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Yepez, Walker & Liberatore Named Cardinals Minor League Co-Players & Pitcher of the Year

The St. Louis Cardinals have announced their selections for the team’s 2021 Minor League Player & Pitcher awards. First baseman Juan Yepez and third baseman Jordan Walker were honored as Co-Players of the Year, and left-handed pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

“We are pleased to recognize Matthew Liberatore, Juan Yepez, and Jordan Walker as our organizational minor league Pitcher and co-Players of the Year,” said John Mozeliak, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations. “Matthew and Juan were standouts at the Triple-A level while Jordan quickly adjusted to full-season ball with a strong debut season. We are excited for the strides all three players have made in their development.”

Juan Yepez Photo Credit: Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The 24-year old Yepez spent time between Springfield & Memphis last season where he slashed .286/.383/.586 with 27 HR, 29 doubles, 77 RBI and a .969 OPS over 111 games. He also led all Cardinals minor leaguers in home runs, doubles, RBI, slugging and OPS.

Jordan Walker Photo Credit: Tom DiPace

Walker (19 yrs old), played in 82 games for the Low-A Palm Beach Cardinals & High-A Peoria Chiefs. He slashed an impressive .317/.388/.548 with 14 HR, 25 doubles, 4 triples & 14 stolen bases with a .936 OPS.

Matthew Liberatore Photo Credit: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

21 year old left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore spent the entire 2021 season pitching for the Memphis Redbirds. He finished with a 9-9 record and a 4.04 ERA in 22 games. Matthew set career highs and led all Cardinals minor league pitchers in wins (9), strikeouts (123), innings pitched (124 2/3), and games started (18). This was the first season that Liberatore had pitched higher than Low-A ball.

Yepez and Walker being named Co-Minor League Players of the Year, marks the first time since the award’s inception in 1995 that co-recipients were selected.

Photo Credit : Getty Images

The complete list of past St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Player/Pitcher of the Year Awards are listed below.

1995 Mike Gulan, 3B Louisville/Arkansas Mike Busby, RHP Louisville/Arkansas

1996 Dmitri Young, INF Louisville Britt Reames, RHP Peoria

1997 Brent Butler, INF Peoria Cliff Politte, RHP Prince William/Arkansas

1998 Pablo Ozuna, INF Peoria Rick Ankiel, LHP Peoria/Prince William

1999 Adam Kennedy, INF Memphis Rick Ankiel, LHP Arkansas/Memphis

2000 Albert Pujols, 3B Peoria/Potomac Bud Smith, LHP Arkansas/Memphis

2001 Coco Crisp, OF Potomac Jimmy Journell, RHP Potomac/New Haven

2002 John Gall, 1B New Haven Tyler Johnson, LHP Peoria

2003 John Gall, 1B Tennessee/Memphis Dan Haren, RHP Tennessee/Memphis

2004 Reid Gorecki, OF Palm Beach/Tennessee Anthony Reyes, RHP Palm Beach/Tennessee

2005 Travis Hanson, 3B Springfield Mark Worrell, RHP Palm Beach

2006 Colby Rasmus, OF Quad Cities/Palm Beach Blake Hawksworth, RHP Palm Beach/Springfield

2007 Colby Rasmus, OF Springfield P.J. Walters, RHP QC/Palm Beach/Springfield

2008 Daryl Jones, OF Palm Beach/Springfield Jess Todd, RHP PB/Springfield/Memphis

2009 Allen Craig, OF Memphis Lance Lynn, RHP PB/Springfield/Memphis

2010 Matt Carpenter, 3B Palm Beach/Springfield Shelby Miller, RHP Quad Cities

2011 Matt Adams, 1B Springfield Shelby Miller, RHP Palm Beach/Springfield

2012 Oscar Tavares, OF Springfield Seth Maness, RHP Palm Beach/Springfield

2013 Kolten Wong, 2B Memphis Zach Petrick, RHP Peoria/Palm Beach/Springfield

2014 Magneuris Sierra, OF GCL Cardinals Marco Gonzales, LHP PB/Springfield/Memphis

2015 Stephen Piscotty, OF Memphis Austin Gomber, LHP* Peoria

Alex Reyes, RHP* Palm Beach/GCL/Springfield

2016 Carson Kelly, C Springfield/Memphis Luke Weaver, RHP Springfield/Memphis

2017 Harrison Bader, OF Memphis Jack Flaherty, RHP Springfield/Memphis

2018 Tyler O’Neill, OF Memphis Dakota Hudson, RHP Memphis

2019 Dylan Carlson, OF Springfield/Memphis Angel Rondón, RHP Palm Beach/Springfield

2020 (No Minor League Season)

2021 Juan Yepez, 1B* Springfield/Memphis Matthew Liberatore, LHP Memphis

Jordan Walker, 3B* Palm Beach/Peoria


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