St. Louis Cardinals announce 2014 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year

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On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that outfielder Magneuris Sierra and left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales were named as the team’s 2014 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year. The club first began awarding minor league players with such awards back in 1995.

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Playing for the GCL Cardinals this season, Sierra, 18, is a product of the Cardinals Dominican Academy. He hit a league-leading .386 and topped the GCL with his 78 hits. The left-handed hitter ranked 3rd in on-base percentage (.434) while his thirteen stolen bases ranked ninth in the league. The GCL Cardinals finished first in the GCL East with a 37-23 record.

Sierra had previously been named as the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month in July after hitting .439 in the GCL. He becomes the first short-season player to win the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year award and the second Cardinals Dominican Academy graduate since the late Oscar Taveras did so in 2012.

Gonzales was a quick riser through the Cardinals organization. After being drafted by club in 2013, Gonzales played at four levels (A, AA, AAA, MLB) this year. A member of the postseason pitching staff, Gonzales picked up two wins during the National League Division series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gonzalez posted a combined 13-7 record with a 2.81 ERA in 2014. In 21 minor league starts, Gonzales went 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA, striking out 117 batters in 122.0 innings pitched. He was called up to make his Major League debut on June 10 against the Colorado Rockies. In ten games (five starts), Gonzales finished the season with a 4-2 record and a 4.15 ERA. In August, Gonzales was named as the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month after posting a 2-0 record with a 2.67 ERA in five starts for the Memphis Redbirds.

Other left-handed pitchers to take home the award in previous years include Rick Ankiel (1998 & 1999), Bud Smith (2000) and Tyler Johnson (2002)

Sierra and Gonzales will be presented their awards at the 57th annual St. Louis BBWAA awards dinner on Sunday, January 18.

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