Ranking the St. Louis Cardinals who will benefit the most from new rule changes

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#2 - Brendan Donovan

The next two guys on this list should see the most benefit from these rule changes, and in multiple facets of the game. Both offensively and defensively, Brendan Donovan should get a boost from these new rules.

Like Nootbaar, Donovan was negatively impacted by the shift (.262 wOBA vs. the shift, .366 wOBA without the shift). Being more of a line drive and ground ball hitter, Donovan will benefit more than others when it comes to gaining hits back.

What may benefit Donovan the most is how much of an advantage he will have over Nolan Gorman defensively now with the new rule changes. Last year, you could hide your second baseman a bit by implementing the shift. It still helped to have a better defensive option out there, but they were not forced to range as much as they will now. While Donovan already has the inside track in terms of playing time, this still is a huge benefit to Donovan's future.

Gorman is still viewed highly by the Cardinals and baseball alike due to his immense power and potential at the plate. Finding any way to get his bat in the lineup is wise for St. Louis, so Donovan will want to continue to prove his value over a guy like Gorman to maintain consistent playing time. Yes, Donovan should see that at multiple positions this year, but being an everyday player will be impacted by Gomran. The shift helps Donovan's case.