An all-star team comprised of prospects, based on their performance in the month of May. Statistics cover May only.
C Josh Phegley • White Sox
Triple-A Charlotte (International)
Phegley belted 18 extra-base hits in May—after collecting 29 all last season—to move into second place in the International League with a .639 slugging percentage. That figure also ranks him sixth in the minors, which combined with a fine arm (44 percent caught stealing) and a poor offensive showing from White Sox catchers (Tyler Flowers and Hector Gimenez have combined to hit .209/.281/.360) could earn the 25-year-old Phegley his first big league callup in the not-too-distant future.
1B Kennys Vargas • Twins
High Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)
Hitting behind Twins super prospects Eddie Rosario (.379 OBP) and Miguel Sano (.431 OBP) has its perks. Batting fifth for Fort Myers, Vargas ranks third in the Florida State League with 11 homers and second with 44 RBIs as well as a .545 slugging percentage. The nondrafted free agent from a Puerto Rico high school needed three years to master short-season ball—a 50-game drug suspension in 2011 didn’t help—but he’s now had two eye-opening seasons in a row in the low minors.
2B Mookie Betts • Red Sox
Low Class A Greenville (South Atlantic)
A fifth-round pick in 2011 whom the Red Sox signed away from a Tennessee commitment for $750,000, Betts has added a bit of power to a profile that already included plate discipline and basestealing acumen. His 40 walks ranked first in the South Atlantic League at the end of May.
3B Anthony Rendon • Nationals
Double-A Harrisburg (Eastern)
Optioned back to the Eastern League in time for May 4 action, Rendon smacked 13 extra-base hits and drew 16 walks in 19 games for Harrisburg the rest of the month. He closed out May ranked first in the EL in on-base (.461) and slugging (.603) percentage, all while learning to play second base.
SS Rosell Herrera • Rockies
Low Class A Asheville (South Atlantic)
The switch-hitting Herrera continues to show a more refined hitting stroke from the left side, batting .350/.435/.626 versus righties in 2013, though the fact that he ranks second in the South Atlantic League in average (.342) and on-base percentage (.435) says a lot about his overall offensive improvement as he repeats low Class A. He’s slugging .415 away from Asheville, by far the best hitter’s park in the SAL, so take the power numbers with a grain of salt for now.
OF Corey Dickerson • Rockies
Triple-A Colorado Springs (Pacific Coast)
When the Rockies selected Dickerson in the eighth round of the 2010 draft from Meridian (Miss.) CC, they knew the left fielder would have to hit to profile as a big leaguer. With a career slugging percentage just south of .600 over more than 1,500 minor league plate appearances, that’s exactly what he’s done. After rapping 20 extra-base hits in May—as many as anybody in the minors—Dickerson finished the month ranked first in the Pacific Coast League with 30 extra-base hits and a .627 slugging percentage.
OF Josh Elander • Braves
Low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)
Drafted as a catcher out of Texas Christian last year (sixth round), Elander’s transition to left field has gone as well as could be hoped in light of such a dramatic shift in defensive responsibility. He ranked second in the South Atlantic League with 46 RBIs and third with 29 extra-base hits at the conclusion of May.
OF George Springer • Astros
Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
The only repeat performer from the April all-prospect team, Springer finished May in a tie with veteran slugger Kila Ka’aihue for the minor league lead with 16 home runs. His play in the Texas League indicated that Springer is more than a one-dimensional slugger, however. He ranked first in the TL in homers and slugging (.621), second in RBIs (41) and third in stolen bases (16) and on-base percentage (.412).
RHP Archie Bradley • Diamondbacks
Double-A Mobile (Southern)
The youngest player in the Southern League allowed just three runs in six starts during the month of May, which he finished ranked second in the minors with 80 strikeouts and a 1.01 ERA. Those results aren’t typical given Bradley’s walk rate, but power pitchers tend to go far when they allow no home runs and miss bats with regularity.
RHP Rafael De Paula • Yankees
Low Class A Charleston (South Atlantic)
The 22-year-old De Paula toyed with younger South Atlantic League competition in May, striking out 44 against just 29 baserunners. Not only does he lead the minors with 83 strikeouts, but he ranked second in the SAL with a .176 opponent average and fourth with a 1.01 WHIP as May drew to a close. De Paula’s stuff, results and age argue for a second-half promotion.
RHP Sonny Gray • Athletics
Triple-A Sacramento (Pacific Coast)
A mechanical overhaul didn’t agree with Gray, the 18th pick in the 2011 draft, resulting in a 4.14 ERA and 1.7 K-BB ratio at Double-A last season. Armed with his familiar Vanderbilt delivery and one of the best curveballs in the Pacific Coast League this season, he ranked second in the circuit with 65 strikeouts and third with a 2.40 ERA.
RHP Robert Stephenson • Reds
Low Class A Dayton (Midwest)
This is what it looks like when everything clicks for a top pitching prospect. Stephenson went 0-3, 5.48 during five April starts for Dayton, but he found greener pastures in May after reverting to the pitching style that made him the 27th pick in the 2011 draft. He tied Sonny Gray for the most strikeouts in the minors during May (46), while finishing the month ranked fourth in the minors with 77 total.
RHP Yordano Ventura • Royals
Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Ventura’s home ballpark in Springdale, Ark., featured more run scoring than any other Texas League yard from 2010-12, yet the 22-year-old has pitched masterfully at home, allowing four runs in five starts there, two of those in May. He finished last month ranked third in the TL with 68 strikeouts and fourth with a 1.03 WHIP, earning him a promotion to Triple-A.