Walters, Rasmus Tops in Cardinals Minors

The St. Louis Cardinals organization is expected to name right-handed starter P.J. Walters their Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2007 while outfielder Colby Rasmus earns Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season.

Perhaps it is just a small bit of coincidence that the Rasmus and Walters families both hail from the state of Alabama and that their eldest sons, Colby and P.J., both became baseball stars. Further, each was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals organization – Rasmus as a high schooler in the first round in 2005 and Walters in the 11th round the next June following his junior year in college.

As one digs deeper however, one might surmise that it was pre-ordained that these two players would excel as teammates with the Springfield Cardinals last season. After all, their fathers had also played ball together 22 years ago - on the 1985 Enterprise State Junior College team.

The links don't stop there. Tony Rasmus and Phillip Walters, Sr. competed for Enterprise State under Coach Ronnie Powell, who two decades later would become P.J.'s college pitching coach for the University of South Alabama Jaguars. Along with the elder Rasmus and Walters, Powell's 1985 squad included Jerome Walton, who would become the National League Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Cubs in 1989.

The two Dads have a lot to be proud about today, as the Cardinals organization has reportedly settled on their sons as the recipients of their top minor league player awards for the 2007 season. The winners are expected to be right-handed starter P.J. Walters - their Minor League Pitcher of the Year – and outfielder Colby Rasmus, who will take home Player of the Year honors. Rasmus also earned the honor one year ago for the 2006 season.

The Cardinals 2007 organizational winners are the same as our selections here at, which were announced before Thanksgiving. Click here to read about Rasmus' 2007 season and here for more information on Walters' breakout campaign at three different levels of the system this past summer.

Last year, the organization also recognized pitcher Blake Hawksworth. Winners in 2005 were third baseman Travis Hanson and pitcher Mark Worrell. 2004 honorees were outfielder Reid Gorecki and pitcher Anthony Reyes. Prior to Rasmus, John Gall (player) and Rick Ankiel (pitcher) were the only two-time winners of these awards, first issued in 1995.

Past organizational winners

Pitcher of the Year Player of the Year
2007 P.J. Walters Colby Rasmus
2006 Blake Hawksworth Colby Rasmus
2005 Mark Worrell Travis Hanson
2004 Anthony Reyes Reid Gorecki
2003 Dan Haren John Gall
2002 Tyler Johnson John Gall
2001 Jim Journell Coco Crisp
2000 Bud Smith Albert Pujols
1999 Rick Ankiel Adam Kennedy
1998 Rick Ankiel Pablo Ozuna
1997 Cliff Politte Brent Butler
1996 Britt Reames Dmitri Young
1995 Mike Busby Mike Gulan

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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