The reason for the moves was a good one – solid performance on the mound.
His manager at his first stop, the Batavia Muckdogs, Dann Bilardello, explained why Maness was so successful in the New York-Penn League.
"Maness is a strike thrower and was able to use his secondary pitches behind in the count for strikes," the manager noted. "That enabled Seth to create strikeouts and kept the hitters guessing."
Bilardello didn't get to enjoy Maness long. Right after he threw a scoreless inning in the August 16 NYPL All-Star Game, Maness was promoted to A-Advanced Palm Beach. With Batavia, he had appeared in ten games, including seven starts. Despite a 0.91 ERA, he had a 0-1 record.
"Every time out, Seth gave us a chance to win," Bilardello said. "His record did not reflect they way he pitched, but his numbers sure did."
Maness fanned 31 and walked just three in 39 2/3 Batavia innings. His ground out to fly out ratio was 4.56:1 and he limited NYPL batters to a collective .185 average.
In just ten days in the Florida State League, he was called upon three times in relief by Palm Beach manager Luis Aguayo. Maness pitched scoreless ball in two of three outings, including picking up his first professional win. Overall, he allowed four runs in 8 1/3 FSL innings, fanning eight and walking just two.
His next stop was the playoff-bound Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class-A Midwest League. Maness appeared in two regular season games, yielding just one run in five innings. He fanned three and walked none.
In 53 regular-season innings across the three levels, Maness struck out 42 and walked just five while holding opposing batters to a collective .194 average. His ERA was 1.53 and he induced over three ground ball outs for every fly ball out.
Congratulations to Seth Maness, The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Minor League Rookie Starting Pitcher of the Year for 2011. Earlier, he was named our Batavia Starting Pitcher of the Year as well.
Note: Link to article with links to all articles about previous award winners across the system club by club, schedule for upcoming announcements as well as 2011 team recaps, much of it exclusively for The Cardinal Nation subscribers. Not yet a subscriber? Join now!
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
© 2011 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.