GCL Cardinals Reliever of the Year: 2010

Left-hander Manuel De La Cruz stood out in relief for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals this summer.

When looking at the Gulf Coast League Cardinals' bullpen, one player stood out, leading the team in most categories. Manuel De La Cruz was first in appearances, games finished and saves and tied for the lead in wins. Also, De La Cruz finished third on the Cardinals in strikeouts and posted the second-best ERA on the team.

The 2009 43rd round pick finished the season with a record of 4-2 with a 1.85 ERA. In 28 games, he struck out 43 while allowing only eight walks in 34 innings. His nine saves ranked in a tie for third in the Gulf Coast League while his appearance total was tops.

The southpaw allowed a batting average against of just .182 and only a .167 average to left-handers. Even more impressive was his batting average against on the road, .155, to go along with a 1.13 ERA.

The 20-year-old did appear to tire down the stretch as five of the seven earned runs he allowed were during the month of August.

Congratulations to Manuel De La Cruz for being our The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Gulf Coast League Cardinals Reliever of the Year for 2010.

Honorable Mentions

Ricky Martinez made 19 appearances out of the Cardinals bullpen with an ERA of 2.25. The son of Springfield pitching coach Dennis Martinez posted a record of 3-0 with only nine strikeouts in 28 innings.

Cesar Aguilar struggled in four starts but dominated out of the Cards' bullpen. The 18-year-old did not allow an earned run in 12 appearances in relief. Aguilar allowed only a .068 batting average against while striking out 13 in 20 1/3 innings.

Michael Santana also performed in dual role, splitting time between the rotation and bullpen. The Dominican finished with a record of 3-0 with a 3.63 in 17 1/3 relief innings. Santana logged a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio of 15-to-3 while holding his opponents to a .206 average.

Note: Link to article with all award winners across the system as well as 2010 team recaps, exclusively for subscribers!

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