The 20 most important Cardinals in 2023: #11 Ryan Helsley
The Redbird Rants writing staff has been counting down the 20 most important Cardinals for the 2023 season. We came up with these rankings by averaging out our individual rankings as a staff and came out with this top 20.
So far in the Redbird Rants countdown of the 20 most important Cardinals for the 2023 season, we have covered the following players.
Today we come to #11 on our list, Ryan Helsley
Helsley made his MLB debut back in 2019, flashing signs of someone who could be a quality arm in the bullpen for years to come with his 2.95 ERA in 36.2 innings of work. The strikeout stuff was not there for him yet (7.9 SO/9), but there was plenty of optimism to be had.
2020 and 2021 did not go well for Helsley, as over that stretch he had a 4.70 ERA and was giving up 1.39 WHIP during that stretch. But when 2022 began for the right-hander, things took a major change, for the better.
Helsley was named an All-Star and finished 12th in Cy Young voting after going 9-1 with a 1.95 ERA, 19 saves, 0.74 WHIP, and a 13.1 SO/9 over 64.2 innings of work. Helsley turned in one of the best reliever seasons in baseball and gave Oli Marmol a lethal weapon he could deploy at any moment of the game.
It's clear Helsley enters the year as one of the best relievers in baseball, but what makes him so important to this Cardinals' ballclub? Let's break that down.