These 4 Cardinals are being severely undervalued by ESPN's fantasy baseball rankings

ESPN's fantasy baseball rankings for 2024 sell Cardinals' rising stars short.

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
1 of 5

The 2023 Cardinals season was dreadful. There's just no other way around it. After being heavily favored by most outlets to win the NL Central division after a historic 2022 run, the Cardinals disappointed all by falling apart and finishing last in the division instead of first. Many outside the organization are skeptical that the Cardinals will reclaim their position at the top of the NL Central, and deservedly so. But, the projections for several of their talented young players are drastically lower than they should be.

Site expert Josh Jacobs and I recently discussed Fangraphs' ZiPS projections on the Noot News Podcast, and we concluded that most players were undervalued. Today, we turn our attention to ESPN's fantasy baseball projections which have severely underrated many of the Cardinals' talented players.

As an avid fantasy baseball player and a three-time champion in my league of three seasons, I've already started to scour ESPN's projections and figure out which players could be value picks as I look to construct my own team. I doubt any player will exceed the value I got from 17th-round pick Shohei Ohtani in 2021, but it was shocking how low certain Cardinals players were in player rankings. The pitcher rankings were largely accurate for the Cardinals, so let's just focus on the position players.

For starters, let's take a look at ESPN's official ranking of notable Cardinals players just to see where things stand for now in the hitter rankings:

#40: Nolan Arenado

#42: Paul Goldschmidt

#84: Willson Contreras

#89: Lars Nootbaar

#101: Tommy Edman

#129: Jordan Walker

#176: Nolan Gorman

#196: Brendan Donovan

#201: Masyn Winn

Avid Cardinals fans can probably already see the problems with this list of position players. Since most forms of fantasy baseball don't count defensive stats it's definitely strange to see the glove-first Tommy Edman ranked above Walker or Gorman. But, let's dive into the numbers further.