An all-star team comprised of prospects, based on their performance in the minors during the month of May. Monthly all-prospect team archives available here.
C Kyle Schwarber • Cubs
Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
The lone repeating position player from the April all-prospect team, Schwarber continues to make his selection as the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft look a shrewd one by the Cubs. He led the Southern League in on-base percentage (.454), slugging (.633) and walks (36) at the end of May, while hitting .327 and blasting 12 home runs. Schwarber and the Cubs haven’t given up on the notion of him playing catcher, for he had played the position 30 times in 45 games through the first two months.
1B Cody Bellinger • Dodgers
High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
While high Class A Lancaster first baseman A.J. Reed slammed 10 home runs and eight doubles in May, Bellinger finished the month with one fewer extra-base hit while playing in the same league and in a much tougher home park for hitters. Oh, and he’s also about three years younger than Reed. Like former Angels all-star Darin Erstad in his prime, Bellinger is an above-average runner who bats lefty, has a feel to hit and plays both first base and center field adeptly.
2B Alen Hanson • Pirates
Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
Scouts have long projected Hanson to second base in the big leagues, but he did not move to the position full-time until this season. In fact, he manned shortstop for at least 100 games in each of the past three seasons as he advanced from low Class A to Double-A. The 22-year-old, switch-hitting Hanson has been an exemplary leadoff man at Indianapolis this season, ranking among the International League leaders in hits (60) and runs (30) through the end of May, while drawing 16 walks and stealing 14 bases through 48 games.
3B Joey Gallo • Rangers
Double-A Frisco (Texas)
Just two minor league batters hit more home runs than Gallo did with nine in May. So in other words, he recovered quite nicely from the left heel injury that forced him to the disabled list at the end of spring training. What goes around, has come around this season, for an injury to Rangers all-star third baseman Adrian Beltre opened the door for Gallo to make his major league debut on June 2. Naturally, he homered in each of his first two games with Texas.
SS Trea Turner • Padres
Double-A San Antonio (Texas)
Turner could join the Nationals organization as early as June 13, his signing date last year out of the draft, which will bring to an end his successful run in the Texas League. He ranked among the TL leaders for average (.333), on-base percentage (.405) and slugging (.508) through the end of May, a month in which he was the only minor league shortstop to come to bat at least 75 times and top a 1.000 OPS. When Mr. Turner does go to Washington, he will complete the three-team transaction in which the Nats surrendered Steven Souza to the Rays and received righthander Joe Ross and a player to be named (presumed to be Turner) from the Padres.
OF Mike Gerber • Tigers
Low Class A West Michigan (Midwest)
The Tigers appear to have found a 15th-round bargain in the 2014 draft with Gerber, a lefthanded-hitting, senior right fielder from Creighton who hit .298 with power in his pro debut last summer. He has continued to produce similar results at West Michigan this season, hitting .362 to pace the Midwest League through May, while also ranking among the league leaders in on-base percentage (.427) and slugging (.500). “He’s got a really good swing—the barrel stays in the zone a long time,” Tigers roving hitting instructor Bruce Fields told The Detroit News in early May.
OF Billy McKinney • Cubs
Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
McKinney needed a challenge after hitting .405/.491/.810 through 12 games in May at high Class A Myrtle Beach, so the Cubs obliged by promoting the 20-year-old to Tennessee on May 14. He continued to hit well, post-promotion, in a prospect-laden Smokies lineup that also features Albert Almora, Kyle Schwarber and Dan Vogelbach.
OF Michael Reed • Brewers
Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
Reed continues to play right field at Biloxi, but primarily because he’s teammates again this year with Brewers’ No. 1 prospect Tyrone Taylor, the Shuckers’ center fielder. A 22-year-old righthanded hitter, Reed may be coming into his own after he led the high Class A Florida State League in on-base percentage last season (.396) and now ranks third in the Southern League with a .412 mark. His combination of extra-base power, speed and plate discipline helped him put up a 1.121 OPS in May that ranked second among minor league batters.
RHP Jose Berrios • Twins
Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
Southern League batters met Berrios with 24 hits, including three home runs, through his first four starts and 24 innings in April, but he quickly gained command of the strike zone in May. He improved his WHIP by nearly half a baserunner per inning while allowing just two homers in six starts, and Berrios finished the month as the SL strikeout leader with 70 through 63 innings.
RHP Jose De Leon • Dodgers
Double-A Tulsa (Texas)
De Leon struck out 12 batters in each of his first two starts in May, and then 11 in his last, on his way to a minor league-leading 51 punchouts for the month and a promotion from high Class A Rancho Cucamonga to Tulsa. The 24th-round pick from Southern in 2013 has far surpassed expectations as a pro, which is attributable to enhanced conditioning, improved velocity and a move to the third-base side of the rubber.
RHP Grant Holmes • Dodgers
Low Class A Great Lakes (Midwest)
The 22nd overall pick last year out of high school in Conway, S.C., Holmes possesses a power fastball/slider repertoire perfectly suited to sit down Midwest League batters, but like any mortal, he can’t strike out Mother Nature. Each of his final two starts for Great Lakes in May was suspended after three innings by rain. Regardless, Holmes didn’t allow much contact, let alone hard contact, all month, particularly when he completed six shutout innings in consecutive starts in which he combined to strike out 16, walk four and allow three hits over 12 innings.
RHP Aaron Nola • Phillies
Double-A Reading (Eastern)
Nola, the first college righthander selected in the 2014 draft, has had no difficulty adjusting to the Double-A level this spring. He ranks among the Eastern League leaders in wins (seven), ERA (1.76), strikeouts (54), innings (72), walk rate (1.0 per nine innings) and opponent average (.214), which is all testament to his big league-ready command.
LHP Blake Snell • Rays
Double-A Montgomery (Southern)
Unscored upon during his first four starts of 2015 at high Class A Charlotte, Snell earned a May 1 promotion to Double-A and promptly chipped in four more scoreless starts. His streak came to end in start No. 9, but he still pitched to an 0.72 ERA in six May starts, which ranks third among starters with at least 22 innings. Snell also struck out more batters (44) than all but two other minor league pitchers in May.