As first reported last week by Ken Rosenthal and Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the St. Louis Cardinals are currently exploring options to add depth to their pitching staff. They don’t appear to be aiming low. So far they have been name-dropped in trades for Cole Hamels and David Price and called a potential bidder in the Max Scherzer sweepstakes. James Shields’s name was briefly thrown around as well.

A lot of St. Louis Cardinal fans, myself included, were a bit surprised when Sierra was selected as the Cardinals’ Minor League Player of the Year last month alongside Marco Gonzales, who was given the same award for pitchers. Surprised because other than hearing his name in passing a few times, I really didn’t know much about him. Unlike Gonzales, who made his debut on June 25th and had an established role with the club during the 2014 postseason, Sierra seemed to have sprung up from nowhere.

“My first major league baseball game was in April of 1987, in St. Louis, Missouri. I was eight years old. My favorite team calls St. Louis home and on that Saturday night we, the Cardinals, were playing the New York Mets. This was serious business. True, our rival was, and is, the Chicago Cubs, but that wasn’t really the case in 1987. The Cubs were “lovable losers,” they were cute. The Mets were not cute. They were brash, they were reckless, and they had a slugger named ‘Howard Johnson’ which I thought was weird. And more importantly, they were winners.

“The Saturday after Thanksgiving I was asked to retrieve the Christmas decorations from storage. To do this I had to maneuver several boxes out of the way, one of which I knew contained my old baseball cards. I also knew if I opened that box, I would fall into a bottomless chasm of Diamond Kings, commons, and ‘Jesse Barfield? I had forgotten about Jesse Barfield!’ moments. Naturally, I dove in.”