Gonzales, Sierra earn Minor League awards

Gonzales, Sierra earn Minor League awards

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals announced on Thursday that they selected left-hander Marco Gonzales and outfielder Magneuris Sierra as the 2014 recipients of the Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year Awards that the organization has presented annually since 1995.

Gonzales finished the year on the Cardinals' postseason roster after beginning his first full professional season as a member of the Class A Advanced Palm Beach club. In 21 starts with three Minor League teams, Gonzales combined to go 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA and 117 strikeouts over 122 innings. He made his Major League debut on June 25, just a year after being taken by the Cardinals with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Gonzales' five strikeouts

The 22-year-old was at his best in August, posting a 2.67 ERA over five Triple-A starts, and that strong finish earned him another callup to St. Louis. By the start of the postseason, Gonzales had emerged as a key piece in the Cardinals' bullpen.

After spending a year playing in the Dominican Summer League, Sierra joined the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2014 and went on to lead the GCL in hits (78) and batting average (.386). He ranked third with a .434 on-base percentage and ninth with 13 stolen bases in 52 games.

The 18-year-old outfielder joins Oscar Taveras as the only players to earn the organization's highest Minor League honors after coming up through the Cardinals' Dominican Academy.

Both Gonzales and Sierra will be presented with their awards at the 57th annual St. Louis Baseball Writers Dinner on Jan. 18.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.