2013 was a great year for contributions from first-year players to the St. Louis Cardinals. The pitching staff was front and center, receiving a Major League-leading 36 wins from rookie pitchers. That was the most since 1941 when the franchise record of 42 was set.
Shelby Miller as arguably the best of the best, leading the way with 15 victories.
Entering spring training in a competition for the fifth spot in the Cardinals rotation with Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal, Miller prevailed. The 23-year-old Texan went on make 31 starts while posting a 3.06 ERA and 169 strikeouts in 173 1/3 innings pitched.
Miller was the first Cardinals rookie pitcher since Rick Ankiel in 2000 to start 30 games. His total was the most by a club rookie since Dick Hughes’ 16 in 1967. Miller placed third on the St. Louis rookie strikeout list with 169, following Ankiel (194) and Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean (191).
Following the World Series, Miller was announced as the third-place finisher in voting for the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was second behind winner Jose Fernandez, Marlins’ starting pitcher.
In recognition of Miller’s 2013 accomplishments, the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will honor him as the club’s Rookie of the Year. He and other Cardinals will speak at the 56th annual St. Louis BBWAA Dinner, to be held on January 19, 2014. Further information about the event can be found at the St. Louis BBWAA website.
The most recent Cardinals Rookie of the Year winner was Matt Carpenter, preceded by Daniel Descalso in 2011 and Jaime Garcia in 2010.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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