Scouting the National League Central

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Scouting the National League Central
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The St. Louis Cardinals enjoy the finest collection of talent in the National League Central. The depth of their organization helped the Redbirds overcome and persevere in 2013 as champs.

In the offseason, their rivals in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh did little. Meanwhile, St. Louis addressed its needs quickly, leaving little doubt the Cards are the NL Central front-runners again in 2014.

With St. Louis widening the gap, where does that put the Pirates and Reds—two 90-win teams? Will the Cubs’ collection of stud prospects propel them from out of the basement? What will a post-suspension Ryan Braun look like?

Dissecting key roster components—starting pitching, relief pitching, offense, defense—determines where each team ranks in the four categories.

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