An all-star team made up of prospects, based on their performance in the month of June. Statistics cover June only.
This season’s all-prospect team alumni who have gone on to play in the big leagues: Rockies OF Corey Dickerson, Mariners 2B Nick Franklin, White Sox C Josh Phegley, Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon and Braves LHP Alex Wood.
We apologize for the late publication date of this piece, but better late than never for these deserving prospects. The Independence Day holiday combined with the Midseason Prospect Update coverage--including the All-Rookie Team--conspired to delay the process.
C Tom Murphy • Rockies
Low Class A Asheville (South Atlantic)
"He looks like he has a chance to develop into an offensive catcher," Rockies farm director Jeff Bridich said last year after Murphy hit six homers in 55 games in the short-season Northwest League. The 2012 third-round pick from Buffalo eclipsed that total in June alone this season, while leading all minor league catchers with 17 homers and a .690 slugging percentage. With an isolated power nearing .300 on the road (.293 to be exact), Murphy’s extra-base potential is no mere Asheville illusion.
1B Max Muncy • Athletics
High Class A Stockton (California)
Muncy led all minor leaguers with 37 RBIs in June, when he continued to hit for the type of power that has Oakland optimistic about the 2012 fifth-rounder’s ability to profile at first base. He leads the Cal League in walks and home runs, though 15 of those 20 longballs have come at home in Stockton, a park that sees more four-baggers than any league locale except High Desert or Lancaster.
2B Grant Green • Athletics
Triple-A Sacramento (Pacific Coast)
The 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Green made his big league debut on July 8, following a torrid month of June in which he led the minors 45 hits and 27 runs scored. He played at least 10 games at five positions in 2012--center field, left field, shortstop, second base and third base--but this season the Athletics have deployed him at second base on an everyday basis and watched him flourish. Remember that while the PCL favors hitters, Sacramento plays as a relative pitcher’s park (.846 park factor for runs), making Green’s .318/.374/.500 batting line for the River Cats all the more impressive.
3B Maikel Franco • Phillies
High Class A Clearwater (Florida State) & Double-A Reading (Eastern)
With the exception of Franco himself, nobody expected the 20-year-old to perform such an uncanny Miguel Sano impression this season. Best of all, he’s done so with a very manageable strikeout rate and without sacrificing power after a promotion to Double-A, where Reading plays as the No. 2 home run park (2.03 per game) at that level.
SS Jace Peterson • Padres
High Class A Lake Elsinore (California)
A supplemental first-rounder from McNeese State in 2011, Peterson continues to sneak up prospect lists with a well-rounded game and an excess of baseball savvy. That latter point can be illustrated by a perfect 12-for-12 showing on stolen-base attempts and more walks (13) than strikeouts (12) in June.
OF Nick Castellanos • Tigers
Triple-A Toledo (International)
Castellanos’ performance in June neatly encapsulates the scope of the progress he’s made as a 21-year-old at Triple-A. He led all minor leagues with 27 runs scored (in 28 games) while hitting .361 with plenty of secondary skills (14 extra-base hits, 16 walks). In the bigger picture, Castellanos is on pace to establish career-best marks for walk rate (10.8 percent of plate appearances), strikeout rate (15.6 percent) and isolated power (.175).
OF Tyrone Taylor • Brewers
Low Class A Wisconsin (Midwest)
In past months, the all-prospect team exercise has turned up breakout performers such as Mookie Betts, Robby Hefflinger and Kennys Vargas. This month that honor goes to Taylor, a 2012 second-rounder from Torrance (Calif.) High who starred in football as an amateur but who appeared to figure out a few things on the diamond in June. The 19-year-old entered the month hitting just .240/.284/.361 through 183 at-bats, but all facets of his game came together for one glorious month, suggesting the type of player he could become with further refinement.
OF Joey Terdoslavich • Braves
Triple-A Gwinnett (International)
Like the Athletics’ Grant Green, Terdoslavich earned a July callup on the heels of an excellent month of June at Triple-A in which he shot up the IL leaderboards for home runs (18), slugging percentage (.567) and extra-base hits (43). The switch-hitter decimated righthanders at Gwinnett, batting .340/.375/.617 with 17 homers as a lefthanded batter, which combined with an ability to play all four corner positions could make him a valuable big league contributor.
RHP Miguel Almonte • Royals
Low Class A Lexington (South Atlantic)
Almonte entered the season with just 27 innings in the U.S., which makes the 20-year-old Dominican’s growth this season at Lexington even more remarkable. He entered June with a walk rate nearing 4.0 per nine innings, but thanks to quality stuff and ability to diagnose his mechanics on the fly, he cut that rate in half while continuing to miss bats and keep the ball in the park.
RHP Taylor Jordan • Nationals
Double-A Harrisburg (Eastern)
Prior to 2013, Jordan hadn’t pitched above low Class A in four pro seasons, having lost a year to Tommy John surgery along the way. He did just about everything right during the first half of this season, conquering two levels, leading the minors with a 1.00 ERA over 90 innings and making his big league debut on June 29.
RHP Lance McCullers Jr. • Astros
Low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)
Quad Cities rotation-mates McCullers and Vincent Velasquez are the only qualified Midwest League starters with more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings, though McCullers has yet to record an out in the sixth inning or later while working in the Astros’ tandem-starter system. He averages nearly 17 batters faced per appearance, which is a long enough duration to be impressed by the fact he has yet to surrender a home run.
RHP Taijuan Walker • Mariners
Double-A Jackson (Southern) & Triple-A Tacoma (Pacific Coast)
Walker cemented his status as one of the top pitching prospects in the game with a stellar first half as a 20-year-old in Double-A, and he just kept rolling at Triple-A, allowing three hits over six shutout innings in his debut there on June 25. A few more starts along those lines and Walker could join fellow preseason Top 10 Prospects Carter Capps, Nick Franklin, Brandon Maurer, Brad Miller and Mike Zunino in Seattle later this season.
RHP Danny Winkler • Rockies
High Class A Modesto (California)
Modesto appears as an oasis to Cal League pitchers insomuch as it features the fewest home runs in the circuit, 1.03 per game from 2010-12, one of the lowest rates at the high Class A level. However, Winkler made four of six June starts on the road, including one at High Desert, and still managed the sterling pitching line you see below. He led the minors in strikeouts and WHIP during the first half and, with a little luck, could win the Cal League pitching triple crown.