Are the 2023 St. Louis Cardinals the next "team of destiny"?
By Josh Jacobs
The offense is the best in baseball
Going into the season, I thought this Cardinals' offense would be the best in all of baseball. Their mix of two MVP candidates in Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, replacing their bottom-three production from the catcher position with an elite bat, and so many young players with the ability to breakout mean this club was going to be mashing all year long.
While they started out a bit slow this season, the offense is finally coming alive, and shouldn't slow down any time soon. Goldschmidt hasn't missed a beat from his 2022 NL MVP campaign, Arenado is finally hitting the baseball like we knew he would, and some young players are finally emerging to join the ranks, specifically Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar.
Gorman's play this season is no longer just a hot start, it's the budding of a superstar at the plate. Gorman is slashing .302/.391/.640 with 13 HR and 39 RBI already this season. He's demolishing everything he sees and is now even raking against left-handed pitching as well. Gorman has come through is huge spots late in games on multiple occasions this year, and gives the Cardinals a legit MVP-caliber trio in the middle of their order.
Nootbaar has slowed down a little bit over the the last week, but is still slashing .267/.390/.383 with 3 HR and 15 RBI while giving the Cardinals a great everyday lead off hitter. Nootbaar has been hitting the ball hard still (ranking amove the top half of the league in max exit velocity, hardhit%, and xSLG), so the extra base hits and power will come soon for him.
Willson Contreras rounds out the top five in the Cardinals' order with an All-Star level bat at catcher and the fire this team desperately needed. With a supporting cast that includes the likes of Tommy Edman, Brendan Donovan, Alec Burleson, Paul DeJong, Tyler O'Neill, Dylan Carlson, Juan Yepez, and soon enough Jordan Walker, this team can score runs on you in a hurry.