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
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#176: Nolan Gorman

I thought the fantasy projections couldn't really get worse after leaving Walker out of the top 100, but here we are. In 2024, ESPN projects Gorman to slash .241/.316/.458/.774. Aside from a slight increase in batting average, all of these rate stats are down from last season.

Injuries aside, Gorman was one of the best power bats in the National League when right. And, the numbers only improved over time. He got off to a hot start posting an .878 OPS and .955 OPS in April and May respectively, but he completely forgot how to play baseball in June when he recorded a dreadful .439 OPS.

However, in the second half, he bounced back in a big way, slashing .252/.355/.519/.874. Projecting regression from such a young talented bat with so much upside makes no sense to me. Unless injuries derail Gorman's season completely, he should completely outpace his rates and counting stats from last season.

It's rare to get so much power from a second baseman, so he'll be extremely valuable in rotisserie leagues, but even in points-based play Gorman will provide more value than the average second baseman. Placing Gorman below Charlie Blackmon, Jake Burger, Brendan Rodgers, Zach Neto, and even Tyler O'Neill is simply not right at all. It's almost insulting that ESPN ranked O'Neill right above Gorman despite O'Neill's long track record of inconsistency and injuries.

At his peak, Gorman could reach levels similar to Kyle Schwarber, another massive power threat. However, Schwarber is ranked 28th amongst all position players and Gorman is ranked 176th. But, when comparing Schwarber's 122 OPS+ in 2023 to Gorman's 117 OPS+, we might not even be able to tell the difference.