ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals on Friday named outfielder Oscar Taveras their Minor League Player of the Year and right-hander Seth Maness their Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the 2012 season.
In addition, Class AA Springfield was named Minor League Team of the Year by Baseball America.
Taveras, 20, played the entire season at Springfield and entered the season rated as the third-best prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America.
The left-handed hitting Taveras, an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic, earned Texas League Player of the Year honors in leading the Springfield Cardinals to their first Texas League crown since rejoining the league in 2005.
Taveras batted .321 with 23 home runs and 94 RBIs, leading the Texas League in batting. He ranked tied for fourth in home runs and second in RBIs.
Among Cardinals farmhands, Taveras led the organization's teams in hits (153), doubles (37), triples (seven), home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage (.572) and on base-plus slugging (.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," Cardinals Farm Director John Vuch said.
Maness, a 24-year-old right-hander, was the Cardinals' 11th-round selection out of East Carolina University in June.
He started the season at Palm Beach before quickly ascending to Springfield and was a key contributor to the team's postseason championship run.
Despite his promotion May 21, Maness still ranked third in the Texas League in ERA (3.27), second in wins (11) and first in WHIP (1.06).
Maness' full-season totals were a 14-4 record with a 2.97 ERA over 169 2/3 innings pitched, with a 1.04 WHIP. His innings total ranked sixth in the minor leagues.
"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," Vuch said.
The Springfield Cardinals were awarded Minor League Team of the Year by Baseball America for the first time since returning to the Texas League.
First-year manager Mike Shildt led the Cardinals to a first-place finish in the second half of the season, and Springfield defeated Tulsa before knocking off Frisco 3-1 in the Texas League Championship Series.
"The 2012 Springfield Cardinals were a special team," Vuch said. "They demonstrated the tenacity necessary to overcome their early season adversity.
"While the team had many examples of outstanding individual accomplishments, each player demonstrated (his) willingness to do whatever was necessary to help their teammates win. Our coaching staff, led by Shildt, struck an ideal balance between development and winning.
"Their focus on teaching and playing the game the right way led to winning games becoming a by-product of that process."