2015 Minor League Baseball Post-Season All-Stars

2015 Minor League Baseball Post-Season All-Stars: Position Players

Catcher: Willson Contreras

Double-A stats:

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.333.413.4781264547115134487557624

Willson Contreras did a lot to prove the Cubs still have some prospects left in the tank. Out of Venezuela, Contreras began his professional career at third base. However, attributed to his athleticism, he moved behind the plate. Those who believe Kyle Schwarber is not a catcher, look for Contreras to be the solution. Contreras still has a lot to prove, as he was not ranked as a prospect going into the 2015 season (currently the Cubs 10th best prospect according to mlb.com). With the raw power starting to develop, and a successful first season in the upper minors, a modest average and a homerun total in the mid teens are attainable as an everyday backstop. Not bad for a guy who was looking at a career as a backup before the season. Finishing the season strong for the Smokies, Contreras went 4-4 in his final game of the season with a stolen base.

First Baseman: A.J. Reed

High Class A and Double-A stats:

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.340.436.61213552311317830534127861220

Continuing the trend of the rich get richer, the Astros have another monster prospect on their hands in 22 year-old A.J. Reed. A winner of the 2014 Golden Spikes Award, it’s hard to believe Reed has already made the move to the upper minors. That can happen when you lead the minors in homeruns, RBIs, runs, slugging percentage, and OPS. Despite the whooping 122 strikeouts, Reed still managed 178, which was good for second in the minors. He also walked 86 times, bringing his OBP to an astounding .436. It is no surprise this outstanding lefty captured the California League MVP before spending his final two months mashing balls in Double A. What is surprising is that some scouts favored him as being a pitcher coming into the 2014 draft. He was a two-way star at Kentucky, but we’re glad to see the Astros selected wisely with their second pick and cemented Reed as their next great first baseman. Here’s hoping for many blowouts and extra inning affairs for the Astros in 2016 and beyond, just for a chance to see Reed’s golden arm on the mound one more time.


Second Baseman: Brandon Drury

Double-A and Triple-A stats:

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.303.344.4121305246515940156132764

Maybe it was the Justin Upton trade that ignited Brandon Drury’s bat when he came to Arizona. Whether it was the chip on his shoulder, or the improved plate approach, Drury put together a very nice season in the upper minors. Admittedly, if Moncada had stayed healthy, Drury might not have found himself on this list. Also he technically profiles more as a third baseman given that he had more starts over there. However, with Jake Lamb manning the hot corner for the big club, Drury may see more time at second in the future. His 40 doubles in each of the last three seasons attributes his strong gap power. He is already having success at the major league level for his September cup of coffee, and he will look to catch on with the big club as camp breaks next season. After being drafted in the 13th round, Drury is already exceeding expectations with his prospect status.

Third Baseman: Ryan McMahon

High Class A stats:

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.300.372.520132496851494361875491536

Ryan McMahon is out to prove there could be a spoil of riches in Colorado. The Rockies already have one of the best players in the game manning the keystone in Nolan Arenado, but McMahon is on his way. It will be years till we see the 20 year-old at the big league level, but he is making the league take notice. After a slow start in the first half of the season, McMahon went on a tear hitting 12 of his 18 homeruns in the second half of the season. That total isn’t eye-popping, but with some seasoning and combining that with the thin Colorado air, look for that total to jump at the major league level. McMahon has massive power, and with that come a lot of swing and miss. He will have to improve his plate discipline as he advances in the minor, as 153 strikeouts are unacceptable.

Corey Seager

Shortstop: Corey Seager

Double-A and Triple-A stats:

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.293.344.48712550181147373187637764

This is a guy that should need no introduction. With a brother already having success at the major league level, Corey Seager looks step out of his brother’s shadow soon. Having already been promoted to the big club in September, Seager hopes to do something his brother couldn’t, stick at shortstop. Being the younger brother of an All-Star major leaguer can’t be easy, but many scouts favor Corey’s skillset to Kyle’s. Some believe the younger Seager has more power than his brother, and even though his size profiles him more of a third baseman, he has the arm and instincts of a shortstop. Seager looks to be in the Tulowitzki mold of shortstops, which is not a bad guy to be compared to. Already a California League MVP, Seager will look to make his mark on the postseason with the Dodgers this October.

Outfield: Lewis Brinson

High Class A, Double-A, and Triple-A stats:

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.332.403.601100398741323182069449818

Lewis Brinson shot through the Rangers farm system this season. His Swiss army knife like skillset was on display through three levels of the organization, and is knocking on the door of the major league club. Just missing out on his second 20/20 season, Brinson shines in every aspect of his game. In addition to the shiny numbers, Brinson gets high praise for his defense. He’s a flashy center fielder with a strong arm. Possibly the only knock on his game is the high strikeout totals, but even that is improving with a better plate approach. The Rangers are hoping they have a 30/30 player on their hands as soon as next season.

Outfield: Max Kepler

High Class A and Double-A stats:

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.318.410.520118431801373413971696819

Max Kepler is the latest player from this list to turn a solid season into a major league promotion. What’s most impressive about Kepler’s promotion is that he skipped Triple-A, and with the Twins still in the playoff hunt, they saw a need for his skillset. The one thing that jumps out when reviewing Kepler’s stats is that he walked more times then he has struck out this season. That shows his advanced plate approach, which is exceptionally impressive considering he comes from a non-baseball playing country, Germany. The whopping 13 triples showcase his speed, as well as his 19 steals. Kepler spent time at all three outfield positions as well as first base, so it is easy to see why the Twins have found him useful for their playoff push.

