2022 Player Outlook
He made just nine starts for the Cardinals in 2021 after not pitching at all in 2020. The 2021 season was much of the same for Mikolas compared to recent seasons, in that he didn't strike a ton of guys out, posted a quality walk rate, and outperformed his expected ERA. It's hard to take too much away from 2021 after not pitching in 2020 and having surgery, but you never like to see a career-low strikeout rate and career-high walk rate. Health willing in 2022, Mikolas will look to improve, notably in the strikeout department. Back in 2019, all five of his pitches had at least a 14 percent whiff rate, but in 2021, his sinker and changeup were below nine percent. If Mikolas doesn't see an uptick in strikeouts, he needs to maintain last year's ground ball rate (53.5%) and get the walk rate back below 4.5 percent. Mikolas, like the other St. Louis starters, should have one of the league's best defenses backing him, and it would be wise to use them. Mikolas is a fine upside arm to target given his ADP, but be cognizant of the fact that he's not going to become a big-time strikeout arm overnight.