Bonus offseason time has given me time to think about just how good the St. Louis Cardinals have been over the last 25 years with Bill DeWitt Jr. in charge of the franchise. An article at The Athletic had three writers pick 8 position players and a pitcher (I think) each - basically ~30 players from that time. Once they were finished, I was astonished at how many more very good players that they left on the table. I figured they deserved their due as well.
I decided to do FOUR 25-man rosters (100 players!) of the Bill DeWitt Jr. era Cardinals. I tried to spread out 1) the talent and 2) the fan favorites as much as possible. I tried to get different eras on each team, but failed at some of that. I only looked at player seasons with over 400 PA (over 500 PA everywhere but OF (could only find 13 out of the 15 needed at 500+ PA) and catcher (there weren't many at even 300).
Here they are without further ado. We'll discuss them more after the fold:
How I split them up - ICONS (fan favorites)
Team 1 - Yadi, Jimmy Ballgame, Flaherty, and Kile
Team 2 - Albert, Holliday, Chris Carpenter and Motte
Team 3 - Big Mac, Freese/Renteria, Wainwright, and Matty Mo
Team 4 - Rolen, Lankford, Izzy, and Matheny
How I split them up - ABILITY (add to the list above)
Team 1 - Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter, Ryan Franklin, John Lackey
Team 2 - Paul DeJong, Miles Mikolas, Trevor Rosenthal, Kolten Wong
Team 3 - Jason Heyward, Lance Lynn, Seung-Hwan Oh, Tommy Pham
Team 4 - Alan Benes, Andy Benes, Allen Craig, Carlos Martinez
How I split them up - Making sure some of my favorites were split up
Team 1 - Yadi, Carp, Grichuk, Flaherty, Kile, Brebbia
Team 2 - Albert, Kolten, DeJong, Holliday, Bottenfield (ask), Rosie
Team 3 - McGwire, Renteria, Adams, Wainwright, Gallegos
Team 4 - Craig, Rolen, Ray Ray, Jordan, Chief Justice Jon Jay, Joel Pineiro
How I split them up - WAR (what is it good for)
When I took the absolute best season by fWAR/600 plate appearances (450 for catchers) or fWAR/180 innings (60 for relievers) for all of the individual seasons (with a certain amount of PA/IP necessary to make the cut - sorry Tommy Edman), these were the best of the best. Looking at the individual season lens, we can see who the best players were at the top of their game (Ryan Ludwick, Tommy Pham, Benes brothers, Harrison Bader, Colb Rasmus, and many more - looking at you).
I then tried to apply the same amount to every team. I know at one point all four teams were with 0.2 fWAR, but I have had to make some slight changes to teams from there. They're likely all still within 1 fWAR of each other. So statistically, the teams are sound and that should weight about evenly - allowing you to use all the biases given to you to make your decisions.
Which team do you choose and why?
Leave comments here, discuss on twitter. AT ME. Just have fun with this. Please.