Outfield: Jordan Patterson

High Class A and Double-A

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.297.364.54312548888145451217753013018

Jordan Patterson was barely even on the Rockies radar before he began this season. He has had them take notice by hitting a lot of extra base hits. He led the minors with 45 doubles, but has a lot more than just gap power. He has the speed to be a 20/20 guy, but he spends most of his time in right field due to his strong arm. The knock on his game is the 130 strikeouts to just 30 walks. He could definitely benefit from an improved plate approach, but even so he put up a very productive first full professional season. That power will translate well while playing 82 games in the thin Colorado air someday.

Honorable Mention: Ozhanio Albies

High Class A

AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
.310.368.4049839464122218037365629

Ozzie is a shortstop with a bright future. At only 18 he is already the Braves top prospect. Unfortunately his season was cut short in August thanks to a fractured thumb. He is quick and makes a lot of contact. When he is ready he will be a force at the top of the Braves lineup.

2015 Minor League Baseball Post-Season All-Stars

Pitchers

RHP Jose Berrios

Double-A and Triple-A stats:

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R HR BB SO WHIP AVG
1452.87272701661365612381751.05.223

What is more impressive than starting a Futures Game? Of course the answer is starting two Futures Games. That’s exactly what Jose Berrios was able to accomplish in a spectacular 2015 season. The key to Berrios is consistency. He repeats his delivery well, and pounds the strike zone. He uses three above average pitches, all of which he uses to put up the massive strikeout totals. He has a mid 90s fastball, and a slurvy curveball, but his best pitch is his sinking changeup. A third straight Futures Game start is not in the cards for Berrios, as he has nothing left to prove in the minors. Look for him to break camp in the Twins rotation in 2016.

LHP Blake Snell

High Class A, Double-A, and Triple-A stats:

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R HR BB SO WHIP AVG
1541.412523013484247531631.02.182

Blake Snell must’ve decided 2015 was going to be his year. He started the year with an absurd 46 consecutive scoreless innings streak. That is one way to get a promotion. In fact Snell’s 2015 was historical. His 1.41 ERA was the second lowest in the last two decades for minor-leaguers. He’s not a fire baller, as his fastball sits in the low to mid 90s. However, his slider and changeup are his plus pitches. Snell cut down on his walks significantly as opposed to previous seasons, but there is still room for improvement. He will look to continue his success in 2016 hopefully in the Rays rotation.

LHP Sean Newcomb

Single-A, High Class A, and Double-A stats:

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R HR BB SO WHIP AVG
932.382727013697435761681.27.199

The first thing you notice with Sean Newcomb on the mound is his size. Listed at 6’5” 245 pounds, this is one big boy. Because of that frame, his fastball comes easy. He’s been clocked at 98 mph, but he sits in the low to mid 90s. Strikeouts are a big part of his game. He was the career leader at his college Hartford. The walks are a concern, and the Angels would like to see those numbers come down as he advances through the upper minors. With the strikeouts and walks he generates high pitch counts prohibiting him to work deep into games. Newcomb is still rough around the edges, but with some polishing he could develop into a frontline starter.

LHP Matt Boyd

Double-A and Triple-A stats:

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R HR BB SO WHIP AVG
921.651919011571248271080.85.176

Matt Boyd’s minor league success this year has led to a trade and a major league promotion. Being traded can be hard on a young talent, but in Boyd’s case I don’t think he minds. The trade opened up a role for him in Detroit’s big league rotation. And although he hasn’t had success as a major league pitcher yet, this is an opportunity for Boyd to get his feet wet at the highest level. No one expects him to fill the shoes of David Price, but in a lost season for Detroit this is a good chance for Boyd to get acclimated. His fastball works around 90 mph, and he backs it up with a superior change up. He doesn’t walk a lot of guys, which is telling in that he is more of a pitcher than a thrower. Hopefully Boyd shakes off the nerves and becomes more of the polished pitcher we saw in the minors.

RHP Michael Fulmer

High Class A and Double-A stats:

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R HR BB SO WHIP AVG
1032.2422220125104388301251.07.225

Detroit got a haul of good young arms from their fire sale this season. Michael Fulmer is another good talent to add to their collection coming over from the Cespedes trade. The difference between Fulmer and his new teammate Boyd is night and day. Aside from the obvious of Fulmer being a righty, he is also in the power pitcher mold. He hits the mid 90s consistently, and has a hard slider that he racks up the strikeouts with. His control still needs work, but it has improved this season. If he keeps trending in the right direction, he will find himself with Boyd in the major leagues. The Tigers are hoping their rebuilding phase is a short one with these two outstanding arms.

Honorable Mention: RHP Jacob Faria

High Class A and Double-A stats:

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R HR BB SO WHIP AVG
1741.9225230149.2103386321591.03.197

Jacob Faria is a prospect that needs more exposure. He is not seen on most Rays top 30 lists, but he might take a huge leap up the board after a dominant 2015 season. All Faria did this season was lead the minors in wins, placing third in ERA, and also third in strikeouts. The combination of being a 10th round draft pick, and lack of flashy stuff has probably contributed to his anonymity, but the results speak for themselves. We will see if Faria can make more people take notice of him in the upper minors in 2016.

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