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Tommy Edman

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Thomas Hyunsu Edman

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Tommy Edman was first called up to the majors leagues by the St. Louis Cardinals on June 8, 2019 when they placed SS Paul DeJong, who was having an All-Star-type season up to that point, on the injured list. In his debut on the day of his call-up, he struck out as a pinch-hitter against Tyler Chatwood in a 9-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs. However, he had a strong debut season, appearing in 92 games, and putting up a batting line of .304/.350/.500 (11 homers) along with 15 steals in 16 tries. He played primarily third base, second base and right field. He excelled in the Division Series, hitting .316/.381/.589 in the Cardinals' defeat of the Atlanta Braves, but his bat went to sleep, a did the whole team's, when they were swept by the Washington Nationals in the 2019 NLCS. He was 0 for 14 with 1 walk in the four games.

Tommy, born in San Diego, CA, went to high school in La Jolla, CA and college at Stanford University. He was a 6th round draft choice by the Cardinals in the 2016 amateur draft, out of Stanford. He and Cal Quantrill were both drafted out of Stanford that year. While not showing a lot of power in the minors, he stole bases well and hit .301 between two teams in 2018 and .305 during his 49 games with the Memphis Redbirds before his call-up to the Show in 2019.

Following his strong rookie season, he became a regular without a regular position over the next few years, seeing time at third base, second base, shortstop and the outfield. In 2020, he appeared in 55 of the Cardinals' 58 games during the pandemic-shortened season. He hit .250 with 5 homers and 26 RBIs, for an OPS+ of 90, then went 3 for 14 as the Cards lost to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series. He had a very good season in 2021, leading the National League with 641 at-bats as the team's primary lead-off hitter, hitting 41 doubles, scoring 91 runs, driving in 56, and stealing 30 bases, for an OPS+ of 91. He did this while hitting .262 in 159 games. That did not take into account that this was the one year in which he did have a regular position - second base - and he managed to win a Gold Glove. In 2022, he hit .265 in 153 games and increased his walk rate, as his OBP went up to .324 and his OPS+ to 107. He hit 31 doubles, 4 triples and 13 homers, scored a career-high 95 runs and stole 32 bases, also a personal best. In both 2021 and 2022, he appeared in the post-season, although St. Louis made a quick exit both years, losing the 2021 National League Wild Card Game to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and then being upset in two games by the Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card Series the next year. he went a combined 4 for 11 over the three games.

Edman was the first half-Korean player on the South Korean national team (his mother is Korean) when he was picked for their roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. In that way, he was like teammate Lars Nootbaar, who was the first non-Japanese-born player to suit up for the Japanese national team. He was 2 for 11 with a walk, run and two RBI in the WBC; he was also caught stealing to end a 8-7 loss to Australia. He went on to pay 137 games for the Cardinals in 2023, hitting .248 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs, with 69 runs and 27 stolen bases in 31 attempts. Once again, he moved all over the field, with 51 games 28, 48 at SS, 42 in CF and 8 RF. He was slated to go to salary arbitration following the season, but instead the Cardinals signed him on January 22, 2024 to a two-year deal worth $16.5 million.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Gold Glove Winner (2021/2B)
  • NL At-Bats Leader (2021)

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "The skill that makes Edman All-Star worthy", mlb.com, July 8, 2022. [1]
  • John Denton: "Cardinals sign Edman to 2-year deal to avoid arbitration", mlb.com, January 22, 2024. [2]

Related Sites[edit]