Cardinals’ April MVP: An Op/Ed

Hayden See, Reporter

Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong have no-doubt been the best players on the Cardinals since the commencement of the 2019 season,

Left fielder Marcell Ozuna, despite shoulder issues, has mashed the ball this year. He has hit a team-leading 10 home-runs, while recording an OPS of 1.004, a slugging percentage of .635 and driving in 29 runs. Although, even with his offensive production at such a high clip, his defensive miscues have cost the Cardinals more than once. Most notably, when he fell off the wall against the Dodgers at Busch in mid April. That moment provided some comic relief, but it also highlighted Ozuna’s defensive issues in a big way

In the infield, Paul DeJong has been an all-around top-tier player, both offensively and defensively. His OPS of .986 is a career-high, as are his .590 slugging percentage, .396 on-base percentage and a .336 batting average. His most noteworthy, however, is her league leading 14 doubles. He has only played one month, and he’s almost halfway to matching his career-high in doubles — 25 in 2018. Moving over to the defensive side, DeJong has been among the best in the Major Leagues at shortstop. He has made some errors, but overall he has been a robust defender, according to the metrics.

Even though it is a tough call, and both of the players have their positives and negatives, the answer is clear. When a player is a liability defensively, they can cost a team more runs than they produce, that’s why Paul DeJong is the obvious choice for the Cardinals’ April MVP award.

It’s only a month in, but Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong are holding the keys to the Cardinals’ offensive success.