© 2011 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

11/21/11 6:00 PM EST

Three Cards honored for standout 2011 play

ST. LOUIS -- It's a measure of how brilliant Albert Pujols has been over the course of his career that he's likely to receive "only" down-ballot consideration for the National League Most Valuable Player award this year. You know, he was just the eighth- or ninth-most valuable NL player in 2011. That's all.

The man that manager Tony La Russa repeatedly called the best player he's ever managed will bring home at least one award this year, though. As selected by MLB.com, Pujols is the Cardinals' 2011 player of the year, edging new teammate Lance Berkman for the honor.

"He's probably one of the best baseball players there's ever been," Matt Holliday said following Pujols' historic outburst in Game 3 of the World Series.

Team Awards 2011

As selected by MLB.com, awards have been designated in three categories -- Player, Pitcher Breakout Player -- for each of the 30 clubs.

Appropriately, Pujols is joined on the virtual podium by fellow Cards stalwart Chris Carpenter. The veteran right-hander, who signed on in September for two more years in St. Louis, earned Pitcher of the Year honors from MLB.com, topping Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse. Carpenter led the NL with 237 innings, and he pitched better than his 3.45 ERA or 11-9 record would indicate.

David Freese picks up Breakout Player honors from the site, an indication that the vote took place after the postseason. It's difficult to imagine more of a breakout than the one Freese enjoyed in October, winning Most Valuable Player Award honors in both the NL Championship Series and the World Series. The hometown hero was huge all postseason, but never bigger than when he hit a walk-off homer in Game 6 of the Fall Classic.

Those awards may not be accompanied by any Baseball Writers' Association of America hardware, but several Cardinals will likely at least appear in the voting. Pujols and Berkman will probably both receive votes for the NL MVP Award.

No Cardinals received votes for the BBWAA's Rookie of the Year or Cy Young Awards, but La Russa finished third in Manager of the Year balloting. If the vote were taken after the playoffs, he'd likely have been a shoo-in to win it, but instead the writers vote at the end of the regular season.

Still, La Russa was a solid candidate, finishing third behind Arizona's Kirk Gibson and Milwaukee's Ron Roenicke. La Russa led his team to a postseason berth despite the season-long absence of injured ace Adam Wainwright and significant injuries at different points in the year to Pujols, Holliday and Freese, among others.

Yadier Molina picked up his fourth straight Gold Glove at catcher, but he was the only Cardinals player to bring home the Rawlings hardware. Lohse, Holliday and Daniel Descalso all finished as runners-up for Gold Gloves. No Cardinals player won a Silver Slugger either, a curious fact for the team that led the NL in runs scored.

The Cardinals will announce their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year later this offseason.

National Awards
MVP Cy Young Rookie of the Year
Rogers Hornsby1925Bob Gibson1968Wally Moon1954
Bob O'Farrell1926Bob Gibson1970Bill Virdon1955
Jim Bottomley1928Chris Carpenter2005Bake McBride1974
Frank Frisch1931Vince Coleman1985
Dizzy Dean1934Todd Worrell1986
Joe Medwick1937Albert Pujols2001
Mort Cooper1942
Stan Musial1943
Marty Marion1944
Stan Musial1946
Stan Musial1948
Ken Boyer1964
Orlando Cepeda1967
Bob Gibson1968
Joe Torre1971
Keith Hernandez1979
Willie McGee1985
Albert Pujols2005
Albert Pujols2008
Albert Pujols2009
Manager of the Year Rawlings Gold Glove Silver Slugger
Whitey Herzog1985Ken Boyer, 3B1958Keith Hernandez, 1B1980
Tony La Russa2002Ken Boyer, 3B1959Garry Templeton, SS1980
Ken Boyer, 3B1960George Hendrick, OF1980
Bill White, 1B1960Ted Simmons, C1980
Bill White, 1B1961Bob Forsch, P1980
Ken Boyer, 3B1961George Hendrick, OF1983
Bill White, 1B1962Jack Clark, 1B1985
Bobby Shantz, P1962Bob Forsch, P1987
Curt Flood, OF1963Mark McGwire, 1B1998
Ken Boyer, 3B1963Edgar Renteria, SS2000
Bobby Shantz, P1963Scott Rolen, 3B2002
Bill White, 1B1963Edgar Renteria, SS2003
Bill White, 1B1964Albert Pujols, OF2003
Curt Flood, OF1964Albert Pujols, 1B2004
Curt Flood, OF1965Jim Edmonds, OF2004
Bill White, 1B1965Jason Marquis, P2005
Bob Gibson, P1965Albert Pujols, 1B2008
Bob Gibson, P1966Ryan Ludwick, OF2008
Curt Flood, OF1966Albert Pujols, 1B2009
Curt Flood, OF1967 Albert Pujols, 1B2010
Bob Gibson, P1967Matt Holliday, OF2010
Bob Gibson, P1968
Curt Flood, OF1968
Dal Maxvill, SS1968
Curt Flood, OF1969
Bob Gibson, P1969
Bob Gibson, P1970
Bob Gibson, P1971
Bob Gibson, P1972
Bob Gibson, P1973
Ken Reitz, 3B1975
Keith Hernandez, 1B1978
Keith Hernandez, 1B1979
Keith Hernandez, 1B1980
Keith Hernandez, 1B1981
Keith Hernandez, 1B1982
Ozzie Smith, SS1982
Ozzie Smith, SS1983
Willie McGee, OF1983
Ozzie Smith, SS1984
Joaquin Andujar, P1984
Willie McGee, OF1985
Ozzie Smith, SS1985
Willie McGee, OF1986
Ozzie Smith, SS1986
Ozzie Smith, SS1987
Terry Pendleton, 3B1987
Ozzie Smith, SS1988
Terry Pendleton, 3B1989
Ozzie Smith, SS1989
Ozzie Smith, SS1990
Ozzie Smith, SS1991
Tom Pagnozzi, C1991
Ozzie Smith, SS1992
Tom Pagnozzi, C1992
Tom Pagnozzi, C1994
Jim Edmonds, OF2000
Mike Matheny, C2000
Jim Edmonds, OF2001
Fernando Vina, 2B2001
Fernando Vina, 2B2002
Jim Edmonds, OF2002
Edgar Renteria, SS2002
Scott Rolen, 3B2002
Mike Matheny, C2003
Edgar Renteria, SS2003
Scott Rolen, 3B2003
Jim Edmonds, OF2003
Mike Matheny, C2004
Scott Rolen, 3B2004
Jim Edmonds, OF2004
Jim Edmonds, OF2005
Scott Rolen, 3B2006
Albert Pujols, 1B2006
Yadier Molina, C2008
Yadier Molina, C2009
Adam Wainwright, P2009
Yadier Molina, C2010
Albert Pujols, 1B2011
Yadier Molina, C2011
Local Awards
Darryl Kile AwardYear     
Mike Matheny2003    
Woody Williams2004    
Cal Eldred2005    
Chris Carpenter2006    
Russ Springer2007    
Adam Wainwright2008    
Skip Schumaker2009    
Matt Holliday2010    
Lance Berkman2011    

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.