Craig, Lynn Take Cards Org Top Player Awards

The 2009 St. Louis Cardinals organization Player and Pitcher of the Year are Memphis' Allen Craig and Springfield's Lance Lynn.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Monday the club's selections for 2009 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year honors, tabbing infielder/outfielder Allen Craig (8th round, 2006) and pitcher Lance Lynn (1st round supplemental, 2008) as this year's top performers.

"For a player to get drafted last year, and then in his first full year accomplish this, is remarkable," said Cardinals' Vice President of Scouting & Player Development Jeff Luhnow about Lynn. "Lance helped our AA team reach the playoffs and his future is very bright."

"Allen has been terrific every year since we drafted him and was a key part of the (Memphis) Redbirds championship run this year," said Luhnow. "This recognition is overdue for him."

Craig, 25, led Memphis in the Triple Crown categories batting .322 with 26 home runs and 83 RBI while slugging a team-leading .547. He finished fourth in the Pacific Coast League in batting, home runs, hits (152) and total bases (258); and played in 126 games splitting time between first base, third base and the outfield, only committing five errors for a .990 fielding percentage. In each of his three full seasons in the minors, Craig has batted over .300 with over 20 home runs and 80 RBI, and was selected to the mid-season and post-season All-Star teams in the Florida State League (MVP of game) and Texas League. Craig earned Cardinals organizational Player-of-the-Month honors this past July, batting .392 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI.

The right-handed hitting Craig was drafted by the Cardinals in the 8th round (256th player overall) of the June, 2006, draft out of the University of California-Berkeley and is the first player to win the award spending his entire season in AAA since Adam Kennedy accomplished the feat with Memphis in 1999.

Lynn, 22, climbed three levels in his second professional season joining the previous two winners, Jess Todd (2008) and P.J. Walters (2007) as the only Cardinals Pitcher-of-the-Year honorees to accomplish that feat.

The right-hander combined for an 11-4 record with a 2.85 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 148.2 innings (28 games) between Palm Beach (A), Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA).

The 6-5, 250-pound Lynn finished third in the Texas League in ERA (2.92) and tied for third with 11 wins. Lynn earned the Cardinals Pitcher-of-the-Month honors for May, going 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in 28.1 innings with 23 strikeouts, helping Springfield to a first half championship and a Texas League playoff berth. He was named to the mid-season and post-season Texas League All-Star teams.

Editor's Note: Lynn and Craig have already been named our 2009 Springfield Starting Pitcher of the Year and Memphis Player of the Year, respectively, and are leading candidates for our Cardinal Nation Pitcher and Player of the Year honors, to be announced on Wednesday, November 4 and Thursday, November 5.

To follow our entire series of Players of the Year at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system, check back here at The Cardinal Nation daily. To see the roster of winners and article schedule, click here.

A complete listing of the Cardinals' Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Year Award selections since 1995 follow:

Yr Player Teams
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/PB
2007 Colby Rasmus, OF Springfield
2008 Daryl Jones, OF Palm Beach/Sprfld
2009 Allen Craig, OF/IF Memphis
Yr Pitcher Teams
1995 Mike Busby, RHP Louisville/Arkansas
1996 Britt Reames, RHP Peoria
1997 Cliff Politte, RHP Prince William/Ark.
1998 Rick Ankiel, LHP Peoria/Prince William
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 Palm Beach/Sprngfld
2007 P.J. Walters, RHP Quad Cities/PB/Spfld
2008 Jess Todd, RHP PB/Spfld/Memphis
2009 Lance Lynn, RHP PB/Spfld/Memphis

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