Ranking positional groups for the St. Louis Cardinals

Which group of players is the strongest for the 2024 St. Louis Cardinals?

Sep 23, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46)
Sep 23, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) / Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Outfielders/DH

This choice was a little surprising in my eyes. The loyal fans of Twitter/X voted the outfielders and designated hitter position as the second-best positional group for the Cardinals next year, although I would have placed them below the bullpen personally.

Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman, and Jordan Walker will get the bulk of the innings on the grass next year; Dylan Carlson will be the team's fourth outfielder. With Tommy Edman's Opening Day availability in jeopardy, Carlson will assume the team's starting center fielder role.

This collection of players probably has the highest ceiling due to Lars Nootbaar and Jordan Walker. Both players can be a force offensively, and Walker will see growth defensively in his sophomore season. Tommy Edman will be a sure glove defensively, and Dylan Carlson could return to the form he flashed in 2021, thus deepening the outfield corps.

The main question mark with this group would be designated hitter. The Cardinals will likely take a committee approach to this position; rather than one player being the lone DH, the position will be used as a "day of rest" for players. While Nolan Gorman or Brendan Donovan will be the primary designated hitters, Willson Contreras, Nolan Arenado, Matt Carpenter, and Paul Goldschmidt could all see some starts at DH.

Outfielders and designated hitters for the Cardinals tallied 7.6 fWAR last year. There is definitely room for improvement in these positions, especially in right field (2.3 fWAR). Overall, Cardinal outfielders were in the middle of the pack in fWAR totals.

If Lars Nootbaar and Jordan Walker can take steps forward if Tommy Edman can remain healthy, and if Dylan Carlson can perform like his projections as a minor leaguer said he would, the St. Louis outfield stands the chance to be one of the best in the league. Those are some big "ifs," though.