Final edition reveals our Minor League All-Star Team





All good things must come to an end—or at least go on hiatus. To give you something special for the final Hot Sheet of the year, we present our 2010 Minor League All-Star Team.

If you needed any more evidence that it was a great year for the Royals, here it is: Five of the 15 first-team all-stars figure to one day wear Kansas City blue.

You may have noticed that the Prospect Hot Sheet looks a little different this year. The content is the same, but we've partnered with Bowman Baseball to present Hot Sheet. So in addition to getting the skinny on which prospects are doing the most to help their stock, you can also get a glimpse at the baseball cards of some of baseball's best prospects.

Contributing: J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy, Conor Glassey, John Manuel and Jim Shonerd.

C WIL MYERS
ROYALS
Team: high Class A Wilmington (Carolina)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .315/.429/.506 (141-for-447), 14 HR, 37 2B, 3 3B, 83 RBIs, 70 R, 85 BB, 94 SO, 12-for-18 SB
The Scoop: Myers had one of the best full-season debuts of any prospect in 2010, finishing as one of three finalists for our Minor League Player of the Year award. He caught 86 times this season—about two-thirds of his 126 games played—and threw out 32 percent of basestealers. But it's Myers' bat that did most of the talking. The teenager shot from low Class A to the tough high Class A Carolina League, without skipping a beat, to rank fifth in the minors with his .429 on-base percentage. He trailed only a quartet of older players in Kila Ka'aihue, Brandon Belt, Matt Rizzotti and Dan Johnson for top OBP honors.

Nobody doubted that Myers could hit. The surprise was how quickly it all came together for him—hitting for average, for power, showing a discerning batting eye, and all while learning to catch on an everyday basis.

2010 Stats
1B ERIC HOSMER
ROYALS
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 20
Why He's Here: .338/.406/.571 (176-for-520), 20 HR, 43 2B, 9 3B, 86 RBIs, 87 R, 59 BB, 66 SO, 14-for-16 SB
The Scoop: Hosmer boosted his average nearly 100 points from last season's .241 mark and had one of the most well rounded seasons among minor league first basemen. He hit for plus power (his 72 extra-base hits ranked sixth in the minors) while making contact in 87 percent of at-bats. He walked nearly as often as he struck out. Hosmer even swiped 14 bags at an 88 percent success rate.

Sure, Hosmer took advantage of favorable hitting conditions in Northwest Arkansas, belting nine of 13 Double-A homers there, but in Texas League road games he still hit  a robust .320/.358/.550 in 100 at-bats. In fact, Hosmer might not need more than half a season in the minors next season before he's ready to make his big league debut at 21—the same age at which Royals first-base incumbent Billy Butler debuted in '07.
2010 Stats
2B JASON KIPNIS
INDIANS
Team: Double-A Akron (Eastern)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .307/.386/.492 (159-for-518), 16 HR, 32 2B, 8 3B, 74 RBIs, 96 R, 55 BB, 107 SO, 9-for-13 SB
The Scoop: In his first full pro season, Kipnis did what he always has done—hit. The 2009 Pacific-10 Conference player of the year posted three seasons with 1.000-plus OPS marks in college between Kentucky and Arizona State, and he put up an .873 mark in his first full pro season, most of which was spent at Double-A. He spent the first 54 games of the season with high Class A Kinston.

Scouts like the handsy looseness in his swing and his solid-average power. Kipnis was mostly an outfielder in college and is still making adjustments defensively at second base, but scouts report he has the skills for the position and just needs more repretition there. He'll push Cord Phelps, who had a fine year and moved up to Triple-A, as the Indians' second baseman of the near future.
2010 Stats
3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS
ROYALS
Team: Triple-A Omaha (Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: .322/.369/.630 (156-for-484), 36 HR, 41 2B, 124 RBIs, 94 R, 34 BB, 67 SO, 2-for-3 SB
The Scoop: Moustakas went second overall in the 2007 draft, one spot after David Price, who obviously was quite different as a college pitcher. But Moustakas also went off the board 12 spots higher than Jason Heyward, another prep hitter from that class. Moustakas isn't as precocious as Heyward, obviously, but he regained some prospect shine this year after struggling through the 2009 campaign.

