7 players who will be crucial to the Cardinals' success in 2024

A successful 2024 campaign hinges on these players' abilities to perform at their highest levels.

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado has been one of the best players in baseball for the last eight years. He plays superb defense at the hot corner, he is able to hit for power, and he has been capable of leading a team during his career. He has a whole cabinet full of Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, and Platinum Gloves. He's been to eight different All-Star Games. Arenado has done it all except win a World Series.

The ever-elusive championship trophy has escaped his grasp since his first season in 2013. He has sought the highest honor in Major League Baseball for many years now, and joining the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2020-2021 offseason seemed to be the next logical step towards a World Series trophy.

That prestige has yet to happen for the thirty-three-year-old third baseman; when speaking with Katie Woo of The Athletic (subscription required), Arenado made it clear that it's his desire to contend in 2024.

"We have to take a huge step. I don’t think it’s OK to have another bad year. When you think of the Cardinals, you think of extended greatness and constantly winning. "

Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado must return to his superstar form to help lead the Cardinals to success in 2024. Arenado's offensive and defensive numbers dipped last year; offensively, he posted his lowest OPS+ (excluding 2020) since his rookie year in 2013. Per Outs Above Average, Arenado posted his lowest total for his career, only five OAA, and that includes the COVID-shortened 2020 season where he only played in forty-eight games.

Arenado is the linchpin around which the rest of the team operates. His personal success will lead to team success. Where he goes, so do the rest of the players. If Arenado returns to his superstar form offensively and defensively, that alone will help the Cardinals make great strides next year.