Tommy Edman is the newest unlikely star in St. Petersburg. Louisis

Since the turn of the millennium, St. The Louis Cardinals have only had one season to lose. During this time, the organization has developed countless baseball bettors on both sides of the baseball. The chief among them is 27-year-old superstar indoor player Tommy Edman, who has quietly become one of the game’s most valuable players.

Superstar? Tommy Edman? I know it may seem a little rich. After all, Edman shares the list with franchise legends Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, as well as more traditional superstar types like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. But Edman, depending on which value you are looking at, is between 16 and the best player in baseball.

Tommy Edman is among the leaders in any measure of value

MLB Season 2022 Value Meters & Locations Among Louis Cardinals’ Tommy Edman players

Source Meter Value Place
FanGraphs WAR 3.4 7
Baseball prospect FAILURE 1.9 16 WAR 4.1 1

Through the June 22 games.

Sources: FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus,

Edman is the shining star of the sixth round of Stanford University’s 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. Looking at the minors, it seemed that Edman was moving in the direction of being a major league contributor, albeit a glove-first, super-useful, being the Cardinals prospect of the 20th FanGraphs before the 2019 season. Here’s what local potential writers Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel had to say about Edman:

Edman is a switch striker Joey Wendle. … He has more power to hit with his right hand, but he doesn’t do much damage in games. Edman’s flat swing is most effective in capturing the squares in the upper half of the zone, making him well-positioned to hit as the batsman-thrower meta-game continues to move toward high-speed balls. Bat-to-ball skills dictate powerless profiles like Edman’s. He will either score enough to be 50, or he will not hit or be on the list unless he starts playing more defensive positions.

Looking at Edman’s production in the smaller leagues, the above perspective was true. Prior to 2019, he did not hit more than seven home teams in any season and never achieved a drop above any level of 0.439 (which was more than 38 games in 2017 in Single A). But when the 2019 hit hit, everything changed: he set a record for his seven home teams with just 49 games in Triple-A Memphis, reaching 0.305 / .356 / .513. Edman’s production, along with versatility in defense, forced him to promote, even though he was not yet on the 40-man list.

Fortunately for Edman and the Cardinals, the offensive production continued. Much like Edman forced himself into a major league club, he broke into the daily lineup, taking the lion’s share of time in third base. All in all, Edman’s numbers were terribly similar to Triple-A’s, hitting a 0.30 / .350 / .500 slash – a good 124-weighted run plus (wRC +). Combined with the slippery defense he was already known for, his 3.9-point win in baseball was 11th since the time he was called up and, despite a shortened season, he was the most valuable player on the team.

The seasons of 2020 and 2021 turned out to be fewer years for Edman than just offensive. But in 2022, he has returned to his impressive and more versatile newcomer level, having posted 123 wRC + today. The keys to Edman’s success on the plate? Much better skill set with breakthrough and walking.

Edman walks more and keeps punches

St. Louis Cardinals Tommy Edman dropout rate, walking frequency, and breakthrough rate

Season Strikethrough rate Walking speed BB-K ratio
The year 2022 17.4% 9.2% 0.53
The year 2021 13.7 5.5 0.40
2020 21.1 7.0 0.33
2019 17.5 4.6 0.26

Through the games on June 22, 2022.

Source: FanGraphs

For the first time in his career, Edman is working above average in both punching and walking, at the 74th and 59th percentiles, respectively. Of course, this has led to better contact, as he also achieves career excellence in terms of average exit speed, heavy impact rate, expected base-weighted and barrel rate.

Edman makes the best contact of his high league career

St. Louis Cardinals Tommy Edman exit speed, heavy impact rate, barrel speed and expected weighted average (xwOBA)

Season Exit speed Heavy impact rate Barrel course xwOBA
The year 2022 88.7 37.6% 6.3% .341
The year 2021 87.5 35.1 4.2 .316
2020 86.5 33.5 3.8 .315
2019 87.4 33.6 5.3 .330

Through the games on June 22, 2022.

Source: Baseball Savant

Although the blow has returned for Edman in 2022, the two elite parts of his game that have not fallen or flowed over the years have been his defense and mainstream. No matter what position he is on, Edman has proven to be a first-class defender. He is the third-best defender in the game, with eight outs better than the average defender.

Edman’s 87th percentile sprint speed makes him a constant threat to steal bases, and he’s very good at it. Since the start of the 2019 season, Edman’s 63 stolen bases have been ranked eighth in baseball. This year, his 16 stolen bases are at the top of the National League, surpassing teammate Harrison Bader by one, and by FanGraphs’ BsR metric (which is a key component of their WAR calculation), Edman not only makes a big pace throughout the league, but has been a baseball player. the best base runner since 2019.

Considering all that Edman has done so far this season, he should make it to his first Star Game, even though he received only a fourth vote in the first round of the NL national team. Although he does not have the power number of the traditional most valuable player award candidate, his total output should force him into the debate if he maintains this pace.

Even among the names already on the Cardinals list, there is certainly room to add Edman to the list.

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