The Cardinal Nation’s Team Recaps and Top Players of 2021

Continuing our 15-year tradition, the staff of The Cardinal Nation will share our recaps of the just-completed season at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals system. We will also crown three award winners for each team – The Cardinal Nation Minor League Starting Pitchers, Relievers and Players of the Year.

We will unveil our selections, one team recap or award per day, every day, beginning on Monday, September 27, and continuing into early November. Club recaps are first, then the Dominican Summer League (DSL) Red Reliever of the Year and all the way through the Memphis Redbirds Player of the Year.

Several special awards will be added and of course, our top selections for the entire Cardinals minor league system for 2021 as well as the best-performing rookies and top emerging and comeback players follow. The series will conclude with our choice as the top manager in the organization.

Those at the keyboard are our team of locally-based reporters – covering every Cardinals minor league affiliate first-hand – as they select the very best of the best at each level and overall, from approximately 250 players.

TCN staff include Bryant Dacus (Memphis), Cole Sutton (Springfield), Anthony Cullotta (Peoria), Bryce Totz (Palm Beach) and Paul Ivice (Gulf Coast League). Veteran TCN analysts Leonda Markee will recap 2021 for the two DSL clubs and Blake Newberry will single out the top first-year players.

Note: While the team reports and all winning names will be made available to everyone as this master article is updated daily, the detailed commentary behind most of the player awards in this series will be exclusively for The Cardinal Nation members. All major league articles will again be free for all.

This 40-article series will include analysis from our local reporters as well as comments by scouts, Cardinals players, coaches and executives. We explain what tradeoffs were made and what we saw in the best players to take the field at each level of the Cardinals system during the 2021 season.

Again, we begin the process with a daily series recapping each minor league club’s 2021 season in depth, looking at records, injuries, player movement, key stats and much more. Once they are published, you can click on the highlighted team names below to read those articles if you missed them the first time.

2021 The Cardinal Nation Recaps and Award Winners/Schedule

Team (free articles) Writer Reliever Starter Player
Florida Complex Paul Ivice Omar Sanchez Jose Davila Jeremy Rivas
Palm Beach Bryce Totz Edgar Manzo Dionys Rodriguez Matt Koperniak
Peoria Anthony Cullotta Jack Ralston Wilfredo Pereira Leandro Cedeño
Springfield Cole Sutton Ramon Santos Andre Pallante Nick Plummer
Team (free) Writer Reliever Starter Player
DSL Red UConn Card Augusto Calderon Diorys Guerrero Felix Taveras
DSL Blue UConn Card Juan Peralta Benjamin Arias Maycol Justo
Memphis Bryant Dacus Austin Warner Matthew Liberatore Juan Yepez
Writer Reliever Starter Player
Rookies of the Year Blake Newberry Gordon Graceffo N/A Mike Antico
Players of the Year Brian Walton Freddy Pacheco Dionys Rodriguez Juan Yepez
Writer Pitcher Player
Emerging Brian Walton Inohan Paniagua Todd Lott
Comeback Brian Walton Jesus Cruz Nick Plummer
Manager of the Year Brian Walton Ben Johnson
New for 2021 Writer
Offensive leaders Blake Newberry Counting stats Rate stats Defense
Pitching leaders Blake Newberry Counting stats Rate stats

Click on the name highlighted in the table above to be taken to that detailed article. In addition, select each team name to read the 2021 overall summary for that level.

Then, join the daily discussion at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board, as each selection is unveiled.

If you ever forget the location of this article, you can always use the permanent link on The Cardinal Nation homepage. Underneath the site logo in the left column, click on “Season Recaps/Top Players”, and select the year.

Our annual Cardinals Top 50 Prospect Ranking countdown for 2022 will begin in November after this series concludes. Please remember that the two processes are separate and distinct.

This effort is to recognize the top performances on the field in 2021, whether or not the players are projected to have a major league future down the road. In other words, this is all about current year results at the assigned level of play, not future potential.

2021 Prospect Guide now 20% off!

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

20% off Blowout Sale now underway on the spiral-bound, printed version.

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