The Cardinals were lauded for their 2009 Draft, and on Friday it became clearer why. A pair of 2009 Draftees earned the club’s Minor League player and pitcher of the year awards, announced on Friday morning.
First-rounder Shelby Miller, rated the club’s top prospect basically since the day he signed a professional contract, was named the top pitcher in the organization for the 2010 season. Matt Carpenter, a 13th-round selection in that same Draft, emerged as one of the fastest-rising players in the system and garnered top player laurels.
Both will be recognized at the annual St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner, which is set for Sunday, Jan. 16 at the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
Miller, who turned 20 after the season ended, was drafted out of a Texas high school and enjoyed a superb first full pro season pitching at Class A Quad Cities. The 19th overall selection in 2009, he went 7-5 with a 3.62 ERA in 24 starts at Quad Cities. Miller struck out 140 batters against 33 walks and permitted seven home runs all season.
He appeared in the XM All-Star Futures Game in Anaheim, turning in a respectable if brief showing in the Futures Game. Miller allowed an infield hit that was erased on a caught-stealing, and got a groundball out, before he was lifted.
Carpenter, who turns 25 later this month, was selected out of Texas Christian University. He played at three levels in 2009 and two in 2010. A third baseman, Carpenter began the ’10 season at Class A Palm Beach but quickly made his way to Double-A Springfield, and he kept hitting all the while. Overall in 2010, Carpenter batted .309 with a .418 on-base percentage and a .471 slugging percentage.
In 105 games at Springfield, Carpenter put up a .316/.412/.487 line, with 12 homers, 26 doubles, 53 RBIs and 76 runs scored. He also stole 11 bases in 13 attempts and drew 64 walks.