It’s safe to say that the 2023 season is a make-or-break year for Paul DeJong.
Once an All-Star who hit 30 home runs in 2019, DeJong has seemingly lost his way, which forced the St. Louis Cardinals to bench him in favor of Brendan Donovan and demote him to Triple-A Memphis.
The former All-Star hit just .157 in 2022 and managed only six home runs.
Now, Tommy Edman is the starting shortstop, and DeJong has one last chance to prove himself.
However, reports from Derrick Goold indicate that he has been busy this offseason re-working his swing.
Goold tweeted a side-by-side photo of DeJong with his revamped swing compared to his old swing.
The story and work behind these photos that show Paul DeJong’s new swing (blue) and his former swing (red).
Games will be the real test and how he hits will determine his place with the #stlcards.
A swing rebuilt, a spring to prove it: https://t.co/AN8ijfU1wC pic.twitter.com/MxayDsC2Zr
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) January 26, 2023
If DeJong’s offseason work pays off, then the Cardinals could be a completely different team.
After being unable to land a left-handed bat this offseason, they expressed faith in their internal options, including DeJong.
The 29-year-old was once a key run producer for the Cardinals, but has not been quite the same since his All-Star campaign in 2019.
But if his swing is truly revamped and he comes back strong, then the Cardinals faith in him will be rewarded.
He could prove to be the utility infield bench bat that they need if he can stay healthy and return to form.
DeJong does still play elite defense at shortstop, and can play all over the infield, so there is some value to having him around.
And if he can start hitting again, then he may just force his way into the Cardinals plans for 2023 and potentially beyond.NEXT: Former Cardinals GM Discusses Scott Rolen's Impact