Cards Players of the Year: 2011

Each day into early November, we'll again be rolling out our choices as the top players at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals system from the summer of 2011. Can Shelby Miller repeat as our Pitcher of the Year?

As we do each fall, the staff of The Cardinal Nation will start this series with recaps of the 2011 season at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals system, including the major league club. We follow with the crowning of three award winners for each team. They will be our Cardinal Nation Minor League Starters, Relievers and Players of the Year.

2010 Player of the Year Matt Carpenter
We will unveil our selections, one team recap or award per day, beginning on Wednesday, September 21, and running throughout October and into November. We start with the club recaps, then the Dominican Summer League (DSL) Reliever of the Year all the way through the Memphis Redbirds Player of the Year.

We'll add some special awards and of course, name the top selections for the entire Cardinals minor league system for 2011 as well as the best rookies. The series will conclude with our selection as the top manager in the organization.

Though they watched these clubs and reported on them all summer long, our team of writers still have their work cut out for them to select the very best of the best from over 300 players. Yet this most knowledgeable group is more than qualified and again up to the challenge. They include Josh Thompson, Paul Ivice, Leonda Markee, Shawn Kerrick, Jon Popham and Josh Jones.

Premium Article While the winning names will be made available to all as this article is updated daily, the detailed commentary for most articles in this series will be exclusively for Cardinal Nation subscribers. All major league articles will be free for all.

They include analysis from our writers as well as comments by Cardinals players, coaches and executives. We explain what tradeoffs were made and what we saw in the best players to take the field at each level of the Cardinals system during the 2011 season.

Again, we began the process with a daily series recapping each minor league club's 2011 season in depth, looking at records, injuries, player movement, key stats and much more. Subscribers can click on the highlighted team names below to read those articles if you missed them the first time.

2011 Cardinal Nation Award Winners

2011 Team Recaps Top Relief Pitcher Top Starting Pitcher Top Position Player
Dominican Summer Anderson Gerdel Hansel De Los Santos Robelys Reyes
Gulf Coast (Rookie) Willy Paulino Brad Watson Luis Perez
Johnson City (SS-R) Logan Billbrough Kyle Hald Tyler Rahmatulla
Batavia (SS-A) Danny Miranda Seth Maness David Medina
Quad Cities (A) Dean Kiekhefer Trevor Rosenthal Oscar Taveras
Palm Beach (A+) Keith Butler Jordan Swagerty Rainel Rosario
Springfield (AA) Sam Freeman Shelby Miller Matt Adams
Memphis (AAA) Victor Marte Brandon Dickson Nick Stavinoha
St. Louis (free) Fernando Salas (free) Chris Carpenter (free) Lance Berkman (free)
Rookies of Year (free) Danny Miranda Seth Maness Kolten Wong
Players of Year (free) Keith Butler Shelby Miller Matt Adams
Manager of Year (free) Johnny Rodriguez

(Premium Article Subscribers: Click on the player name highlighted in the table above to be taken to that detailed article. In addition, select each team name to read the 2011 overall summary for that level.)

If you ever forget the location of this article, you can always use the permanent link on the lower left of The Cardinal Nation homepage. You can access our 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 Cardinals Minor League Players of the Year from there, too, as well as our Top Prospect lists from each of the last six winters.

Speaking of top prospects, that annual top 40 countdown will begin in late November after this series concludes. Please remember that the two are separate and distinct. This effort is to recognize the top performances on the field in 2011, whether or not the players are projected to have a major league future down the road. In other words, this is about current results, not future potential.

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