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2019 MiLB Best Tools

Wander_Franco_Getty(CliffWelch).jpg
Wander Franco (Getty Images)

For more than three decades, Baseball America has surveyed managers across the minor leagues to find out which players have the best tools in each league.

Here are the results for 2019 as voted on by minor league managers, often with input from their coaching staffs.

Best Batting Prospect

International (Triple-A): Jake Cronenworth, Durham (Rays)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Yordan Alvarez, Round Rock (Astros)
Eastern (Double-A): Colton Welker, Hartford (Rockies)
Southern (Double-A): Drew Waters, Mississippi (Braves)
Texas (Double-A): Gavin Lux, Tulsa (Dodgers)
California (High-A): Luis Campusano, Lake Elsinore (Padres)
Carolina (High-A): Jarren Duran, Salem (Red Sox)
Florida State (High-A): Trevor Larnach, Fort Myers (Twins)
Midwest (Low-A): Wander Franco, Bowling Green (Rays)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Canaan Smith, Charleston (Yankees)

Best Power


International (Triple-A): Bobby Bradley, Columbus (Indians)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Yordan Alvarez, Round Rock (Astros)
Eastern (Double-A): Bobby Dalbec, Portland (Red Sox)
Southern (Double-A): Luis Robert, Birmingham (White Sox)
Texas (Double-A): Cody Thomas, Tulsa (Dodgers)
California (High-A): Heliot Ramos, San Jose (Giants)
Carolina (High-A): Sam Huff, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Dermis Garcia, Tampa (Yankees)
Midwest (Low-A): Will Benson, Lake County (Indians)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Sam Huff, Hickory (Rangers)

Best Strike-Zone Judgment


International (Triple-A): LaMonte Wade, Rochester (Twins)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Matt Thaiss, Salt Lake (Angels)
Eastern (Double-A): Bobby Dalbec, Portland (Red Sox)
Southern (Double-A): Taylor Trammell, Chattanooga (Reds)
Texas (Double-A): Chas McCormick, Corpus Christi (Astros)
California (High-A): Luis Castro, Lancaster (Rockies)
Carolina (High-A): Nolan Jones, Lynchburg (Indians)
Florida State (High-A): Taylor Walls, Charlotte (Rays)
Midwest (Low-A): Wander Franco, Bowling Green (Rays)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Terrin Vavra, Asheville (Rockies)

Best Baserunner


International (Triple-A): Anthony Alford, Buffalo (Blue Jays)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Kyle Tucker, Round Rock (Astros)
Eastern (Double-A): Sam Haggerty, Binghamton (Mets)
Southern (Double-A): Luis Aviles Jr., Biloxi (Brewers)
Texas (Double-A): Nick Heath, NW Arkansas (Royals)
California (High-A): Jose Caballero, Visalia (D-backs)
Carolina (High-A): Zach Davis, Myrtle Beach (Cubs)
Florida State (High-A): Vidal Brujan, Charlotte (Rays)
Midwest (Low-A): Reggie Pruitt, Lansing (Blue Jays)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Michael Gigliotti, Lexington (Royals)

Fastest Baserunner


International (Triple-A): Oscar Mercado, Columbus (Indians)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Jorge Mateo, Las Vegas (Athletics)
Eastern (Double-A): Johneshwy Fargas, Richmond (Giants)
Southern (Double-A): Magneuris Sierra, Jacksonville (Marlins)
Texas (Double-A): Nick Heath, NW Arkansas (Royals)
California (High-A): Matt Hearn, Lancaster (Rockies)
Carolina (High-A): Jarren Duran, Salem (Red Sox)
Florida State (High-A): Vidal Brujan, Charlotte (Rays)
Midwest (Low-A): Reggie Pruitt, Lansing (Blue Jays)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Michael Gigliotti, Lexington (Royals)

Best Pitching Prospect


International (Triple-A): Mitch Keller, Indianapolis (Pirates)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Corbin Martin, Round Rock (Astros)
Eastern (Double-A): Deivi Garcia, Trenton (Yankees)
Southern (Double-A): Brusdar Graterol, Pensacola (Twins)
Texas (Double-A): Dustin May, Tulsa (Dodgers)
California (High-A): MacKenzie Gore, Lake Elsinore (Padres)
Carolina (High-A): Jackson Kowar, Wilmington (Royals)
Florida State (High-A): Edward Cabrera, Jupiter (Marlins)
Midwest (Low-A): Humberto Mejia, Clinton (Marlins)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Luis Gil, Charleston (Yankees)

Best Fastball


International (Triple-A): Dylan Cease, Charlotte (White Sox)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Andres Munoz, El Paso (Padres)
Eastern (Double-A): Melvin Adon, Richmond (Giants)
Southern (Double-A): Brusdar Graterol, Pensacola (Twins)
Texas (Double-A): Andres Munoz, Amarillo (Padres)
California (High-A): Josiah Gray, Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers)
Carolina (High-A): Jackson Kowar, Wilmington (Royals)
Florida State (High-A): Nate Pearson, Dunedin (Blue Jays)
Midwest (Low-A): Brailyn Marquez, South Bend (Cubs)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Luis Gil, Charleston (Yankees)

