2001 Fleer Focus #23 Ray Lankford
Lankford may go down in history as the most underrated Cardinals player. Most of that is due to the team not having much success in the 1990s. In Tony LaRussa's first season as manager (1996), the Cardinals made the postseason, but Lankford injured his rotator cuff late in the season and was limited in the playoffs. However, Ray ranks in the Top 10 of many statistical categories within the Cardinals organization. Let's have a look at some:
WAR: 40.4, 10th In comparison, Lou Brock's career WAR is 41.6 and the Cardinals have 37 members in the Hall of Fame.
HR: 228, 5th
Extra-Base Hits: 619, 7th
RBI: 829, 9th
Runs: 928, 9th
Doubles: 339, 9th
Total Bases: 10th
Ray is also the only Cardinals player to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases. Only 46 Major League players share that distinction.
To say the least, Ray arrived in St. Louis at a bad time. He couldn't carry a bad team, but he would have been a welcome addition to any Cardinals team preceding or proceeding the decade in which he played.