Every year it seems the Cardinals take a step back, but somehow Tony LaRussa manages to keep them in contention through the end of the season. There is the obvious fantasy monster on the squad, but who else can you count upon on draft day?
To help, we give you Three Studs, a Dud and a Sleeper for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Get everything you need to know about the Cardinals after the jump...
Top 3 Cardinals
Albert Pujols - 1B
Truth be told, I'm not going to need much room here to explain to you the value of Albert Pujols. And why would I?
We're talking about a man who has hit over 30 HR, 100 RBI, .300 AVG every year since he's entered the bigs.
Depending on who you ask, Pujols is either the first or second rated player in fantasy baseball.
Ryan Ludwick - OF
Ludwick was the steal of the century in 2008, belting 37 HR and driving in 113 RBI for the depleted Cards.
At the ripe age of 30, Ludwick should continue to produce despite the fact that he's only just becoming a household name in fantasy circles. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that 2008 is going to be his career year when it's all said and done, but don't let that discourage you.
Ludwick should remain a steady source of power in 2009 and a great compliment to your outfield rotation.
Adam Wainwright - SP
Now the ace of the Cards rotation, Wainwright will be expected to build upon what was a very solid 2008 season in which we saw his ERA and WHIP improve from the 2007 season - his first full year as a starter.
Outside of the Chicago Cubs, the NL Central is looking rather weak and Wainwright should have some very nice outings against his division foes.
That's where his value will pay its highest dividends.
Troy Glaus - 3B
We're used to seeing his highlight on ESPN, stretching to his right and throwing a pee to first base from the knees. But we're even more accustomed to seeing his name on an injury report, exactly where Glaus is going to start the 2009 campaign.
Drafting Glaus shouldn't be considered an option. Instead, wait until you see how he progresses upon his return to the lineup and only then would I suggest adding him to your roster.
Chris Carpenter - SP
Can a former Cy Young award winner truly be considered a sleeper pick?
Absolutely he can. Especially when you consider he's amassed a mere 21.1 IP the past two seasons.
Injuries have ravaged his once bright future, but don't forget how dominant he was in 2005 on his way to winning 21 games and totaling 213 K. Numbers like that are only a memory, but he could bring upon a strong case of déjà vu if he can regain an ounce of that mojo.