ESPN: Cardinals have fifth-best MLB outfield

Posted by Scott Wuerz on January 1, 2013 

It seems like some of the local crowd doesn't think much of the Cardinals outfielders. But ESPN ranks St. Louis' group of flychasers as the fifth-best in baseball.

Of course the critics will point out the ESPN rankings are based only on offensive statistics. And, while it's hard to find fault with the fact that left fielder Matt Holliday and right fielder Carlos Beltran combined for 59 homers last season, the naysayers think the 30 something sluggers don't cover as much ground as some other outfield crews.

My gripe with the piece is that it only considers Holliday, Beltran and centerfielder in the St. Louis outfield picture. The Redbirds have a great deal of depth to offer in the outfield with first baseman Allen Craig capable of playing as a regular in the outfield corners and super prospect Oscar Tavares on the verge of joining the roster. The Cardinals not only can put out a pretty good trio on their best day -- they can mix and match as well as anyone over the course of a long season.

The Angels rank first on the list with the addition of Josh Hamilton to an outfield that already included American League rookie of the year Mike Trout. The Nationals ranked second with the Athletics placing third. NL Central foe Cincinnati ranked one spot below the Cardinals at sixth.

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