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2018 Minor League All-Star Team

featured_Alonso, Peter 1806 (Mitchell).jpg
Mets first baseman Peter Alonso tied with Reds first baseman Ibandel Isabel for the MiLB home run lead with 36. (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

C Danny Jansen | Blue Jays
Triple-A Buffalo (International)

Jansen proved last year’s breakout was no fluke with another excellent campaign. His .863 OPS led all minor league catchers with at least 300 plate appearances, and he was rewarded with his first big league callup on Aug. 13. He immediately took over as the Blue Jays’ starting catcher and reached base in each of his first eight games. Defensively, Jansen made five errors and allowed just five passed balls, but he threw out just 24 percent of basestealers.

1B Peter Alonso | Mets
Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)

The hulking Florida product took his power production to a new level in his second full season. Alonso finished tied for first in the minors in home runs (36), first in RBIs (119), third in extra-base hits (67) and third in total bases (272) as he mashed his way up to Triple-A. He crushed both righthanders (.285 average, .982 OPS) and lefthanders (.283, .956) and, importantly, became much more reliable defensively. After making 19 errors in 83 games at first base last year, Alonso committed nine errors in 110 games this year.

2B Gavin Lux | Dodgers
Double-A Tulsa (Texas)

Lux used a disappointing first full season as motivation to transform his body last winter. The result was a bigger, stronger, faster Lux and a breakout season. The 2016 first-round pick led all full-season shortstops in batting average (.324), on-base percentage (.399) and slugging percentage (.514) while advancing to Double-A as a 20-year-old. He was in the mix for the California League batting and OPS titles when he was promoted to Double-A and didn’t miss a beat, recording a hit in 22 of 28 games in the Texas League. An everyday shortstop with plus athleticism, Lux also played 17 games at second base.

SS Wander Franco | Rays
Rookie-level Princeton (Appalachian)

The top prospect in the 2017 international class lived up to the hype and then some in his pro debut. Just 17 years old, Franco skipped over the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, went straight to the Appalachian League and hit .351 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs in 61 games. He had more walks (27) than strikeouts (19), and his ability to get to his power without swinging and missing was particularly uncanny. Franco’s 7 percent strikeout rate was the lowest of any minor league shortstop with at least 250 plate appearances. His .587 slugging percentage, meanwhile, was the highest.

3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. | Blue Jays
Triple-A Buffalo (International)

The year his father was inducted into to the Hall of Fame, Vlad Jr. added to his own growing legend. Guerrero’s .382 batting average led the minors by more than 30 points. He also led the minors with a .638 slugging percentage. Despite missing almost two months with a knee injury, he still hit a career-high 20 home runs. A promotion to Triple-A coming off his injury was supposed to be a challenge, but instead Guerrero posted more walks (15) and extra-base hits (13) than strikeouts (10). Guerrero won not only the minor league batting title, but his 1.073 OPS led the minors as well.

Twins outfielder Alex Kirilloff had no problems bouncing back form Tommy John.

OF Alex Kirilloff | Twins
High Class A Fort Myers (Florida State)

Kirilloff returned from Tommy John surgery and dominated both low Class A and high Class A in a brilliant full-season debut. The 2016 first-round pick finished first in the minors in total bases (296), second in hits (178), third in batting average (.348) and seventh in RBIs (101), and he would have won both the Midwest and Florida State league batting titles with enough plate appearances to qualify. Kirilloff also notched seven assists from the outfield, an encouraging sign for his surgically repaired left elbow.

OF Jo Adell | Angels
Double-A Mobile (Southern)

Last year’s No. 10 overall draft pick blitzed through three levels to reach Double-A as a teenager in his first full season, showing a tantalizing blend of power, contact and speed. Adell’s .897 OPS was the highest of any teenager in full-season ball outside of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and overall he compiled 32 doubles, 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases while playing older competition at every level. Adell did that while playing a solid center field and impressing at all three outfield positions, showing off both plus speed and plus arm strength.

OF Kyle Tucker | Astros
Triple-A Fresno (Pacific Coast)

Tucker opened the year as the second-youngest everyday player in the Pacific Coast League and more than held his own. The 2015 first-round pick delivered his second straight 20-20 season with 24 home runs and 20 stolen bases, finished third in the minors with a .989 OPS and earned his first big league callup in July. Tucker impressed on the other side of the ball as well, notching 10 outfield assists while seeing time at all three outfield spots.

DH Eloy Jimenez | White Sox
Triple-A Charlotte (International)

Jimenez gave White Sox fans something to get excited about while the South Siders struggled through a miserable season in the American League. Jimenez destroyed all comers in both Double-A and Triple-A, finishing with a combined .337/.384/.577 line with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs. Injuries again limited Jimenez—he missed the first two weeks of the season with a pectoral strain and two more weeks in July with a strained abductor muscle—but once he got healthy he was just about unstoppable. After returning from his abductor strain in mid-July, Jimenez hit .371/.403/.629 the rest of the season.

SP Dylan Cease | White Sox
Double-A Birmingham (Southern)

The White Sox acquired Cease with Eloy Jimenez from the Cubs in last year’s trade for Jose Quintana, and the fireballing righthander turned a corner in his first full season as a member of the White Sox organization. Armed with a 98 mph fastball and hammer curveball, Cease went 12-2, 2.40 and struck out 32.5 percent of the batters he faced, fourth-highest in the minors among qualified starters. His .187 opponent average was good for fifth in the minors as well, and he would have won both the Carolina and Southern league ERA titles if he had enough innings to qualify.

