Ranking the value of the Cardinals' 10 best young position players

The Cardinals are loaded with young position players throughout their organization. Who are the most valuable of the bunch?

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
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9. Tommy Edman

Sometimes I feel like I'm Mr. Negative when it comes to Tommy Edman, but it's mainly a product of how high I am on the other Cardinal position players.

I love Edman, and I believe he's a huge asset for any Major League team. His ability to play awesome defense at shortstop, second base, or center field is a trait few others have, and he pairs that with great speed and a league-average bat.

According to ZiPS, Edman is projected to be the Cardinals' second most valuable player in 2024 by fWAR standards (3.1), and it just goes to show why Edman is valued by the Cardinals - as well as other teams in baseball.

I see why the Cardinals want to hold onto Edman. He's been the glue that keeps things together too many times for them to just toss to the side, and I am not advocating for that at all. But when I look at the future of this club, I struggle to see how Edman has a significant role beyond the 2024 season.

Edman reaches his last year of arbitration in 2025 and then will be a free agent following the season. With so many other middle infielders and center field options on the roster who are cost-controlled for the next four to six years, I don't think it would be a wise investment to give Edman a long-term deal unless the Cardinals end up moving some of those other pieces. Edman could very well be getting anywhere between $12 million to $15 million annually over 4-6 years.

So, only having two years left of control and a limited offensive profile is what leads me to rank Edman lower on this list. Again, his defensive prowess and versatility are very valuable, but when you bake in long-term projections for other names on this list, he slots in at number nine for me.