Keep in mind, as St. Louis gets ready to play Pujols for the first time ever as an opponent, the Cardinals would likely be choosing whether to keep Waino or Molina IF they re-signed Pujols. 

The budget wouldn’t allow all three to be lifelong Cardinals, and who would you pick in that situation?!?! 

But because Albert fled to SoCal, Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak were able to shell out $172.5 million to keep both in St. Louis through 2018.

Just as Molina has taken the torch left by Pujols, Wainwright has unquestionably become the equivalent of the pitching staff.  Injuries and age have forced Chris Carpenter to relinquish that spot. 

And just like Molina is a serious league MVP candidate, so too is Wainwright for the NL Cy Young.

 

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

IBB

K

BF

WHIP

BB/9

K/BB

11

5

2.22

17

17

4

2

125.2

113

34

31

4

12

2

114

488

0.995

0.9

9.50

4) Cardinals 1st Half Rookie of the Year = SP Shelby Miller

Again, this is not breaking news.  And although Miller has hit an inevitable rookie rough patch over his last four games, his overall numbers are still outstanding. 

He is definitely delivering on the promise and potential that made him the 19th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft as an 18-year old out of high school in Texas.  Miller deserves credit for not thinking he has all the answers and letting the veterans such as Carpenter and Wainwright instill within him the fabled “Cardinal Way” and what it truly means to be a professional.  Don’t underestimate the luxury of having Molina call his pitches every game, either.

Broken record alert: Just like Molina and Wainwright, Miller very well could take home this hardware for the entire National League by the time the season is over. 

 

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

IBB

K

BF

WHIP

BB/9

K/BB

8

6

2.79

16

16

1

1

93.2

78

31

29

8

22

0

101

375

1.068

2.1

4.59

 

 

5) Prospect to watch for 2014 = OF Oscar Taveras

Taveras is one of the elite prospects in all of Major League Baseball because he has a bat that reminds some scouts of Vladimir Guerrero.

Just 21-years old, this left-handed hitting outfielder is the best prospect the Cardinals have had since Albert Pujols.  Those are not my words; those are the words of GM John Mozeliak. 

This season, Taveras has dealt with a nagging high-ankle sprain that has continuously frustrated him and sapped his power somewhat.  He may have to manage it the entire season, but rest assured you will see this wunderkind in St. Louis before the season is over…and he may become a permanent fixture in 2014 and beyond (a lot of that depends on what St. Louis decides to do with Carlos Beltran, who is killing it again this year).

This season at Triple-A Memphis:

 

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

46

173

25

53

12

0

5

32

5

1

9

22

.306

.341

.462

.803

 

 

6) The Kansas City Royals are somewhere in between good and bad.