The individual minor leagues select their own postseason all-star teams based on seasonal performance by players, irrespective of prospect status. With the Baseball America overall Minor League All-Star Team, we identify the prospects who had the biggest seasons, factoring things like age, league context, experience level and competition.
C Willson Contreras • Cubs
Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
The 2015 season represented just Contreras’ fourth as a full-time catcher after he converted from third base early in his career. A nondescript prospect who entered the season with a career .254 average, Contreras enjoyed a breakthrough season at Double-A Tennessee, winning the Southern League batting title (.333) while finishing just off the pace for doubles (34) and on-base percentage (.413). While the 23-year-old Venezuelan has arm strength and good hands behind the plate, continued work will get him where he needs to go defensively.
1B A.J. Reed • Astros
High Class A Lancaster (California) • Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
Reed, the College Player of the Year in 2014, looks like a second-round steal for the Astros after he turned in a dominating full-season debut in which he led the minors with 34 home runs, 127 RBIs, 113 runs, a .612 slugging percentage and 1.044 OPS. He placed second with 178 hits. He also secured MVP honors in the California League despite spending the final two months at Double-A Corpus Christi. Few prospects can match Reed’s combination of feel for hitting, power production and strike-zone management.
2B Brandon Drury • Diamondbacks
Double-A Mobile (Southern) • Triple-A Reno (Pacific Coast)
In a thin year for prospects at second base—if only because Dilson Herrera (Mets) and Yoan Moncada (Red Sox) missed significant time and Tony Kemp (Astros) tapered off in Triple-A—Drury stands out for his consistent feel to hit and gap power. While he might profile better defensively at third base, Drury started more games at the keystone in the minors this season, while hitting .300 and clubbing 40 doubles for a third consecutive season. OK, technically he hit .299 in 2014.
3B Ryan McMahon • Rockies
High Class A Modesto (California)
The deep power alleys at Modesto masked McMahon’s power potential in the first half, but his slugging percentage climbed 85 points to .563 in the second, when he smashed 12 of his 18 home runs. While he still strikes out excessively, the lefthanded-hitting McMahon has profile power for a corner position and led the California League with 43 doubles as a 20-year-old, while also ranking among the circuit’s elite in terms of on-base percentage (.372) and extra-base hits (67).
SS Corey Seager • Dodgers
Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast) • Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
The No. 1 prospect in the game at midseason, Seager stands above a crowded field of young shortstops with his combination of outstanding power (.194 isolated slugging) and strong contact skills (13.8 percent strikeouts). Only the Rockies’ Trevor Story, among minor league shortstops, hit more home runs than Seager (18), who was the youngest player to qualify for the Triple-A Pacific Coast League batting title. This combination of factors gives Seager an edge over worthy contenders including Orlando Arcia (Brewers), J.P. Crawford (Phillies) and Trea Turner (Nationals).
CF Lewis Brinson • Rangers
High Class A High Desert (California) • Double-A Frisco (Texas) • Triple-A Round Rock (Pacific Coast)
One of the more promising power-speed prospects in the game, Brinson benefited from the extreme offensive conditions at High Desert early in the season, but he kept on hitting even after moving to Double-A Frisco on July 31. Even after leaving the California League, he hit .321/.378/.550 with 17 extra-base hits in 36 games in the upper minors, and his .601 slugging percentage on the season bettered all minor league qualifiers except A.J. Reed.
OF Max Kepler • Twins
Double-A Chattanooga (Southern) • high Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)
The sweet-swinging German led the Southern League with a .416 on-base percentage and .531 slugging percentage in a breakout season at Double-A Chattanooga. Speed, plate discipline and feel for the barrel round out the package for the lefthanded-hitting prospect who hit .322 and walked (67) more than he struck out (63) in the SL. He also started at least 15 games at each outfield position as well as first base.
OF Jordan Patterson • Rockies
High Class A Modesto (California) • Double-A New Britain (Eastern)
A sneaky athlete who smashed a minor league-leading 45 doubles and 74 extra-base hits, Patterson narrowly edges a talented crop of young outfielders, including big league standout rookie Michael Conforto (Mets) and power-speed threats Brett Phillips (Brewers) and Bradley Zimmer (Indians). Patterson can drive the ball and defend all three outfield positions but must even his walk-to-strikeout ratio to access his power more regularly at higher levels.
