The 10 Cardinals with the most to prove during Spring Training

Coming off a terrible 2023 season, these ten Cardinals have a lot to prove as Spring Training gets underway.

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs - Game One
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs - Game One / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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Nolan Arenado

Last but certainly not least on this list is superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado.

After a major down year from Arenado, he's been described as "motivated" by teammate Lars Nootbaar, and in Nootbaar's words, "A motivated Nolan is a scary Nolan".

Arenado has been open as spring has gotten underway about his own leadership shortcomings in 2023. Although he thinks the clubhouse needed more veteran leadership (hence the Carpenter signing), he's also acknowledged that he needs to be better about being vocal with other players, even when he's going through his own rough stretch. He found it difficult to speak up when he himself was having a hard time on the field, which is understandable considering how high of expectations Arenado puts on himself.

Arenado was an All-Star in 2023 and excellent offensively in the first half, but was nothing like himself at the plate throughout the second half, with the Cardinals' team struggles and his back issues clearly impacting him.

The Cardinals' third baseman seems ready to not only put all of that behind him but rebound in a big way this year. Arenado is still the highest-paid player on the Cardinals roster, so getting him back to All-Star form will be critical to their success in 2024.

While their lineup has a variety of other options, Arenado is the leader of that unit, and when he's firing on all cylinders, the entire club seems to play it's best baseball.