The X Factor for the Cardinals

The Cardinals have a lineup  filled with many veteran stars with recognizable names like Albert Pujols, Nolan Arenado, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Paul Goldschmidt, but none of these players are the x-factor on this team. Tommy Edman is the x-factor for this team and will be one of the key pieces for a run to happen in the month of October.

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Edman, the 27-year-old from San Diego, California is the definition of a utility player. He will play wherever you need him and will always put the team first. Not only can he play just about every position, he thrives at all of these positions as well. Edman is coming off a 2021 season in which he earned his first Gold Glove of hopefully many more to come.

St. Louis has been a stellar defensive team for years, often getting called boring to watch because of their play in the field, but with Edman and the Cardinal’s offense clicking as well, the 2022 season is shaping up to be a good one.

An Improving Bat

Nobody questions Edman’s play on the defensive side, but when he sits it is to sub in a more reliable bat. That does not have to happen this season. His offensive numbers are great and he can be a reliable leadoff hitter or a spark at the end of the order.

A great word to describe Edman is reliable. He will never have a 20+ home run season and he won’t always be in the headlines for his bat, but he does what head coach Oliver Marmol needs him to. He is batting .280 on the year, has an OBP of .361(the highest of his young career) and also quietly has a .420 SLG. On top of that, he has 5 home runs, 8 doubles and leads the team with 3 doubles and 14 stolen bases.

Edman does have 40 strikeouts on the season, which can be an issue for your leadoff batter. His presence in other areas make up for it, especially with his WAR of 3.2 which is above league average. Edman is developing more power than ever power as the game is changing and forcing players to change their approach at the plate to elevate the ball, so the strikeout issue is somewhat inevitable.

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Edman’s Future in the Lou

Thankfully, Tommy Edman cannot enter free agency until 2026. His time in the red and white is hopefully just beginning as he enters his fourth season. He is in pre-arbitration and looks to continue to prove why he should be making millions in the future.

Edman’s value is so strong for this team. I like Edman as an everyday middle infielder, but the reason he is so valuable is because of his versatility. Put him anywhere on the field and he can be a gold glover at that position. In his Cardinals career he has played every position except pitcher, catcher and first base.

Down the road this season, and onward, Edman is likely going to be playing short stop for the majority of the games. He will slide around to where he is needed, but with DeJong in the minors, that position is his for the taking. There is also this young star player you might have heard of who plays second base, his name is Nolan Gorman. As Gorman continues to develop, Cardinals fans should get use to seeing these guys turning double plays for years to come in St. Louis.

The Cardinals are currently in a fierce battle for first place with the Milwaukee Brewers and Tommy Edman is a big key or X Factor going forward.