SP Touki Toussaint | Braves
Triple-A Gwinnett (International)

The electric Toussaint finally found some control and put together the best season of his career in 2018. Throwing more strikes than ever, the 22-year-old righthander posted a 2.93 ERA at Double-A, was even better at Triple-A with a 5-0, 1.43 mark, and made his major league debut on Aug. 13. Overall, Toussaint finished tied for eighth in the minors with 163 strikeouts despite missing a few starts when he was in the majors.

SP Justus Sheffield | Yankees
Triple-A Scranton W-B (International)

The 2014 first-round pick keeps getting better every year and now is on the brink of the majors. Sheffield climbed from Double-A to Triple-A this season and dominated the highest levels of the minors, allowing one earned run or fewer in 14 of his 20 starts. Above all else, he proved incredibly difficult to square up. Sheffield allowed just four home runs all season, and his .195 opponent average ranked eighth in the minors overall.

SP Ian Anderson | Braves
Double-A Mississippi (Southern)

The Braves took the reigns off Anderson in his second full season and the righthander soared up to Double-A at age 20. The No. 3 overall pick in 2016, Anderson held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in 19 of his 24 starts, primarily at high Class A Florida, including nine scoreless outings. He allowed just two home runs all season, and he finished in the top 20 in the minors among starters with a 2.49 ERA (20th) and .199 opponent average (15th).

SP Jesus Luzardo | Athletics
Triple-A Nashville (Pacific Coast)

Luzardo’s first full season back from Tommy John surgery couldn’t have gone any better. The precocious 20-year-old got promoted out of high Class A after just three starts, led the Double-A Texas League with a 2.29 ERA during his time there and finished the season in Triple-A. Luzardo’s season highlights included a 28-inning scoreless streak at Double-A, and he was so efficient that he pitched at least five innings in 17 of his 23 starts despite being on a strict pitch count. Overall, Luzardo posted a 2.88 ERA across the three levels all while being significantly younger than his competition at each stop.

Colin Poche


RP Colin Poche
| Rays
Triple-A Durham (International)

Poche began the year as a Diamondbacks prospect before going to the Rays on May 1 as a player to be named in the Steven Souza trade. No matter where he pitched, Poche was just about untouchable. He began the year on a 20-inning scoreless streak that stretched from Opening Day until May 15, delivered another 16-inning scoreless streak a few weeks later and overall held opponents scoreless in 34 of his 40 appearances on the year. Poche’s 0.82 ERA was lowest in the minors among pitchers with at least 65 innings, and his strikeout rate of 15.0 per nine innings was the highest.

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2018 Pacific Coast League Top 20 Prospects

The prospect crop in the PCL stood out for both its star power and depth.

FIRST TEAM
Pos Player (Highest Level)AgeAVGOBPSLGABRHHRRBIBBSOSB
C Danny Jansen, Blue Jays (AAA)23.275.390.4732984582125844495
1B Peter Alonso, Mets (AAA)23.285.395.5794789213636119761280
2B Gavin Lux, Dodgers (AA)20.324.399.514463851501557578813
SS Wander Franco, Rays (R)17.351.418.5872424685115727194
3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (AAA)19.381.437.63635767136207837383
OF Kyle Tucker, Astros (AAA)21.332.400.590407861352493488420
OF Jo Adell, Angels (AA)19.290.355.5433968311520773211115
OF Alex Kirilloff, Twins (HiA)20.348.392.578512751782010138864
DH Eloy Jimenez, White Sox (AAA)21.337.384.57741664140227532690
Pos Player (Highest Level)AgeWLERAGGSIPHBBSOAVGWHIP
SP Dylan Cease, White Sox (AA)221222.4023231248250160.1891.06
SP Touki Toussaint, Braves (AAA)22962.38242413610153163.2021.13
SP Justus Sheffield, Yankees (AAA)22762.4825201168250123.1951.14
SP Ian Anderson, Braves (AA)20472.4924241198749142.1991.14
SP Jesus Luzardo, Athletics (AAA)201052.8823231098930129.2201.09
RP Colin Poche, Rays (AAA)24600.82402663319119.1510.79

SECOND TEAM
Pos Player (Highest Level)AgeAVGOBPSLGABRHHRRBIBBSOSB
C Austin Allen, Padres (AA)24.290.351.50645159131225637970
1B Nate Lowe, Rays (AAA)22.330.416.578482931592710268901
2B Brandon Lowe, Rays (AAA)24.297.391.558380731132276571028
SS Royce Lewis, Twins (HiA)19.292.352.451483831411474438428
3B Taylor Ward, Angels (AAA)24.349.446.531375681311460659418
OF Yordan Alvarez, Astros (AAA)21.293.369.5343356398207442926
OF Alex Verdugo, Dodgers (AAA)22.329.391.47234344113104434478
OF Tyler O’Neill, Cardinals (AAA)23.311.385.6932386174266329683
DH Franmil Reyes, Padres (AAA)22.324.428.6142105068165237590
Pos Player (Highest Level)AgeWLERAGGSIPHBBSOAVGWHIP
SP Logan Allen, Padres (AAA)211462.54252414911051151.2051.05
SP Corbin Martin, Astros (AA)22922.5125211228835122.1991.01
SP Taylor Widener, D-backs (AA)23582.7526251379943176.1971.03
SP Michael King, Yankees (AAA)231151.79252416111829152.2020.91
SP Patrick Sandoval, Angels (AA)221112.0626201228829145.1960.96
RP Tommy Eveld, Marlins (AA)24431.0745050361161.1980.93

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