The Cardinals had 13 different players lead them in bWAR the last 13 years

The Cardinals have had a unique bWAR leader every season since 2011. Let's take a look at them!

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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2016: Carlos Martinez (6.1)

To say Carlos Martinez’s tenure with the Cardinals was rocky would be an understatement. However, from 2015-2017 Martinez was one of the Cards’ most reliable arms. Through 92 starts, Martinez pitched to a 3.24 ERA with a 126 ERA+. Throwing 580 innings through 3 seasons, Carlos was someone the Cardinals could trust to pitch deep into starts.

For a team entering a 3-year Postseason drought and struggling to find its identity in a division dominated by the World Series champion Cubs, Carlos Martinez was certainly a bright spot.

2017: Tommy Pham (6.2)

From 2014-2016, Tommy Pham was a solid outfielder for the Cardinals, but he took the next step in 2017 with a phenomenal breakout. In just 128 games, Pham left his mark on a seemingly directionless Cardinals team, posting a slash line of .306/.411/.520/.931 and finishing 11th in NL MVP voting. 

While it looked like Pham was poised to become a part of the future core, a disappointing start to 2018 saw him shipped off to the Rays in exchange for prospects Justin Williams, Genesis Cabrera, and Roel Ramirez.

2018: Miles Mikolas (5.3)

A move questioned by many Cardinals fans when it first happened, the Cardinals signed Miles Mikolas from the Yomiuri Giants of NPB before the 2018 season. After struggling in 3 seasons with the Padres and Rangers, Mikolas headed to Japan to figure out his craft. 

The emergence of Mikolas as a stable innings eater in the rotation was huge. He pitched to a 2.83 ERA, threw over 200 innings in 2018, and led the Majors in walk rate, earning an All-Star nod and finishing 6th in NL Cy Young voting. With a surprising new arm, the Cardinals could rely upon, the stage was set for a return to the Postseason.