No one ever has questioned Moustakas' power; rather, his lack of walks and squatty, strong body, which leads some to believe he may not stay at third base long-term, have given some scouts and observers pause. In 2010, he had plenty of help from his home ballpark in Northwest Arkansas—where his OPS was nearly 600 points higher than it was on the road. But he also kept hitting after a promotion to Triple-A, with eight homers in the last two weeks to propel himself into a tie for the minor league lead with 36. He doesn't walk a ton, but he's no Mark Reynolds either—just 67 strikeouts in 484 at-bats. Hitters this strong who make contact that consistently should be a solid bet to continue hitting for power.
2010 Stats
SS NICK FRANKLIN
MARINERS
Team: low Class A Clinton (Midwest)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .283/.354/.486 (146-for-516), 22 2B, 7 3B, 23 HR, 92 R, 65 RBIs, 51 BB, 124 SO, 25-for-35 SB
The Scoop: Franklin's season shines brighter when you realize he was a teenager in the Midwest League. He was one of only two players in the minor leagues (along with Brandon Belt) to hit more than 20 doubles, 20 home runs and steal 20 bases. Franklin led the MWL in home runs, breaking Clinton's 49-year-old single-season record in the process. While he's polished for a high school player, Franklin still has areas that need improvement. He struck out 123 times over 129 games and hit just .174/.221/.273 against lefties. Still, Franklin projects to be Seattle's shortstop of the future and was promoted to Double-A West Tenn at the tail end of the season, where he'll get a taste higher competition as the Diamond Jaxx battle through the Southern League playoffs.
2010 Stats
LF JERRY SANDS
DODGERS
Team: Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .301/.395/.586 (151-for-502), 35 HR, 28 2B, 5 3B, 93 RBIs, 102 R, 73 BB, 123 SO, 18-for-20 SB
The Scoop: The Dodgers' 25th round pick in 2008 from Division II Catawba (N.C.), Sands' career got off to a sputtering start, but he learned to shorten up his stroke and had one of 2010's best breakout seasons. Sands blitzed Midwest League pitching in the season's first half, belting 18 home runs in 69 games for low Class A Great Lakes before a promotion straight to Double-A in June. Sands' average dropped off against Southern Leaguers, but his discerning eye at the plate didn't go anywhere, nor did his power. Sands hit another 17 homers after his promotion, enough to finish fourth in the SL for the entire year and tied for third in the minors with 35.
2010 Stats
CF MIKE TROUT
ANGELS
Team: high Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .341/.428/.490 (173-for-508), 28 2B, 9 3B, 10 HR, 106 R, 58 RBIs, 73 BB, 85 SO, 56-for-71 SB
The Scoop: If we had awarded the Minor League Player of the Year in mid-July, it's a pretty safe bet that Trout would be on the cover of the latest Baseball America. He showed off his wide breadth of skills in the low Class A Midwest League, hitting .362 in the first half, and upon his promotion to the hitter's heaven that is the California League, it was easy to speculate what kind of damage he could do out West.

