These five Cardinals will outperform their projections for 2024 season

Today we are diving into five Cardinals position players who the ZiPS projections seem to be criminally low on.

St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins / Sam Navarro/GettyImages
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Around this time every year, fans and pundits alike begin to look at different projection systems for the St. Louis Cardinals and other teams around baseball. While there are a number of projection systems out there, FanGraph's ZiPS projections (developed by Dan Szymborski) seem to be the most highly regarded in the baseball community because of how it has captured future production in recent years.

This year in particular though, I have some doubts about the projections for a variety of players on the Cardinals roster. ZiPS uses growth and decline curves based on player types and then combines those trends with a player's past performance to make projections. Projections, at the end of the day, are just that. You can predict what a player is going to do during the next season based on a number of factors, but it's the play on the field that will ultimately determine the outcomes.

I broke down most of the Cardinals' position players' and pitchers' projections from ZiPS over on the Noot News Podcast this week, so you can check out an in-depth conversation on all of that over there or in the embedded video below.

And yet, there are five position players on the Cardinals roster that I look at their projections and scratch my head. Sure, players can have down years, regress, or plateau (just look at the 2023 season as the epitome of that), but ZiPS just seems to be far too low on each of these players for my liking.

Some of this has to do with circumstances that ZiPS cannot account for. Some of these players had injuries during the 2023 season that significantly impacted their performance or kept them off the field, while others had weird circumstances that I'm not sure a database can account for. But honestly, most of these guys I do not need to explain the context of their past seasons to make you think these projections are undervaluing them by a significant margin.

For each player, I am going to provide the 2024 ZiPS projections and their actual output for the last two seasons, and then explain why I believe each of these five position players will outperform their projections by a significant margin.