The St. Louis Cardinals have a reputation for getting the most out of their players, especially rookies.
Last year the team’s World Series roster was comprised of 18 homegrown players (those drafted or signed by the organization), including six rookie pitchers who combined to post a 2.74 ERA with 451 strikeouts in 443.1 innings during the regular season (6.5 fWAR). Of those 18 players, five were holdovers from the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series-winning team.
Even after graduating impact prospects such as Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Michael Wacha to the major leagues, the organization is expected to receive significant contributions from more young players this season, namely Carlos Martinez and Kolten Wong.
Both Martinez and Wong received a taste of the major leagues in late 2013, but neither player truly capitalized on his playing time and at times appeared overexposed in their respective roles. However, both players are now considered locks for the Opening Day roster after strong performances in spring training, which means we’ll soon find out what they’re capable of, individually and collectively, over a full season in the major leagues.