ST. LOUIS, Mo., December 5, 2019 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today their 2019 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year selections, honoring outfielder Dylan Carlson and right-handed pitcher Angel Rondon (pronounced ahn-hell) for their accomplishments on the field.
“We are very pleased to recognize Dylan Carlson and Angel Rondon for their selections as the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year,” said John Mozeliak, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations.
Carlson combined to slash .292/.372/.542 with 26 home runs, eight triples, 28 doubles, 20 stolen bases, and a .914 OPS in 126 games between Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA). One of 10 minor leaguers with at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases and the first Cardinal to do so since Terry Evans (22-26) and Tyler Greene (20-33) in 2006, the switch-hitting Carlson ranked among Cardinals minor league leaders in hits (143, 1st), triples (1st), total bases (265, 1st), home runs (2nd), runs scored (95, 2nd), slugging (2nd), OPS (2nd), doubles (4th), RBI (5th), stolen bases (5th), and walks (58, 5th).
As the Texas League’s 4th-youngest player (2nd-youngest position player) on Opening Day at age 20, Carlson was named a Mid-Season All-Star, where he led all of Double-A baseball in runs scored (53), while ranking T6th in extra-base hits (31), 6th in total bases (132), and 10th in hits (75) at the All-Star Break.
Carlson finished his 2019 campaign in Memphis in mid-August, slashing .361/.418/.681 with five homers and nine RBI in 18 games. After August 15, Carlson ranked among PCL leaders in hits (T3rd, 26), total bases (49, T4th), and extra-base hits (11, T5th), where he hit safely in 13 games, with nine multi-hit efforts.
“Dylan’s season was highlighted by being named Texas League Player of the Year, and his promotion to Memphis,” said Gary LaRocque, Cardinals Director of Player Development.
Additionally recognized as a Post-Season All-Star, Carlson joins Matt Adams (2011) and Oscar Taveras (2012) as Springfield (AA) Texas League Player of the Year winners. Following the season Baseball America selected him as their Double-A Player of the Year, one of three outfielders on the Double-A and Minor League All-Star First Teams, and recognized him as the Texas League’s No. 2 overall prospect and “Best Defensive Outfielder” in their Best Tools Survey. He also appeared in Major League Baseball’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland for the National League team.
The 21-year-old Carlson enters next season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect and “Best Hitter for Average” in the Cardinals organization. At No. 1, Carlson is the highest-rated position player in the Cardinals organization since Taveras (No. 1 from 2013-14).
Rondon, who recently turned age 22 on December 1, was 11-7 with a 2.93 ERA (160.0 IP) and 159 strikeouts in 28 starts between Palm Beach (High-A) and Springfield (AA), all career bests that placed him among Cardinals organizational leaders in wins (T2nd), strikeouts (2nd), starts (T1st), innings pitched (2nd).
His 28 starts tied for the most across all of minor league baseball while his innings pitched ranked 6th. The Higuey, Dominican Republic native recorded 13 quality starts, pitching 6.0 innings or more in 15 starts, including season-high 7.0 frames in three outings. He allowed two or fewer runs in 19 starts.
“Angel started 2019 in Palm Beach with a promotion to Springfield in May,” commented LaRocque. “He finished the season leading the Texas League in ERA, earning the selection as the Organization Pitcher of the Year.”
The 6-feet-1, 195-lb. right-hander was named to the Florida State Mid-Season All-Star team after going 5-1 with a 2.20 ERA (45.0 IP) and 47 strikeouts in eight starts. He made his Double-A debut in mid-May, finishing 6-6 with a 3.21 ERA (115.0 IP) and 112 strikeouts in 20 starts, leading the Texas League in ERA and average against (.230) and ranking 2nd in WHIP (1.23), and 10th in strikeouts.
A day after rejoining Springfield on June 29 for a second stint, Rondon struck out a season-high 10 over 7.0 frames, allowing one run on one hit vs. Northwest Arkansas (AA-Royals) on his way to being named Texas League Pitcher of the Week for the June 24-30 period.
Carlson was the Cardinals Supplemental first round draft pick (33rd overall) in the June, 2016 First Year Player draft out of Elk Grove (Calif.) High School, while Rondon was signed by the Cardinals as an International free agent on January 6, 2016.
Both players will be presented with their awards at the 62nd annual St. Louis Baseball Writers Association of America Awards Dinner on Sunday, January 19, 2020.