In 2007, Warner led his Springfield club to a sweep of the first and second half division pennants and a 73-63 combined record in the Texas League. The two sweeps allowed the Cardinals their first trip into the post-season in franchise history. The team won its first playoff series against the Tulsa Drillers in a three-game sweep. In the Texas League Championship series, the Cardinals fell to a loaded San Antonio Missions team in four games.
Springfield finished first in the Texas League in batting average, on base percentage, and hits. The team finished second in slugging percentage, home runs, and runs scored. The pitching staff finished second in the Texas League in ERA.
The Cardinals are not the only ones noticing Warner's rising star. The last two seasons the writers at Baseball America have polled managers of each of the respective leagues and each year Warner has been voted the top manager prospect. Also in 2007, Baseball America named him their Double-A Manager of the Year.
Prior to coming to Springfield for the 2007 season, Warner managed at high class-A Palm Beach, which was his first managerial assignment. In two seasons with the Palm Beach Cardinals, his teams were a combined 144-131, including a 2006 Florida State League Playoff appearance.
The 38-year-old was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the 17th round of the 1991 draft out of the University of Wyoming. During nine minor league seasons, Warner hit .266/.355/.389. Retiring following the 1999 season, Warner then served as St. Louis' batting practice pitcher during 2000. Warner began his coaching career at New Haven in 2001.
The staff of The Birdhouse congratulates Ron Warner, our 2007 Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Manager of the Year.
Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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