It didn't turn out that way. Trout struggled to get adjusted to high Class A, although he did finish strong with six multi-hit games in his final nine. But we do need to step back for a second and marvel at just exactly what Trout did during a season where he didn't turn 19 until the final month of the season. Trout showed jaw-dropping speed, above-average power and the ability to cover lots of ground in center field. Even if he heads back to the Cal League to start next season, he's likely to make it to Double-A before he turns 20, which puts him in rarefied air.
2010 Stats
RF DOMONIC BROWN
PHILLIES
Team: Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: .327/.391/.589 (112-for-343), 20 HR, 22 2B, 4 3B, 68 RBIs, 65 R, 37 BB, 74 SO, 17-for-24 SB
The Scoop: Phillies fans haven't seen the best of Brown yet in the majors, but he tore up Double-A and Triple-A pitching on his way to a big league promotion in late July. Brown's come a long way since the Phillies made him a 20th round pick in 2007, when other clubs stayed away due to how raw he was. He's made that pick look like an absolute steal since, developing five-tool ability. Power was the last piece of the puzzle for him, but he answered that question this year, showing home run pop to all fields while going deep 20 times in 93 minor league games. He'd hit just 28 homers in his first four pro seasons combined.
2010 Stats
DH BRANDON BELT
GIANTS
Team: Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: .352/.455/.620 (173-for-492), 23 HR, 43 2B, 10 3B, 112 RBIs, 99 R, 93 BB, 99 SO, 22-for-30 SB
The Scoop: Belt had both the minors' best overall batting year and it's most surprising. A fifth-round pick from Texas in '09, he overhauled his college, aluminum-bat swing so that it would play in the professional ranks—and did it ever. Belt jumped quickly from high Class A San Jose (77 games) to Double-A Richmond (46 games) before finishing the season in the thick of the Pacific Coast League playoff race with Fresno. Ultimately, the Grizzlies lost out on the postseason, but Belt at least got his feet wet in Triple-A, hitting just .229 but smashing eight extra-base hits in 13 games while brandishing a 13-to-15 walk-to-strikeout ratio that suggests better days in store.

Belt narrowly missed out on the minor league batting crown, but he paced all minor leaguers with a 1.075 OPS. He went 1-for-5 on the season's final day to drop one point behind eventual titlist John Lindsey, whom the Dodgers called up that day.
2010 Stats
SP JEREMY HELLICKSON, RHP
RAYS
Team: Triple-A Durham (International)
Age: 23
Why He's Here: 12-3, 2.72, 119 1/3 IP, 107 H, 39 R, 36 ER, 37 BB, 127 SO
The Scoop: Was there any doubt our Minor League Player of the Year would be a first-team all-star? Even though Hellickson looked ready for a shot at the majors at the end of 2009, the Rays' crowded rotation and the organization's philosophy of taking it slow with young pitchers dictated he come back to Durham for another season. But instead of resting on his laurels, Hellickson kept finding ways to get better, adding a cutter and a two-seam fastball to his repertoire. The results were spectacular, as Hellickson allowed more than three runs in just two of his 21 Triple-A starts on his way to capturing the International League's ERA crown. Upon arriving in the majors in August, he immediately pitched like he belonged, winning his first three starts.
2010 Stats
SP MATT MOORE, RHP
RAYS
Team: high Class A Charlotte (Florida State)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 6-11, 3.36, 145 IP, 109 H, 62 R, 7 HR, 61 BB, 208 SO, 1.11 GO/AO
The Scoop: On the heels of last year's minor league-leading 176 strikeouts in the low Class A South Atlantic League, Moore took things up a notch this year by racking up 208 in high Class A. As if back-to-back strikeout titles weren't enough, Moore also registered the most strikeouts of any minor league pitcher since Clint Nageotte struck out 214 in 2002.

But Moore's season was a tale of two halves. In the first, Moore went 1-7, 6.08 with a 78-to-37 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 61 innings. But in the second, he went 5-4, 1.39 with a corresponding ratio of 130-to-24 and just 47 hits allowed over 84 innings. As to his future development, Moore threw 21 more innings in 2010 than he did in '09, but walked nine fewer hitters and struck out an additional 32.
2010 Stats
SP JOHN LAMB, LHP
ROYALS
Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Age: 20.
Why He's Here: 10-7, 2.38. 148 IP, 122 H, 54 R, 39 ER, 45 BB, 159 SO
The Scoop: When the season began, Lamb was best known as an interesting story. He was a 2008 fifth-round pick who the Royals scooped up in part because an elbow injury sidelined him for his high school senior season.

