Four members of the Palm Beach Cardinals have been selected to participate in the 2012 Florida State League All-Star Game, the league announced Friday. Left-handed pitcher Anthony Ferrara, infielder Starlin Rodriguez and outfielder Mike O’Neill will represent Palm Beach on the FSL South squad, while pitcher Seth Maness was replaced due to promotion.
The 51st Annual Florida State League All-Star Game will be played Saturday, June 16, at 7:05 p.m. at Charlotte Sports Park in Charlotte, FL.
Maness was a first-team selection but will not participate in the All-Star festivities due to his recent promotion to Class-AA Springfield. He led the FSL in strikeout-to-walk ratio (29:1), while boasting the third best ERA (2.15). He went 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in seven starts as the Cardinals’ ace, allowing 45 hits and one walk while holding opposing batters to a .256 average. Maness recorded six quality starts and did not go less than six innings in any of his starts.
The Pinehurst, NC native was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 11th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the East Carolina University and made his professional debut that same year with short-season Batavia Muckdogs. The 6-foot, 180-pound right-hander went 2-1 with a 1.53 ERA during his first full season across three levels in 2011, he was selected to the New York- Penn League All-Star game after boasting a 0-1 record with 0.91 ERA in 10 appearances with the Muckdogs.
Outfielder Mike O’Neill will also represent the Cardinals in the 51st FSL All-Star Game. The Riverside, CA native is earning his first All-Star Game nod, ranking third in the FSL in hitting with a .350 batting average. His 5-for-5 performance on May 31st helped him finish the month of May hitting .381 with 37 hits and eight RBI. O’Neill was drafted in the 31st round out of the University of Southern California in 2010, and made his professional debut that same year in short-season Batavia Muckdogs.
Representing the Cardinals pitching staff will be Anthony Ferrara. The left-handed starter is also a first-team selection. He receives his second career All-Star selection after being selected to the Midwest League All-Star game last season. Despite giving up three runs and hurling a season-low four innings in his last start, Ferrara ranks eighth in the league in ERA and sixth in lowest opponent batting average, holding opposing hitters to a .228 mark.
Ferrara, a native of Riverview, FL, was selected by the Cardinals in the 7th round of the 2008 draft out of Riverview High School in Florida. He made 10 appearances with GCL Cardinals in 2008, going 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Ferrara went 5-1 through 2009-2010 with short-season Johnson City and Batavia, before making a big splash in 2011. In 23 appearances and 22 starts, he posted 13-7 mark with 3.03 ERA. Ferrara was named Midwest League Player of the Week for 4/25-5/2 and was named to the Midwest League All-Star. He ranked second among Cardinals minor leaguers in wins, while holding his opposition to a .227 batting average.
Second baseman Starlin Rodriguez will represent the Cardinals on the diamond, earning his second career All-Star selection in his third professional season with the organization. The 22-year-old Dominican Republic native is currently hitting .310 with one home run and 14 RBI. Rodriguez was signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 29, 2009, and made his organizational debut in 2010 in the Gulf Coast League. Last season with the Class-A Quad Cities, Rodriguez hit .263 with one home run and 16 RBI, earning a spot on the 2011 Midwest League All-Star Team.
Coming into Friday, the Palm Beach Cardinals (25-28) are in third place in the South Division, 16 games back of the front-running St. Lucie Mets.
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