Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Standouts: Kolten Wong, Stephen Piscotty, Matt Adams
The youth was the story for the Cardinals in Florida this season.
After bumbling a leadoff in the 2013 World Series, Kolten Wong appears to have arrived at spring training seeking redemption. He started off slow, but through March 23, Wong is batting .372/.426/.674 with five doubles, two home runs and eight RBI.
Stephen Piscotty carried his success from the Arizona Fall League directly into spring training. Piscotty is hitting .333 with seven RBI, six walks and nine runs scored. While he may not make the team, expect him to make an impact in 2013.
Matt Adams impressed in 2013 and is already smashing baseballs in 2014. With four home runs and 11 RBI through 45 at-bats, Adams appears ready to make the jump to everyday first baseman. Assuming he’s made the necessary adjustments to the hole in his swing that was exploited in October, combined with his above-average defense, he has the potential to be among the league’s elite first basemen.
Struggling performances: Jon Jay, Tyler Lyons, Oscar Taveras
Just a few months removed from his role as a starting center fielder, Jon Jay has gotten off to a rough start this spring. Batting only .167 with two RBI in 13 games, Jay hasn’t made a case for why the Cardinals should make him the starting center fielder. With that said, Jay is a career .293 hitter and could become a valuable fourth outfielder in 2014.
Tyler Lyons, who could have been the Cardinals' fifth starter for the coming season, saw early struggles that led to his eventual reassignment. Despite his value to the 2013 Cardinals, his 14.63 ERA through eight innings during spring training is too much to overlook. He may still very well find himself with the major league team this season, but in all likelihood, it won’t be early.
Oscar Taveras is undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of this spring training. For Taveras to begin the season at Triple-A Memphis is not shocking; however, his continued struggles to recover from last season’s ankle injury are a cause for concern. With any luck, the additional time at Memphis will allow him to get healthy while at the same time furthering his development as a hitter.