Miller, Adams Take Top Cards Minors Awards

Two-time top pitcher Shelby Miller

Springfield teammates Shelby Miller and Matt Adams are the St. Louis Cardinals top minor league pitcher and position player in 2011.

On Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the organization's selections for 2011 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year honors, tabbing right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller (1st round, 2009) for the second consecutive year and first baseman Matt Adams (23th round, 2009).

Miller
Miller, 21, is the first Cardinals farmhand to win consecutive Pitcher-of-the-Year awards since Rick Ankiel in 1998 and 1999. Miller made 25 starts between Palm Beach (A) and Springfield (AA) posting an 11-6 record with a 2.77 ERA in 139.2 innings ringing up 170 strikeouts, which ranked first in the Cardinals organization and 11th in all of Minor League Baseball.

Miller was the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Month for June and was selected to the Florida State League All-Star team despite making only nine starts, tallying double-digit strikeouts in five of those starts with his 81 strikeouts leading the league at the time of his promotion. Miller pitched six innings or more 14 times and registered a quality start in all of them.

The 19th overall selection in the 2009 draft out of Brownwood (HS), Texas, Miller has been recognized as the Cardinals No. 1 prospect by Baseball America for the second consecutive season.

"Shelby had another tremendous season in 2011," said Cardinals Farm Director John Vuch. "He had success against hitters at two very different levels, while simultaneously continuing to make steady progress working on the things he'll need to do in order to be effective at the highest levels. It's exciting to watch him continue to mature into a more polished and complete pitcher."

Adams
Adams, 23, was the Cardinals 23rd round pick (699th overall) out of Slippery Rock (Pa.) University in 2009 and was named the 2011 Texas League Player of the Year. The 6-foot-3, 230 lb., first baseman slugged his way to a .300 batting average, setting Springfield franchise records with 32 home runs and 101 runs batted in. He was one of only two minor league players to pull off the feat of .300 BA, 30 HR and 100 RBI in 2011.

Adams played in 115 games at Springfield and he was solid in the field registering a .993 fielding percentage with just eight errors in 1100 total chances at first base. His 2011 accolades included an appearance in the Texas League All-Star Game, where he homered, and he was tabbed as the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for May.

"Matt was challenged on the first day of Spring Training with the possibility of making the jump straight from the Midwest League to the Texas League," said Vuch. "His response to that opportunity was impressive. Not only did he compile a remarkable offensive season with the bat, but he also was very solid in the other aspects of his game, while demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities."

Editors note

Premium Article The Cardinal Nation subscribers can catch audio and video interviews with Adams as well as a video scouting report of the first baseman, fresh from the Arizona Fall League. Just click here. Not yet a subscriber? Take advantage of our seven-day free trial today.

Following the season, The Cardinal Nation gave these two players our comparable designations as 2011 Pitcher (Miller) and Player (Adams) of the Year. Looking ahead, our annual Top 40 Cardinals prospect countdown will begin in just a few days.

Previous winners

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

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
2010 Matt Carpenter, 3B Palm Beach/Sprngfld
2011 Matt Adams, 1B Springfield
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
2010 Shelby Miller, RHP Quad Cities
2011 Shelby Miller, RHP Palm Beach/Sprngfld

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