Todd & Jones Named Cards Players of the Year

Memphis' Jess Todd is the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year, while Springfield's outfielder Daryl Jones picks up the organizational Player of the Year honors for 2008.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Saturday the club's selections for the 2008 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year honors, tabbing outfielder Daryl Jones (3rd round, 2005) and pitcher Jess Todd (2nd round, 2007) as this year's top performers.

"Many of our players had strong performances in 2008," said Cardinals' Vice President of Scouting & Player Development Jeff Luhnow. "Daryl and Jess distinguished themselves at multiple levels to earn this honor. These two young men reflect the quality of our system and organization both on and off the field."

Jones, 21, combined to bat .316 with 13 home runs, 24 stolen bases and a .407 on-base pct. between Palm Beach (A) and Springfield (AA). He hit .326 with 18 steals in 87 games for Palm Beach, earning Florida State League All-Star selection. In 36 games at Springfield, he batted .290 with six homers, and was named the Texas League's Player of the Week for the week ending Aug. 24. His strong finish also earned Jones recognition as the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for August.

The left-handed hitting Jones was drafted by the Cardinals in the 3rd round (110th player overall) of the June, 2005, draft out of Spring (TX) High School.

Todd, 22, climbed three levels in his second professional season, going a combined 8-6 with a 2.88 ERA and .213 opp. BA in 28 games between Palm Beach (A), Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA).

The 5-foot-11, 210-pound right-hander earned Texas League All-Star recognition in 2008 and was selected to Major League Baseball's Futures Game roster. He was 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA in seven games for Palm Beach, fanning 35 batters in 27.1 innings pitched, leading to his selection as the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April.

A 2nd round selection (82nd player overall) in 2007 out of the University of Arkansas, Todd went 4-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 17 games for Springfield and finished the year by going 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Memphis.

Past organizational award winners

Players of the Year
1995 Mike Gulan, 3B Louisville/Arkansas
1996 Dmitri Young, INF Louisville
1997 Brent Butler, INF Peoria
1998 Pablo Ozuna, INF Peoria
1999 Adam Kennedy, INF Memphis
2000 Albert Pujols, 3B Peoria/Potomac
2001 Covelli Crisp, OF Potomac
2002 John Gall, 1B New Haven
2003 John Gall, 1B Tennessee/Memphis
2004 Reid Gorecki, OF Palm Beach/Tenn.
2005 Travis Hanson, 3B Springfield
2006 Colby Rasmus, OF Quad Cities/P. Beach
2007 Colby Rasmus, OF Springfield
2008 Daryl Jones, OF P.Beach/Springfield
Pitchers of the Year
1995 Mike Busby, RHP Louisville/Arkansas
1996 Britt Reames, RHP Peoria
1997 Cliff Politte, RHP Prince Wm./Arkansas
1998 Rick Ankiel, LHP Peoria/Prince Wm.
1999 Rick Ankiel, LHP Arkansas/Memphis
2000 Bud Smith, LHP Arkansas/Memphis
2001 Jimmy Journell, RHP Potomac/New Haven
2002 Tyler Johnson, LHP Peoria
2003 Dan Haren, RHP Tennessee/Memphis
2004 Anthony Reyes, RHP Palm Beach/Tenn.
2005 Mark Worrell, RHP Palm Beach
2006 Blake Hawksworth, RHP P.Beach/Springfield
2007 P.J. Walters, RHP QC/Palm Beach/Spfd.
2008 Jess Todd, RHP PB/Spfd./Memphis

Special Birdhouse Editor's note: As we do every fall, the local writers of will be unveiling their picks for three awards at each level of the Cardinals system – Starting Pitcher of the Year, Reliever of the Year and Player of the Year.

The process culminates with our choice for the three Players of the Year for the Cardinals system. This daily series will begin on October 1 and carry through the entire month.

In addition, check out the third year of our community prospect rankings. Anyone can vote on their view of the top players in the Cardinals minor league system. More details here.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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