25 for 25: Cardinals

Over the past few months I've been working on a roster for each franchise in the National League, composed of players over the last 25 years. The way this works is that I pick one player from each season and I have to fill out an entire roster (2 catchers, 2 infielders at each position, 6 total outfielders, 5 starting pitchers, 4 relievers). I can't take more than one player for each year, I have to take one player each season even in the bad years, and I can't use the same player for multiple positions. If a player played the majority of his games at one position, I can't use that season for another position even if he's played it before. And I used basically minimums of 60 innings or 250 PA's (prorated for strike seasons).

The interesting part with this are the decisions that have to be made, whether it is, "Dang there are some really nice outfielder seasons to choose from, who gets left out?", or, "Does this team even have two decent catchers in a 25-year span?", or, "This guy had so many great years - which one do I choose?" Sometimes a great year gets left out, sometimes a fluke, partial season gets tabbed for the team.

I actually posted a fully researched extended version for the Cardinals from 1910 to 1934. You're welcome to pick apart my choices and make suggestions of your own. I'm looking forward to hearing from everybody.

P.S. After completing the whole process and receiving comments last week, I realized that I should have utilized both BP's WARP1 and B-R's WAR numbers instead of just WARP1 along with Win Shares and OPS+/ERA+. (Fangraphs' WAR numbers only go back to 2002, so that would not have helped.) There were a couple players with differences of 2+ wins, so there might be a couple head-scratchers. My apologies.

C – Tony Pena (1988), Tom Pagnozzi (1994)

1B – Mark McGwire (1998), Albert Pujols (2006)

2B – Jose Oquendo (1989), Fernando Vina (2000)

3B – Fernando Tatis (1999), Scott Rolen (2004)

SS – Ozzie Smith (1987), Edgar Renteria (2003)

OF – Willie McGee (1990), Bernard Gilkey (1993), Brian Jordan (1996), Ray Lankford (1997), Jim Edmonds (2005), Ryan Ludwick (2008)

SP – John Tudor (1985), Bob Tewksbury (1992), Daryl Kile (2001), Adam Wainwright (2007), Chris Carpenter (2009)

RP – Todd Worrell (1986), Lee Smith (1995), Tom Henke (1995), Jason Isringhausen (2002)

Notable exceptions: Yadier Molina (2009), Jack Clark (1987), Pedro Guerrero (1989), Tom Herr (1985), Terry Pendleton (1989), David Eckstein (2005), Brendan Ryan (2009), Tom Brunansky (1988), Milt Thompson (1989), J.D. Drew (2001), Joe Magrane (1989), Andy Benes (1997), Matt Morris (1997), Kent Bottenfield (1999), Woody Williams (2003), Juan Acevedo (1998), Ryan Franklin (2009)

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