By the end of the year, Lamb was one of the best pitching prospects in the minors. He climbed from low Class A Burlington (2-3, 1.58) to high Class A Wilmington (6-3, 1.45) to force his way to Double-A at age 20. He ran into his first whiff of trouble in seven Double-A starts (2-1, 5.45), but his ability to throw three pitches for strikes—a plus fastball that touches 94-95 mph, an above-average changeup and a less-consistent but still solid curveball—gives him all the building blocks he needs as he climbs the ladder.
2010 Stats
SP JULIO TEHERAN, RHP
BRAVES
Team:  Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: 9-8, 2.59. 143 IP, 108 H, 45 R, 41 ER, 40 BB, 159 SO
The Scoop: The Braves are normally pretty conservative about moving their pitchers up during the season. But Teheran gave them little choice. He headed back to low Class A Rome on Opening Day, but his 1.14 ERA in seven starts quickly begged for a promotion to high Class A Myrtle Beach. It's hard to say that the Carolina League offered much more of a challenge—witness the eight shutout innings he threw there during a 14-strikeout start.

So eventually the Braves sent Teheran to Mississippi. He didn't rack up any double-digit strikeout games in Double-A, but he did more than hold his own as one of the youngest pitchers in the league. The Braves have a tidal wave of pitching prospects rising through the system, but Teheran's 92-96 mph fastball, tight curveball and solid changeup stands out from the crowd.
2010 Stats
SP CHRIS ARCHER, RHP
CUBS
Team:  Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 15-3, 2.34, 142 IP, 102 H, 46 R, 6 HR, 65 BB, 149 SO
The Scoop: A fifth-rounder out of high school in 2006, Archer was just okay during his first three years with the Indians, but turned a corner after being traded to the Cubs last year for Mark DeRosa and was one of this year's biggest breakouts. He's always had the potential, but his pitches improved a tick this year and the results finally matched the stuff. Archer has a loose, athletic delivery and a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and touches 97 mph. He mixes in one of the hardest sliders in the minor leagues at 89 mph, a changeup and a curveball. Archer will pitch with USA Baseball's Pan American Qualifying team this fall.
2010 Stats
RP TIM COLLINS, LHP
ROYALS
Team:  Triple-A Omaha (Pacific Coast)
Age: 21
2010 Stats: 3-1, 2.02, 71 IP, 40 H, 16 ER, 15 R, 27 BB, 108 SO
The Scoop: Collins is one of the shortest players to ever make the Hot Sheet. But then few have had a better track record than the Royals lefthander.

Collins kept his wits during a crazy season in which he was traded twice. Collins first was sent from the Blue Jays to the Braves in the Alex Gonzalez-Yunel Escobar swap, just a few weeks before being dealt a second time from the Braves to the Royals for at the July 31 trade deadline. The result? He went 2-1, 1.33 for Triple-A Omaha after his second trade in his first exposure to Triple-A.

Whatever the color of his uniform, Collins has shown an ability to dominate hitters with a plus fastball (92-93 mph) and a hard-breaking curveball. In four seasons as a pro, Collins has averaged 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings. This year, he improved on that number, striking out 13.6 batters per nine in stops in the Eastern, Southern and Pacific Coast Leagues. And don't think of Collins as a situational lefty. This year he held righthanders to a .140/.224/.242 line while lefties hit .189/.267/.316.
2010 Stats

Second Team

C—Devin Mesoraco, Reds. 1B—Freddie Freeman, Braves. 2B—Brett Lawrie, Brewers. 3B—Steve Parker, Athletics. SS—Grant Green, Athletics. OFs—Brett Jackson, Cubs; Mike Stanton, Marlins; Eric Thames, Blue Jays. DH—Jesus Montero, Yankees.

SP—Brandon Beachy, Braves; Zach Britton, Orioles; Robbie Erlin, Rangers; Trey McNutt, Cubs; Michael Pineda, Mariners. RP—Kenley Jansen, Dodgers.