|TCN 2013 Cards Minor League Manager of Year|
Marmol's club was best in State College history
Two post-season appearances in two years as a manager makes State College's Oliver Marmol a solid choice by The Cardinal Nation as the top minor league skipper in the St. Louis Cardinals system in 2013.
Even before Oliver Marmol retired as an active player at the age of 23, the career .203 hitter had impressed St. Louis Cardinals player development executives and coaches alike. The infielder was a student of the game, asking the right questions and playing a leadership role with his teammates. The Florida native's bi-lingual skills are ideal for working with young players.
Partway through the 2010 season, Marmol seamlessly moved from playing into a coaching role. The sixth round pick in 2007 was assigned to the Cards' New York-Penn League affiliate to learn and observe under long-time skipper Dann Bilardello. In 2011, the training wheels came off as Marmol was assigned the hitting coach job in the entry-level Gulf Coast League.
The next season, Marmol made the leap to the lead chair, taking the reigns of the rookie-level Johnson City Cardinals. The 39-28 club reached the 2012 Appalachian League playoffs as a second-place finisher, but lost in the first round.
When the top job at the next step up, in the New York-Penn League, opened up for 2013, Marmol was named to the position. The Cardinals were returning to State College, Pennsylvania for the first time since 2006.
The 2013 Spikes became known for playing exciting baseball, logging eight walkoff wins and featuring five league All-Stars. Attendance was up almost 10 percent over 2012.
Though State College dropped the final two games of the Championship Series at home, both contests were decided by a single run.
State College Senior Vice President and General Manager Jason Dambach had the opportunity to work with the new field leader on a regular basis and was most impressed.
"As a young manager, there's always going to be a footnote about his age and experience, but in working with Oli this year, there's no question that he is a rising star in the Cardinals system," Dambach said. "His level of communication, teaching ability, leadership, and all the other qualities required of a successful minor league manager and player developer are off the charts."
"With Oli's leadership, in returning back to State College – we were very successful from a development standpoint," the farm director said. "I think that all of our State College fans enjoyed a great season, too."
As the NY-PL playoffs ended, Marmol reflected on his 2013 Spikes.
"This club battled, they learned how to be winning players," he said. "They understood the pressures of the game, how to slow the game down, they developed in a bunch of different areas. Overall, as an organization, [The Cardinals] develop winning players and that's what we did this year."
Congratulations to Oliver Marmol, The Cardinal Nation's 2013 Manager of the Year.
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