Taveras, Maness win Cards top 2012 awards

Springfield teammates Oscar Taveras and Seth Maness named by the St. Louis Cardinals organization as the top player and pitcher in the minor league system for 2012.

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced their top organizational awards for 2012. Outfielder Oscar Taveras was named Player of the Year and right-handed pitcher Seth Maness was selected as Pitcher of the Year.

Taveras played the entire 2012 season at Springfield and was highly-celebrated, despite skipping the A-Advanced level. The 20-year-old earned Texas League Player of the Year honors while leading the Double-A Cardinals to their first Texas League crown since rejoining the league in 2005.

He was a member of the league's mid- and post-season all-star teams, winning the MVP award in the TL All-Star Game. Taveras also participated in the MLB Futures Game mid-season and was named a Topps Double-A all-star afterward. .

Taveras was named the organization's Player of the Month in both April and and June and received the same recognition from The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com in April.

With Springfield, the left-handed hitter batted .321 with 23 home runs and 94 RBI, leading the Texas league in batting, while ranking tied for fourth in home runs and second in RBI. Among Cardinals farmhands, Taveras was first in hits (153), doubles (37), triples (7), home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage (.572) and OPS (.953).

"Oscar had a tremendous season as he continued to demonstrate the outstanding hitting potential that he's shown throughout his career while making big strides in the other equally important aspects of his game," said Cardinals Farm Director John Vuch.

Earlier, Taveras won two full-season 2012 awards from The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com – Springfield Cardinals and the system-wide Player of the Year honors.

Maness, 24, the Cardinals 11th-round selection in 2011 from East Carolina University, started the season at Palm Beach before ascending to Springfield and was a key contributor to the Double-A Cardinals post-season championship run.

Like Taveras, Maness got out of the gates quickly, being named the system-wide Pitcher of the Month in April by both the Cardinals organization and The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com. Maness was an all-star in both leagues, earning the mid-season nod in the Florida State League and a post-season selection in the Texas League.

Despite joining the S-Cards on May 21, Maness still ranked third in the TL in ERA (3.27), second in wins (11) and led the league with a 1.06 WHIP. His full-season totals were a 14-4 with a 2.97 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP. Maness' workload of 169 2/3 innings pitched ranked sixth in all of Minor League Baseball.

"While there were numerous qualified candidates throughout the organization, Seth's phenomenal command, along with his consistent excellence throughout the season made him a deserving winner of this honor," said Vuch.

Maness was earlier named The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Springfield Starting Pitcher of the Year, but lost out on the system-wide honor to Trevor Rosenthal.

The list of the Cardinals' system-wide winners since 1995:

Yr Player Teams
1995 Mike Gulan, 3B Louisville/Arkansas
1996 Dmitri Young, INF Louisville
1997 Brent Butler, INF Peoria
1998 Pablo Ozuna, INF Peoria
1999 Adam Kennedy, INF Memphis
2000 Albert Pujols, 3B Peoria/Potomac
2001 Covelli Crisp, OF Potomac
2002 John Gall, 1B New Haven
2003 John Gall, 1B Tennessee/Memphis
2004 Reid Gorecki, OF Palm Beach/Tenn.
2005 Travis Hanson, 3B Springfield
2006 Colby Rasmus, OF Quad Cities/PB
2007 Colby Rasmus, OF Springfield
2008 Daryl Jones, OF Palm Beach/Sprfld
2009 Allen Craig, OF/IF Memphis
2010 Matt Carpenter, 3B Palm Beach/Sprngfld
2011 Matt Adams, 1B Springfield
2012 Oscar Taveras, OF Springfield
Yr Pitcher Teams
1995 Mike Busby, RHP Louisville/Arkansas
1996 Britt Reames, RHP Peoria
1997 Cliff Politte, RHP Prince William/Ark.
1998 Rick Ankiel, LHP Peoria/Prince William
1999 Rick Ankiel, LHP Arkansas/Memphis
2000 Bud Smith, LHP Arkansas/Memphis
2001 Jimmy Journell, RHP Potomac/New Haven
2002 Tyler Johnson, LHP Peoria
2003 Dan Haren, RHP Tennessee/Memphis
2004 Anthony Reyes, RHP Palm Beach/Tenn.
2005 Mark Worrell, RHP Palm Beach
2006 Blake Hawksworth, RHP Palm Beach/Sprngfld
2007 P.J. Walters, RHP Quad Cities/PB/Spfld
2008 Jess Todd, RHP PB/Spfld/Memphis
2009 Lance Lynn, RHP PB/Spfld/Memphis
2010 Shelby Miller, RHP Quad Cities
2011 Shelby Miller, RHP Palm Beach/Sprngfld
2012 Seth Maness, RHP Palm Beach/Sprngfld

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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