Weaver nabs Cardinals' pitching kudos

St. Louis righty, catcher Kelly capture Minors Player of Year awards

Luke Weaver held opponents to a .206 batting average in 13 Minor League starts in 2016. (John Raoux/AP)

By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com | December 15, 2016 6:58 PM ET

After spending much of the 2016 season as batterymates, Cardinals second-ranked prospect Luke Weaver and No. 11 prospect Carson Kelly have been paired together once again. St. Louis named Weaver and Kelly as its 2016 Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year respectively Thursday.

Weaver, who missed the first two months of the season with a fractured left wrist, came out of the gates flying and earned Texas League Player of the Month honors in June. After amassing a 6-3 record and a 1.40 ERA over 12 starts with Double-A Springfield, he was promoted to Triple-A Memphis on Aug. 5. In one start for the Redbirds, the right-hander allowed two hits over six scoreless frames.

"Luke's impressive work in June earned him our Pitcher of the Month honors while in Springfield," Cardinals director of player development Gary LaRocque said. "Following his August promotion to Memphis, he soon after made his Major League debut for the Cardinals." 

On Aug. 13, Weaver's contract was purchased by St. Louis and the 2014 first-round pick made his Major League debut that day at Wrigley Field. The 2014 first-rounder went 1-4 and struck out 45 batters in nine appearances, including eight starts, for the Cardinals. 

Kelly also made it from Double-A to the Majors in 2016. The 22-year-old catcher was a Texas League All-Star and was named to Team USA for the Futures Game during All-Star Week. In 96 games between Springfield and Memphis, Kelly slashed .289/.343/.395 with six home runs and 32 RBIs. 

"After being promoted from Springfield to Memphis in July, Carson earned a Major League callup in September," LaRocque said. "His productive season was also highlighted by his selection to the Futures Game and being named to the Arizona Fall League Top Prospects Team." 

Kelly was promoted to the Cardinals on Sept. 4. The 2012 second-round pick collected two hits, including a double in his first at-bat, in 13 appearances for St. Louis. He next headed to the Arizona Fall League, slashing .286/.387/.455 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 21 games for Glendale.

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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