St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals today announced the recipients of the team’s 2014 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year awards with outfielder Magneuris Sierra and left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales taking the honors. The Cardinals first began awarding their Minor League Player & Pitcher of the Year in 1995.
Sierra, 18, a native of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic and a product of the Cardinals Dominican Academy, batted a league-leading .386 (78-for-202) this past season while also topping the Gulf Coast League in hits. The left-handed hitting Sierra ranked 3rd in the GCL in on-base pct. (.434) and 9th in stolen bases (13) while helping the Cardinals to a first place finish in the GCL East Division at 37-23.
Sierra earned the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month selection in July when he batted .439 (36-for-82) with a .489 on-base pct. and nine stolen bases, as the Cardinals went 24-13 to pace the GCL. The 5-11, 160-pound Sierra is the first short-season player to win the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year award and the second to have come up through the Cardinals Dominican Academy, joining Oscar Taveras (2012).
Gonzales, 22, excelled at four levels (A, AA, AAA, MLB) during the 2014 season, and was a key member of the Major League pitching staff during the postseason when he posted a pair of wins during the Cardinals best-of-five Division Series win over the Dodgers.
Overall, Gonzalez was a combined 13-7 with a 2.81 ERA in 2014. He was 9-5 with a 2.43 mark in 21 minor league starts, striking out 117 batters in 122.0 innings pitched. The 6-1, 195-pound Gonzales, who was the Cardinals 1st round draft selection (19th player overall) in 2013 out of Gonzaga University, made his Major League debut in a start on June 10 at Colorado and finished the year with a 4-2 mark and a 4.15 ERA in 10 games (5 starts) with the big league club. He earned Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors in August, going 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts for Memphis (AAA).
Gonzales joins Rick Ankiel (1998 & 1999), Bud Smith (2000) and Tyler Johnson (2002) as left-handers to have won the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.
Sierra and Gonzales will be presented their awards at the 57th annual St. Louis BBWAA awards dinner on Sunday, January 18.
Brian Walton’s take
Both of these players are very deserving of the recognition given them.
Gonzales’ accomplishments are especially notable given his rapid ascension to St. Louis. However, when The Cardinal Nation independently made our choices for Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year, we did not include Major League results.
Our 2014 winners, announced in October, were Sierra and another left-hander, Peoria’s Rob Kaminsky. You can read how we made our selections in the articles linked below.
Keep in mind that we distinguish between the top players during the 2014 season and the organization’s top prospects. Stay tuned to see which of the two – Gonzales or Kaminsky – or someone else - takes home the crown as The Cardinal Nation’s top prospect for 2015. Top 40 prospect countdown details are here.
If you are still unfamiliar with Sierra, make sure you read our write up. You will even learn how to correctly pronounce his first name! The Cardinal Nation is the only media source to have a reporter regularly covering Gulf Coast League Cardinals games so we watched Sierra all summer long and continued during fall Instructional League camp. (We have the Cardinals’ other six US minor league affiliates covered locally, too!)
While you are at it, spend some time reading about The Cardinal Nation’s Pitchers and Players of the Year as well as team recaps from across the entire organization – at every level from the Dominican Summer League through St. Louis. Here is the table of contents for the entire series with links to almost 50 articles – all of which are free.
No one goes deeper than The Cardinal Nation in coverage of the Cardinals minor league system.
Following are the past winners of these annual awards.
|Cardinals organzation||The Cardinal Nation|
|1995||Mike Gulan, 3B||Lv/Ark|
|1996||Dmitri Young, INF||Lv|
|1997||Brent Butler, INF||Peo|
|1998||Pablo Ozuna, INF||Peo|
|1999||Adam Kennedy, INF||Mem|
|2000||Albert Pujols, 3B||Peo/Pot|
|2001||Covelli Crisp, OF||Potomac|
|2002||John Gall, 1B||N Haven|
|2003||John Gall, 1B||Tenn/Mem|
|2004||Reid Gorecki, OF||PB/Tenn|
|2005||Travis Hanson, 3B||Sgf|
|2006||Colby Rasmus, OF||QC/PB|
|2007||Colby Rasmus, OF||Sgf||Rasmus|
|2008||Daryl Jones, OF||PB/Sgf||David Freese, 3B||Memphis|
|2009||Allen Craig, OF/IF||Mem||Craig|
|2010||Matt Carpenter, 3B||PB/Sgf||Carpenter|
|2011||Matt Adams, 1B||Springfield||Adams|
|2012||Oscar Taveras, OF||Springfield||Taveras|
|2013||Kolten Wong, 2B||Memphis||Wong|
|2014||Magneuris Sierra, OF||GCL||Sierra|
|1995||Mike Busby, RHP||Lv/Ark|
|1996||Britt Reames, RHP||Peoria|
|1997||Cliff Politte, RHP||PW/Ark|
|1998||Rick Ankiel, LHP||Peo/PW|
|1999||Rick Ankiel, LHP||Ark/Mem|
|2000||Bud Smith, LHP||Ark/Mem|
|2001||Jimmy Journell, RHP||Pot/NH|
|2002||Tyler Johnson, LHP||Peoria|
|2003||Dan Haren, RHP||Tenn/Mem|
|2004||Anthony Reyes, RHP||PB/Tenn.|
|2005||Mark Worrell, RHP||Palm Beach|
|2006||Blake Hawksworth, RHP||PB/Sgf|
|2007||P.J. Walters, RHP||QC/PB/Sgf||Walters|
|2008||Jess Todd, RHP||PB/Sgf/Mem||Todd|
|2009||Lance Lynn, RHP||PB/Sgf/Mem||Lynn|
|2010||Shelby Miller, RHP||QC||Brandon Dickson, RHP||Memphis|
|2011||Shelby Miller, RHP||PB/Sgf||Miller|
|2012||Seth Maness, RHP||PB/Sgf||Trevor Rosenthal, RHP||Sgf/Mem/StL|
|2013||Zach Petrick, RHP||Peoria/PB/Sgf||Petrick|
|2014||Marco Gonzalez, LHP||PB/Sgf/Mem/StL||Rob Kaminsky, LHP||Peoria|
Not yet a member of The Cardinal Nation? Join today for as little as $7.95 after our seven-day free trial and be able to read all of our exclusive St. Louis Cardinals minor league content year-round.
© 2014 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.