Blooming, bouncing back and breaking down: 2 Cardinals who fit each category

Here are two members of the St. Louis Cardinals who will come into their own in 2024, two who will recover from a down season, and two who look to be on the verge of collapsing.
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Spring Training is about two months away, but it's never too early to start making predictions on how the St. Louis Cardinals will fare. Before last season, I wrote an article about players who would improve and players who would slide. While I was correct about Nolan Gorman improving massively in 2023 and Paul Goldschmidt experiencing a fairly significant downturn, my predictions that Jack Flaherty and Tyler O'Neill would improve while Brendan Donovan would regress were not as prescient.

That being said, few could have predicted the disaster that befell the Cardinals in 2023. But with that dreadful season now in the rearview mirror, the St. Louis Cardinals are committed to improving in 2024, at least according to John Mozeliak. It's hard to imagine the pitching being as horrific as it was in 2023, as the team makes bona fide efforts to beef up its rotation over the offseason.

The Cardinals have several young players who look ready to take the next step, particularly on the offensive side. However, the Cardinals' pitching is significantly older, especially the rotation, which limits the upside of the arms. Along with the players prepared to break out, there are several rebound candidates for the Cardinals in 2024 after nearly every player had a down season by their standards. Finally, there are those who could decline from 2023, be it because of advancing age or stats that are likely unsustainable.

These six St. Louis Cardinals are likely to break out, bounce back, or regress in 2024.