Re-ranking the value of the Cardinals' 10 best young position players

The Cardinals young position players continue to steal the headlines for the club, and it makes ranking their value is becoming increasingly more difficult.
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St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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2. Brendan Donovan (Previous ranking: #4)

In January, I chose to prioritize the ceilings of Nootbaar and Gorman over Brendan Donovan in my rankings, but in all honesty, I think many continue to underrate just how great of a player Donovan is already and can be going forward.

In his rookie season, Donovan posted a 128 wRC+ and won a Gold Glove. In 2023, he started off the year slow, but during the last 10 weeks of his season, posted a 145 wRC+ and produced like one of the best hitters in baseball.

Even after season-ending elbow surgery and having to spend the majority of the offseason rehabbing, Donovan jumped right back into the Cardinals mix to begin this season, being flexible enough to play at any position they need him to each day, and posting a cool 150 wRC+ at the plate at the same time.

There are very few players in today's game who can mash pitching on a daily basis and do so while playing above-average defense at any position they need him to.

Brendan Donovan is going to be an All-Star this year, mark my words. By the end of 2024, he'll be recognized around the league as one of the best lead-off hitters in the game. Donovan is the kind of player you dream of having on your team, and the fact that he can fill so many holes for this club every single day, and so so at a high level, is priceless.