The Baseballist: All-Prospect Team For June

Max Kepler (photo by Mike Janes)

Max Kepler (photo by Mike Janes)

 

An all-star team comprised of prospects, based on their performance in the minors during the month of June. Monthly all-prospect team archives available here.


cardinals-900x635C Mike Ohlman • Cardinals
Double-A Springfield (Texas)

Ohlman signed with the Orioles for big money ($995,000) as an 11th-rounder out of the 2009 draft, but aside from a loud 2013 season in which he won the Carolina League batting title, his time in the Baltimore organization mostly underwhelmed. Outside of his one big season, he hit .236 with below-average power in more than 1,400 plate appearances, and he also missed 50 games in 2012 with a drug suspension.

The 24-year-old Ohlman seemingly has revitalized his career in the Cardinals organization this season as he repeats the Double-A level. The Orioles sold him to St. Louis in February when they needed a 40-man roster spot for trade pickup Travis Snider, and the 6-foot-5 righthanded batter produced a 1.059 OPS in June while showing the patience and power that made him so attractive as an amateur.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
65 14 22 3 0 5 18 14 18 0 0 .338 .444 .615

Astros1B A.J. Reed • Astros
High Class A Lancaster (California)

The BA College Player of the Year as a Kentucky junior in 2014, Reed has had no trouble adjusting to the California League this season. He led all minor leaguers with a 1.046 OPS and 70 RBIs through the end of June, and even after adjusting his production downward for the extremely favorable hitting conditions at Lancaster, Reed still outproduced his first-base peers in June. Leading the minors with a .424 average and .521 on-base percentage went a long way toward that.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
99 24 42 4 1 6 29 19 17 0 0 .424 .521 .667

Tampa Bay Rays2B Kean Wong • Rays
High Class A Charlotte (Florida State)

The younger brother of Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, 20-year-old Kean fell to the Rays in the fourth round of the 2013 draft and appears to be cut from a similar cloth as his older brother. A standout hitter for average, lefthanded batter and smooth defender at the keystone, Kean perked up his season batting line with a heady June in which he ranked fifth among minor leaguers with a .389 average.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
95 9 37 8 0 0 13 5 14 2 2 .389 .404 .474

3B Miguel Sano • Twins
Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)

Sano missed the entire 2014 season—plus winter ball—after having Tommy John surgery during spring training, but that lost development time is not apparent from his production in the Southern League in 2015. In June, he showcased the same immense power (.316 isolated power) and strong batting eye (13.7 percent walk rate) that made him one of the finest prospects in the land, which coupled with a tempered strikeout rate of 21 percent prompted the Twins to call him up in July.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
79 23 25 7 0 6 16 13 20 2 0 .316 .421 .633

Atlanta BravesSS Ozzie Albies • Braves
Low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)

The Curacao-born Albies may stand just 5-foot-9, but his résumé for hitting in pro ball casts a long shadow. The fleet-footed switch-hitter batted .364 at two Rookie-level stops in 2014 and this season led the minors with 99 hits through the end of June, which he spent as one of only a handful of 18-year-old position regulars in the South Atlantic League.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
103 15 40 6 2 0 8 4 11 2 2 .388 .407 .485

New York MetsOF Michael Conforto • Mets
Double-A Binghamton (Eastern)

The 10th overall pick in 2014, Conforto leveled the Florida State League in April and May before earning a promotion to Binghamton. Despite weathering a strikeout rate that increased from 13 percent to 21 percent with the jump, no Eastern League batter connected for more extra-base hits (13) in June than Conforto, who adapted quickly to the Double-A level by hitting .340 with a .951 OPS in 26 games.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
100 15 34 9 1 3 14 12 24 1 0 .340 .411 .540

OF Max Kepler • Twins
Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)

