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The 5 most impressive Cardinals halfway through spring training

We're just about at the spring training halfway point. Here's who has impressed the most down at Cardinals camp. (Yes, Dylan Carlson is No. 1)

JUPITER, Fla. — Opening day is now just a few weeks away, and we're nearing the halfway point of spring training games for the Cardinals.

There has been no shortage of storylines so far in camp, and the competitions and debates will only heat up as we get closer to the season.

So, let's take a look at who has stood out above the crowd so far in spring training with the Cards.

Honorable Mentions: Kolten Wong, Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill, Yairo Munoz an Johan Oviedo

5: Austin Gomber, Genesis Cabrera and Kwang-Hyun Kim

Yes, I technically cheated here and bunched all the lefties together. But I couldn't leave any of them off the list.

Let's start with Gomber. The lefty only pitched in 12 games in the minors last year due to injury but looks stronger than ever so far this spring. In five innings, Gomber has five strikeouts and has only allowed one run to the tune of a 1.80 ERA. He's looked pretty darn nasty, too.

Cabrera has also been pretty dominant in limited action. Six strikeouts in four innings and no runs allowed as of yet.

Kwang-Hyun Kim has tackled every test he's been given so far this spring. In three appearances, Kim has yet to give up a run and has seven strikeouts in five innings.

Watch: Kwang-Hyun Kim is turning heads in Jupiter

We're still not completely sure how these lefties will slot into the plans this season, especially with the loss of Miles Mikolas to begin the year, but all three of them have been impressive.

4: Nolan Gorman

One of the top prospects in the Cardinals' system, a lot of eyes are on Gorman in his first MLB camp.

The 19-year-old has been used quite a bit so far in Cardinals Grapefruit League play and has impressed.

Watch: Nolan Gorman talks about his first big league spring training

In 24 at-bats, Gorman is hitting .292 with two doubles and a home run. Sure, the walks and strikeouts could get better, but so far so good for Gorman in big league camp.

3: Paul DeJong

We know what Paul DeJong can do when he's right. He's not the only Cardinals shortstop to hit 30 home runs in a year for nothing. So, while he has probably had the best statistical spring training of anyone on the roster, he's not higher on this list because we know he can do stuff like this.

But to say he ended 2019 on a rough note would be putting it mildly. In September, DeJong hit just .175 with nine extra base hits in the last month of the season. He wasn't much better in the playoffs, holding just .570 OPS in nine playoff games.

Watch: Paul DeJong talks about his 2020 outlook

Now, heading into 2020, DeJong is likely to be counted on as the Cards' number four hitter. So far, he looks to be up to the task.

As of Thursday, DeJong is leading all of baseball in spring training home runs, with four. He also has eight RBI, a .500 average and crazy OPS of 1.722.

If DeJong can carry his hot spring start into the regular season, Cardinals fans should be able to breathe a bit easier when thinking about the cleanup spot.

2: Daniel Ponce de Leon

I don't think Ponce de Leon being good this spring has surprised that many people. We've seen that ability he has, albeit in limited opportunities in the majors.

But now, with Miles Mikolas sidelined and a rotation spot open, Ponce de Leon is looking nastier than ever.

In five Grapefruit League innings, Ponce de Leon has faced 18 batters. He's struck out seven of them. He's only allowed three hits and still has a sparkling 0.00 ERA.

Watch: Daniel Ponce de Leon talks about finding his role

The Cardinals might like the thought of going with a lefty in either Gomber or Kim to replace Mikolas, but Ponce de Leon is going to make that decision an awfully tough one.

1: Dylan Carlson

This was an easy No. 1. Dylan Carlson has been about the only guy Cardinals fans want to talk about so far this spring and for good reason.

The kid is ready.

Coming into Thursday, Carlson is hitting .400 with a .520 on base percentage and 1.170 OPS. He has four extra base hits and is tied for the most walks of any player in camp.

Watch: Dylan Carlson talks about his rise through the Cardinals' system

Cardinals fans have been clamoring for Carlson to crack the opening day roster, but I'm still not thinking there's a good chance of that happening. While he might already look like the best outfielder in the franchise, the Cardinals are never ones to rush things. There's also the service time maneuvering that clubs like to do to take into consideration.

However, the young star is certainly making things interesting. If he keeps this up, he might just force the team's hand.

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