Ranking the 10 most important St. Louis Cardinals players for the 2024 season

There's many crucial players to the Cardinals' success in 2024, but who are the most important?

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#5 - Lars Nootbaar

Outfield stability has been something the Cardinals have lacked for a long time. When Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, and Tyler O'Neill led the Cardinals on a magical 17-game winning streak in 2021, it looked like the Cardinals would finally have that but again the depth fell apart. Now, Carlson is the only player left on the roster serving as a fourth outfielder and a new crop of players is rising to the challenge of filling the outfield churn.

Since coming up in 2021, Lars Nootbaar has been one of the most consistently productive outfielders and has earned himself a spot as the starting left fielder of the future. After an electrifying WBC performance earning him recognition worldwide as an International superstar, Nootbaar injured himself immediately hurting his thumb on Opening Day. Even with a flurry of injuries, Nootbaar managed to be the third most productive player on the team by bWAR last year.

Because of these injuries, however, Nootbaar didn't break out as much as many analytics experts expected him to last year, but he'll hopefully have a chance to play a full season in 2024. If Nootbaar can avoid the freak injuries that kept him off the field for a good chunk of 2023, he'll be able to keep his momentum going and truly develop into an All-Star caliber player.

He found himself batting between Goldschmidt and Arenado at times during the 2023 season and that was no accident. His sneaky power, elite plate discipline, and quality exit velocity numbers all provide immense value to the Cardinals. A fully healthy season of Lars Nootbaar will be extremely important to keep the outfield consistent and the Cardinals' lineup at the top of the league.