodford was competing for a bullpen spot in the spring, then when Adam Wainwright went down with an injury, Woodford impressed the most to replace Waino in the rotation to start the year. What was impressive with Woodford in his appearances in spring was the high K rate despite throwing mainly sinkers. He definitely has the stuff that plays in the rotation or bullpen, I see his steady progress in the MLB will pay off for the Cardinals and for Woodford to have a great season