The St. Louis Browns will not worry much about the pennant this year, unless there is one hung up for the tail end club. President Von der Ahe has twenty-two men under contract for this season, but the prevailing belief among the lovers of the game at the Mound City is that in the make up of the team the management has been partial to quanity rather than quality. Nine men of only mediocre class constitute the pitching department, including Esper and Huthison, ex-major league pitchers; Hart, Donahue, Kisinger and Brown, of last season's team, and Fox, a New England college player; White and Evans, minor leaguers. The rest of the team will be: McFarland, Murphy, Douglass and Clifford, catchers; Connor or Fuller, first base; Bierbauer, second base; Hartman, third base; Monte Cross, short stop, and Sullivan, Turner and Dowd, in the outfield. Nothing bery remarkable or sensational will be expected from this aggregation, and their place is pretty well assured before the race begins.
-New York Clipper, April 3, 1897
It's a bit of a harsh preview of the club but we can't say that it wasn't accurate.