DH Bobby Bradley • Indians
Low Class A Lake County (Midwest) • High Class A Lynchburg (Carolina)
Bradley led the Rookie-level Arizona League in home runs and RBIs in 2014, and he accomplished the same feat in the Midwest League this season, becoming the circuit’s first teenage home run champ since Miguel Sano in 2012. Bradley smashed 27 homers and drove in 92 runs for low Class A Lake County before a late-season drop-in at Lynchburg that spanned two games.
SP Jose Berrios • Twins
Double-A Chattanooga (Southern) • Triple-A Rochester (International)
The 2012 sandwich pick from Puerto Rico experienced a breakthrough in 2015 by finding a consistent arm speed for his changeup that matches his fastball delivery. The results speak for efficacy of his mechanical improvement, for Berrios led all minor league pitchers with 175 strikeouts while spending July and August in Triple-A and positioning himself for a role in the big league rotation in 2016.
SP Matt Boyd • Tigers
Double-A New Hampshire (Eastern) • Triple-A Buffalo and Toledo (International)
One of three lefthanders the Blue Jays traded to the Tigers for David Price in July, Boyd had a remarkable minor league season, leading all qualified starters in WHIP (0.85) and opponent average (.176) while finishing second only to Blake Snell in ERA (1.65). Boyd’s early performance in the big leagues has been discouraging—he ran up an 8.36 ERA through his first nine appearances—but he throws strikes with three average pitches, including a 90-92 mph fastball, slider and changeup, and should produce better results in the future.
SP Michael Fulmer • Tigers
Double-A Binghamton and Erie (Eastern) • High Class A St. Lucie (Florida State)
Fulmer spent the first half of the season wowing scouts with his power fastball/slider repertoire at Double-A Binghamton, and while his home address shifted to Erie in the second half, following a trade from the Mets to the Tigers for Yoenis Cespedes, the results remained unchanged. Fulmer earned Eastern League pitcher of the year honors after winning the circuit’s ERA title at 2.14 and finishing among the leaders with a 1.10 WHIP and .228 opponent average.
SP Jorge Lopez • Brewers
Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
Lopez sharpened his power curveball to the point where opposing managers singled him out for having the best breaking pitch in the Southern League, and he claimed the circuit’s pitcher of the year award after posting a 1.54 ERA over his final 100 innings at Biloxi. Lopez, who like fellow all-star Jose Berrios hails from Puerto Rico, narrowly missed the league’s ERA title (2.26) but still ranked among the minor league elite in that category as well as opponent average (.205).
SP Blake Snell • Rays
Double-A Montgomery (Southern) • Triple-A Durham (International) • high Class A Charlotte (Florida State)
Snell seemed to improve with each successive in-season promotion and finished with a shiny 1.41 ERA across three levels, and that figure led all qualified minor league starters. In fact, only Justin Verlander in 2005 has checked in with a lower ERA (1.29) in the past 23 seasons, which is as far back as the Baseball America archives track the overall minor league leaders. Snell’s outstanding season featured improved control and the development of his curveball and cutter.
RP Mychal Givens • Orioles
Double-A Bowie (Eastern)
Selected as a shortstop in the second round of the 2009 draft out of high school, Givens converted to the mound in 2013 and reached the majors for the first time this June. The righthanded sidearmer stymies same-side batters with a mid-90s fastball and tight slider, and he improved his effectiveness against lefties in 2015, allowing only one home run and three walks to them at Double-A Bowie.
C Andrew Knapp • Phillies
Double-A Reading (Eastern)
1B Trey Mancini • Orioles
Double-A Bowie (Eastern) • High Class A Frederick (Carolina)
2B Tony Kemp • Astros
Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast) • Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas)
3B Richie Shaffer • Rays
Triple-A Durham (International) • Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
SS Trea Turner • Nationals
Double-A San Antonio (Texas) • Triple-A Syracuse (International) • Double-A Harrisburg (Eastern)
CF Bradley Zimmer • Indians
High Class A Lynchburg (Carolina) • Double-A Akron (Eastern)
OF Michael Conforto • Mets
High Class A St. Lucie (Florida State) • Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)
OF Brett Phillips • Brewers
High Class A Lancaster (California) • Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas) • Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
DH Domingo Santana • Brewers
Triple-A Fresno and Colorado Springs (Pacific Coast)
SP Jose De Leon • Dodgers
Double-A Tulsa (Texas) • High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
SP Jacob Faria • Rays
Double-A Montgomery (Southern) • High Class A Charlotte (Florida State)
SP Steve Matz • Mets
Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)
SP Joe Musgrove • Astros
Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas) • High Class A Lancaster (California) • Low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)