An all-star team comprised of prospects, based on their performance in the minors during the month of April. Monthly all-prospect team archives available here.
Park-adjusted OPS+ and ERA+ are new additions this year. Both are calculated by Baseball America in the style of the familiar Baseball-Reference.com index statistics. Park factors for the 2015 season are used in all cases, except that of Double-A Hartford, a new Rockies affiliate this season in which 2016 data is used.
C Chance Sisco • Orioles
Double-A Bowie (Eastern)
Sisco has red flags attached to his prospect profile—but hitting for average isn’t one of them. The 2013 second-round pick out of high school hit .371 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in his pro debut, then .340 at low Class A Delmarva in 2014 and then .308 at high Class A Frederick in 2015. Sisco continued to hit in 2016, batting .321 at Double-A Bowie in April, while collecting more walks (15) than strikeouts (eight). The 21-year-old lefthanded hitter now has a career .326 average and .406 on-base percentage while playing no other position but catcher as a pro.
1B Ryan O’Hearn • Royals
High Class A Wilmington (Carolina)
O’Hearn claimed the home run title last year in the South Atlantic League—he hit 19—despite leaving low Class A Lexington at midseason, and he has as much raw power as most minor league first basemen. So his early excellence at high Class A Wilmington shouldn’t be terribly surprising. What should be of particular note, however, is the multiple opposite-field and straight-away home runs on his spray chart at MLBfarm.com.
2B Andy Ibanez • Rangers
Low Class A Hickory (South Atlantic)
While Ibanez is about a year older than the average South Atlantic League batter, his production has been so loud—and his circumstances so unique—that he gets the nod here. The 23-year-old did not play in 2014 or 2015 after leaving Cuba, so the Rangers elected to ease him into pro ball in the U.S. with an assignment to low Class A Hickory. Ibanez led the SAL in average (.402), hits (33), doubles (13), on-base percentage (.479) and slugging (.659) at the end of April.
3B Hunter Dozier • Royals
Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Texas)
Dozier said his swing became too mechanical last season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, which affected his approach and yielded an ugly .213/.281/.349 batting line and 29 percent strikeout rate. The 2013 first-rounder has dealt with no such issues this season as he repeats the Texas League, and he’s off to a powerful start with a .352 isolated slugging percentage and 13 extra-base hits through his first 20 games.
SS Ozzie Albies • Braves
Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
The 19-year-old, switch-hitting Curacao native hit .369 for a month at Double-A Mississippi to earn a quick bump to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he became the International League’s youngest player. Albies’ promotion allowed the Braves to simultaneously elevate Dansby Swanson to Mississippi after he hit a hearty .346/.454/.580 (179 OPS+) with 15 extra-base hits in 22 April games, most of them at high Class A Carolina.
OF Andrew Benintendi • Red Sox
High Class A Salem (Carolina)
The reigning BA College Player of the Year has made a smooth transition to full-season ball, hitting .360 in April and collecting more extra-base hits (17) than any minor leaguer except Rangers second baseman Travis Demeritte, who plays half his games at high Class A High Desert, a hitter’s haven. Benintendi’s early performance in terms of strike-zone control recalls the 2015 work of Kyle Schwarber and Michael Conforto, two other advanced college bats who excelled in the minors.
OF David Dahl • Rockies
Double-A Hartford (Eastern)
The 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Dahl weathered a difficult 2015 in which he had his spleen surgically removed following an outfield collision. Back at Double-A to begin the season, the 22-year-old power-speed threat has apparently made an effort to showcase those attributes—with eight homers and eight steals in 21 games—while also working deeper counts. Dahl’s strikeout (27 percent) and walk (13 percent) rates are elevated compared with last season.
OF Victor Robles • Nationals
Low Class A Hagerstown (South Atlantic)
Still 18 for a few more weeks, Robles has made quick work of South Atlantic League pitchers in his first taste of full-season ball. He hit .352 at a pair of short-season stops in 2015 and has continued that offensive production unabated in 2016, hitting .351 with eight extra-base hits, nine walks, 11 steals and 24 runs scored in 22 games in April.
LHP Josh Hader • Brewers
Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
The 22-year-old, low-slot southpaw has run up high pitch counts early this season, leading to too many walks and early hooks, but he remains difficult to square up. Since joining the Brewers organization in the Carlos Gomez–Mike Fiers trade with the Astros last July, Hader has allowed a .191 opponent average with 33 percent strikeouts in 78 innings, counting time at Double-A Biloxi and in the Arizona Fall League.
RHP Brent Honeywell • Rays
High Class A Charlotte (Florida State)
Honeywell spent the second half of 2015 in the Florida State League, but he has improved his pitching ratios to such an extent this April—his strikeout-to-walk ratio climbed to 7.8 while he allowed four runs in five starts—that he won’t be long for Charlotte. The 21-year-old’s quality four-pitch mix will soon be ready for Double-A competition.
RHP Mitch Keller • Pirates
Low Class A West Virginia (South Atlantic)
The dreaded forearm strain kept Keller, a 2014 second-round pick out of high school, on the sidelines for much of 2015, when he made just six starts at Rookie-level Bristol. He has shown no signs of rust early this season, however, recording an 0.86 ERA, 28-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and minor league-best 1.23 FIP (fielding-independent pitching ERA) in April.
RHP Ben Lively • Phillies
Double-A Reading (Eastern)
The Phillies acquired Lively in a straight-up trade with the Reds for Marlon Byrd following the 2014 season, and the righthander had his hat handed to him last season at Double-A Reading (4.13 ERA, .290 opponent average) as he refined his delivery and secondary pitches. Those alterations appear to have helped in 2016, for Lively leads the Eastern League with 30 strikeouts while avoiding hard contact.
RHP Mike Soroka • Braves
Low Class A Rome (South Atlantic)
As a first-round high school pitcher from Canada, Soroka has few forebears. The Mariners selected Phillippe Aumont 11th overall in 2007 and the Orioles took Adam Loewen fourth overall in 2002—and that’s it for the demographic since 1987, the common era of draft history. Soroka found a way to tame lefthanded hitters (they hit .195 in April) by shifting his position on the rubber and got off to a fantastic start at low Class A Rome, the best by any 2015 prep first-round pitcher, Canadian or otherwise.