An all-star team made up of prospects, based on their performance in the month of July. Statistics cover July only, but you can view past installments in the archive for the all-prospect team.
C Max Stassi • Astros
Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
No minor league player hit more than the 11 home runs that Stassi hit in July, a total that nearly matched his output for the entire 2012 season (15) at high Class A Stockton in the Athletics system. So after missing April with a sports hernia, Stassi has come on strong and leads all Double-A catchers (min. 250 plate appearances) with a .553 slugging percentage.
1B Alex Dickerson • Pirates
Double-A Altoona (Eastern)
Though he walked only once in July, Dickerson did enough damage when swinging the bat to justify the deficiency. He climbed to the top of the Eastern League leaderboards in doubles (31) and extra-base hits (48).
2B Delino DeShields Jr. • Astros
High Class A Lancaster (California)
Royals outfielder Terrance Gore (23) and Braves shortstop Jose Peraza (22) stole more bases than DeShields (18) in July, but that’s it. Despite playing in a hitter’s paradise in Lancaster, DeShields hasn’t come close to duplicating his 10-homer, 100-steal effort from last season, though he has a chance for 50 steals and a .400 on-base percentage.
3B Seth Mejias-Brean • Reds
Low Class A Dayton (Midwest)
Though he’s a 22-year-old college product (Arizona) playing in low Class A, Mejias-Brean has addressed the weak link in his game, learning to turn on the inside pitch and drive it for power. He hit six of his nine home runs this season in July, and while scouts wonder if Mejias-Brean’s bat is quick enough to hit for consistent power, they have no qualms about his defensive ability.
SS Marcus Semien • White Sox
Double-A Birmingham (Southern)
The White Sox deployed Semien, a 2011 sixth-rounder from California, in an infield rotation at Birmingham. They gave him two games at shortstop, followed by two games at second base, followed by two games at third base. He wound up playing just 10 games at short in July, though he earned praise for his strike-zone awareness in the Southern League, batting .290/.420/.483 with 84 walks and 66 strikeouts before earning an August promotion to Triple-A.
OF Harold Ramirez • Pirates
Short-season Jamestown (New York-Penn)
One of the youngest position players in the New York-Penn League, Ramirez’s wide range of tools have been apparent by his standing among the league leaders: fifth in average (.322), first in RBIs (34), second in stolen bases (19), first in hits (56) and second in runs scored (30). The versatile, righty-hitting outfielder signed for $1.05 million out of Colombia in 2011.
OF Scott Schebler • Dodgers
High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
Schebler moved meticulously through the Dodgers system after signing for $300,000 out of Des Moines Area CC in 2010, finally reaching high Class A this year in his fourth pro season. He’s still just 22, however, and while he has no carrying tool, continued growth in the power department could make the lefty hitter an option for a big league club on an outfield corner.
OF George Springer • Astros
Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast)
Springer’s next home run will make him a member of the 30-30 club, but even more impressive is how little his production has been affected by a promotion to Triple-A. He put up a .978 OPS in 73 games at Double-A Corpus Christi and a 1.090 mark through 36 games at Oklahoma City. Overall, Springer has hit .309/.401/.603 through 401 at-bats, with a chance to lead the minors in homers if he can shake free of Rangers low Class A second baseman Ryan Rua, who also has 29.
RHP Clayton Blackburn • Giants
High Class A San Jose (California)
Not even a start at Lancaster could trip up Blackburn in July—he allowed one run on three hits over eight innings versus the JetHawks—and the 20-year-old mixes three above-average pitches to rank among the Cal League leaders in the three most important pitching ratios: 9.3 SO/9 (fifth), 2.2 BB/9 (fourth) and 0.6 HR/9 (second).
RHP Danny Salazar • Indians
Triple-A Columbus (International)
Don’t judge Salazar too harshly for his low innings total in July. Not included here is his lone big league start, in which he allowed one run on two hits to the Blue Jays, striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings. American League opponents will see plenty more of Salazar’s deadly three-pitch mix—including 94-96 mph heat—down the stretch.
RHP Keyvius Sampson • Padres
Double-A San Antonio (Texas)
San Diego skipped Sampson over high Class A on his way to the Texas League in 2012, so it’s taken him a year—including a false start at Triple-A this season—to adjust to Double-A competition. He reaches the mid-90s with no discernible effort and ranks first in the TL in opponent average (.199) and second with 9.6 SO/9.
RHP Marcus Stroman • Blue Jays
Double-A New Hampshire (Eastern)
The 2012 first-rounder led all full-season minor leaguers with 55 strikeouts in July, making expert use of a 92-95 mph fastball, a tight breaking ball and a sinking changeup. He would fulfill his pre-draft prophesy if he reaches the big leagues this summer, and that appears to be a distinct possibility.
RHP Kyle Zimmer • Royals
High Class A Wilmington (Carolina) & Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
The fifth pick in the 2012 draft, Zimmer streamlined his delivery from the stretch in July and completely resuscitated his season, earning a promotion to Double-A for his efforts. His ERA splits tell the whole story. In 15 starts through the end of June, Zimmer ran up a 5.35 ERA despite coming home to a pitcher’s park in a pitcher’s league. In five starts afterward, he yielded the 1.50 ERA you see below.