The Cardinal Nation’s Top Players of 2014

For the ninth consecutive year, we roll out The Cardinal Nation’s choices as the top players at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals system from the summer, following season recaps by affiliate. The series runs each day from September 15 through the entire month of October. Who will unseat Kolten Wong as the Player of the Year?

As we have done each fall since 2007, the staff of The Cardinal Nation will start this series with recaps of the 2014 season at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals system, including the major league club. We will also crown three award winners for each team - The Cardinal Nation/ Minor League Starters, Relievers and Players of the Year.

2013 Pitcher of the Year Zach Petrick

We will unveil our selections, one team recap or award per day, beginning on Monday, September 15, and continuing throughout the entire month of October. Club recaps are first, then the Dominican Summer League (DSL) Reliever of the Year all the way through the Memphis Redbirds Player of the Year.

Some special awards will be added and of course, our top selections for the entire Cardinals minor league system for 2014 as well as the best rookies follow. The minor league section of the series will conclude with our choice as the top manager in the organization before we break down the big-league club’s regular season and post-season.

Though they watched these clubs and reported on them all summer long, our team of locally-based writers still have their work cut out for them to select the very best of the best from nearly 300 players. Yet this most knowledgeable group is more than qualified and is again up to the challenge. They include Austin Reynolds (Memphis), Derek Shore (Springfield), Juan Dorado (Palm Beach), Garth Shanklin (Peoria), Robert Davidson (State College), Curtis Carden (Johnson City) and Paul Ivice (Gulf Coast League).

Note: For the first time in 2014, we are making every article in this series, free for all readers, whether members of The Cardinal Nation or not.

These reports include analysis from our local reporters 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 2014 season.

Again, we begin the process with a daily series recapping each minor league club’s 2014 season in depth, looking at records, injuries, player movement, key stats and much more. Click on the highlighted team names below to read those articles if you missed them the first time.

2014 The Cardinal Nation/ Award Winners/Schedule

Minor League System
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2014 Team Recaps Top Relief Pitcher Top Starting Pitcher Top Position Player
Dominican Summer (Rk) Franyel Casadilla David Oca Jonathan Rivera
Gulf Coast (Rookie) Jery Then Jorge Rodriguez Magneuris Sierra
Johnson City (SS-R) Jonathan Escudero Dailyn Martinez Casey Grayson
State College (SS-A) Kyle Grana Will Anderson Nick Thompson
Peoria (A) Chris Perry Rob Kaminsky Juan Herrera
Palm Beach (A+) Dixon Llorens Nick Petree Breyvic Valera
Springfield (AA) Joe Donofrio Jonathan Cornelius Cody Stanley
Memphis (AAA) David Aardsma Tim Cooney Xavier Scruggs

Remember to 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 2014 overall summary for that level.

Minor League System
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Top System Players Top Relief Pitcher Top Starting Pitcher Top Position Player
Rookies of the Year Jery Then Daniel Poncedeleon Derek Gibson
Players of the Year Kyle Grana Rob Kaminsky Magneuris Sierra
Manager of the Year Steve Turco    
St. Louis
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Players of the Year Top Relief Pitcher Top Starting Pitcher Top Position Player
Pat Neshek Adam Wainwright Jhonny Peralta
Rookie of the Year
Kolten Wong
2014 Team Recaps
Regular season      
Reg season stats      

If you ever forget the location of this article, you can always use the permanent link in the left sidebar of The Cardinal Nation homepage. You can access our 2013, 2012, 2011, 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 nine 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 2014, whether or not the players are projected to have a major league future down the road. In other words, this is all about current year results, not future potential.

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