Alec Burleson will more than likely make the roster next year to start the season. He has proven his worth in the minors, and he has a strong bat that can play in the outfield, first base, or designated hitter. Burleson's defense, however, is where he needed to make improvements.
Lynn Worthy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (subscription required) met up with Alec Burleson to discuss what he did during the offseason to prepare for 2024. Worthy says that at the end of last season, Burleson received a report from the team about things they wanted him to work on during the winter break. One such item on the list was his defense. Burly figured the best way to improve his defense was to become more agile and to reshape his body. Worthy said Burleson lost twelve pounds this offseason, a number that figures to make him more athletic in the field.
Luken Baker will be fighting for a spot on the roster during Spring Training this year. The right-handed first baseman will turn twenty-seven on March 10th, so he isn't a young prospect, but he sure can hit. This is Baker's first season on the Cardinals' 40-man roster, and with that comes security but also competition. He must now prove that he is ready to handle what is thrown at him regardless of where he is playing.
Baker, too, has been working hard all offseason to get his body in shape for 162 games. Daniel Guerrero of the Post Dispatch (subscription required) wrote a piece discussing Baker's drive and physical focus for next season. Luken Baker is primarily a first baseman, but he can also play designated hitter. He hit thirty-three home runs and drove in ninety-eight runners last year, both tops across the minors for the St. Louis Cardinals system.
Alec Burleson and Luken Baker's physical adjustments this offseason lend them both to be more agile and capable on the defensive side. These changes should help them make the roster next year and benefit the team in whatever capacity is necessary.