Few players created more runs for their teams in June than did Kepler, a German import who signed for $800,000 in July 2009 and has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2015. He hit .352 for Chattanooga in June while showing wide-ranging secondary skills with 18 walks, 12 extra-base hits and five stolen bases in 25 games. Perhaps best of all, Kepler has maintained a low to moderate strikeout rate all season as he leads the Southern League batting race at .346.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
88 14 31 6 5 1 17 18 16 5 2 .352 .463 .568

OF Adam Brett Walker • Twins
Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)

Walker has led every minor league in which he has played—from Appalachian to Midwest to Florida State—in home runs, and he’s gunning for a fourth straight title this year in the Southern League. In fact, he led all minor leagueres with 23 bombs and a .612 slugging percentage at the end of June. Walker’s extreme power exploits come bundled with an extreme strikeout rate, for in June he led all minor league batters with 11 homers and a .453 isolated slugging percentage while ranking third with a 39 percent strikeout rate.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
95 18 30 7 1 11 28 8 41 1 1 .316 .371 .758

Toronto Blue JaysLHP Matt Boyd • Blue Jays
Triple-A Buffalo (International)

A sixth-round pick from Oregon State in 2013, Boyd sailed through the minors to make his major league debut this year on June 27. He led all qualified minor league starters with a .171 opponent average through the end of June, a testament to his ability to mix and match a quality fastball and changeup and spot two different breaking balls of approximately average quality.

W L ERA GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO SO/9 WHIP
3 1 1.32 4 0 27.1 17 5 4 3 3 22 7.2 0.73

RHP Mike Clevinger • Indians
Double-A Akron (Eastern)

Clevinger lost most of 2012 and 2013 to Tommy John surgery, then the Angels lost patience with the 24-year-old righthander in 2014, dealing him to the Indians for reliever Vinnie Pestano in August. In the Cleveland system, Clevinger has cleaned up many of his rough edges and this season ranks among the Eastern League leaders for ERA (2.60) and strikeout rate (8.3 per nine innings). While me must guard against regression to his walk rate, he has premium velocity and a feel for spin, so he has obvious upside potential.

W L ERA GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO SO/9 WHIP
2 1 1.84 5 0 29.1 22 6 6 1 7 32 9.8 0.99

Toronto Blue JaysRHP Chase DeJong • Blue Jays
Low Class A Lansing (Midwest)

The 2012 second-rounder out of Wilson High in Long Beach pitched as well as he ever had as a pro in June, navigating seven innings in two of his starts and throwing his first career complete game in the third. The Blue Jays promoted DeJong to high Class A Dunedin on June 25—where he promptly went on the disabled list—only to trade him to the Dodgers at the opening bell for the international signing period on July 2.

Toronto acquired $1.07 million in international bonus-pool money from Los Angeles, which is money they can apply toward the signing of Dominican outfielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the No. 1 prospect in his signing class.

W L ERA GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO SO/9 WHIP
3 0 1.17 3 0 23 13 3 3 1 6 27 10.6 0.83

Philadelphia PhilliesRHP Aaron Nola • Phillies
Triple-A Lehigh Valley (International)

While many pitching prospects work with more dazzling inputs, Nola knows what must be done to output the results he needs. The seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft advanced to Triple-A on June 18 and hasn’t missed a beat, going 3-0, 1.53 with a .231 opponent average and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings in his first three starts at Lehigh Valley. Command and pitch execution can take a starter a long way.

W L ERA GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO SO/9 WHIP
4 0 1.82 5 0 29.2 25 6 6 1 7 27 8.2 1.08

YankeesRHP Luis Severino • Yankees
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (International)

While Severino hasn’t put away Triple-A batters with two strikes as prolifically as he had at lower levels, the 21-year-old righty has maintained strong control of his pitches, while not allowing a home run through his first seven starts at Scranton. In fact, opponents haven’t done much damage against Severino all year when putting the ball in play—they’re hitting just .208 with an .059 isolated slugging percentage.

W L ERA GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO SO/9 WHIP
2 0 1.00 4 0 27 15 5 3 0 4 18 6.0 0.70

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