St. Louis Cardinals' ZiPS projections are out, and they are pretty favorable

Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs releases his analyses of ZiPS projections for each MLB team annually. He recently broke down the Cardinals' projections.
Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
2 of 3


There are a few takeaways that I have right away when looking at these predictions for the batters: first, the Cardinals will be a high-floor, middle-ceiling team next year. Nolan Arenado is projected to be the team's best player at 3.8 WAR; that's a significant drop from last year's projection of 5.8 WAR, but it's better than how he ended last year. The Cardinals don't have a single position projected for under 2.1 WAR. That makes for a team that won't get in its own way.

Second, ZiPS sees Masyn Winn getting significant time at shortstop and improving offensively with a projected 2.7-WAR season at the position, possibly bolstered by Tommy Edman seeing time there as well. Tommy Edman figures to be second on the team in WAR with 3.2 in center field with Dylan Carlson supplying some of that WAR total. Paul Goldschmidt is aging like a fine wine with a projected 3.1-WAR season as a thirty-six-year-old.

Lars Nootbaar is projected to continue to decline a bit, but he is still a top-five player on the team. Nolan Gorman is projected to be the team's starting second baseman while Brendan Donovan gets the majority of the designated hitter reps. Donovan will likely play multiple positions next year to spell the mainstays when he isn't the DH.

The Cardinals' position players offer quite a bit of flexibility. Tommy Edman can play three positions handily, Brendan Donovan is listed at two positions but can also play outfield, Alec Burleson is listed in the outfield and DH, but he has played first base, and Lars Nootbaar will likely see time at all three outfield spots. Richie Palacios, last season's breakout player, has played all three outfield positions and second base.