Best Breaking Pitch


International (Triple-A): Mitch Keller, Indianapolis (Pirates)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Dillon Maples, Iowa (Cubs)
Eastern (Double-A): Matt Manning, Erie (Tigers)
Southern (Double-A): Brusdar Graterol, Pensacola (Twins)
Texas (Double-A): Dustin May, Tulsa (Dodgers)
California (High-A): MacKenzie Gore, Lake Elsinore (Dodgers)
Carolina (High-A): DeMarcus Evans, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Braxton Garrett, Jupiter (Marlins)
Midwest (Low-A): Jose Soriano, Burlington (Angels)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Grayson Rodriguez, Delmarva (Orioles)

Best Changeup


International (Triple-A): Kolby Allard, Gwinnett (Braves)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Jesus Luzardo, Las Vegas (Athletics)
Eastern (Double-A): Rico Garcia, Hartford (Rockies)
Southern (Double-A): Sixto Sanchez, Jacksonville (Marlins)
Texas (Double-A): Jackson Kowar, NW Arkansas (Royals)
California (High-A): Garrett Schilling, Lancaster (Rockies)
Carolina (High-A): Jackson Kowar, Wilmington (Royals)
Florida State (High-A): Junior Fernandez, Palm Beach (Cardinals)
Midwest (Low-A): Joey Cantillo, Fort Wayne (Padres)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Jesus Tona, Augusta (Giants)

Best Control


International (Triple-A): Brendan McKay, Durham (Rays)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Zac Gallen, New Orleans (Marlins)
Eastern (Double-A): Casey Mize, Erie (Tigers)
Southern (Double-A): Brendan McKay, Montgomery (Rays)
Texas (Double-A): Darren McCaughan, Arkansas (Mariners)
California (High-A): Ljay Newsome, Modesto (Mariners)
Carolina (High-A): Noah Zavolas, Carolina (Brewers)
Florida State (High-A): Jordan Balazovic, Fort Myers (Twins)
Midwest (Low-A): Alan Strong, Bowling Green (Rays)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Jose Olague, Rome (Braves)

Best Reliever


International (Triple-A): Trevor Kelley, Pawtucket (Red Sox)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Jimmie Sherfy, Reno (D-backs)
Eastern (Double-A): Ben Bowden, Hartford (Rockies)
Southern (Double-A): Joel Kuhnel, Chattanooga (Reds)
Texas (Double-A): Andres Munoz, Amarillo (Padres)
California (High-A): Tommy Doyle, Lancaster (Rockies)
Carolina (High-A): Joe Barlow, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Ryan Nutof, Daytona (Reds)
Midwest (Low-A): Connor Bennett, Dayton (Reds)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Jesus Tona, Augusta (Giants)

Best Defensive Catcher


International (Triple-A): Jake Rogers, Toledo (Tigers)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Andrew Knizner, Memphis (Cardinals)
Eastern (Double-A): Jake Rogers, Erie (Tigers)
Southern (Double-A): Tyler Stephenson, Chattanooga (Reds)
Texas (Double-A): Luis Torrens, Amarillo (Padres)
California (High-A): Joey Bart, San Jose (Giants)
Carolina (High-A): Payton Henry, Carolina (Brewers)
Florida State (High-A): Ben Rortvedt, Fort Myers (Twins)
Midwest (Low-A): Will Banfield, Clinton (Marlins)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Rafael Marchan, Lakewood (Phillies)

Best Defensive First Baseman


International (Triple-A): Brian O'Grady, Louisville (Reds)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): John Nogowski, Memphis (Cardinals)
Eastern (Double-A): Chris Gittens, Trenton (Yankees)
Southern (Double-A): Dalton Kelly, Montgomery (Rays)
Texas (Double-A): Evan White, Arkansas (Mariners)
California (High-A): Yoel Yanqui, Visalia (D-backs)
Carolina (High-A): Ryan Aguilar, Carolina (Brewers)
Florida State (High-A): Lewin Diaz, Fort Myers (Twins)
Midwest (Low-A): Brady Whalen, Peoria (Cardinals)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Triston Casas, Greenville (Red Sox)

Best Defensive Second Baseman


International (Triple-A): Luis Arraez, Rochester (Twins)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Isan Diaz, New Orleans (Marlins)
Eastern (Double-A): Sam Haggerty, Binghamton (Mets)
Southern (Double-A): Nick Madrigal, Birmingham (White Sox)
Texas (Double-A): Jordan Cowan, Arkansas (Mariners)
California (High-A): Connor Kopach, Modesto (Mariners)
Carolina (High-A): Yonny Hernandez, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Vidal Brujan, Charlotte (Rays)
Midwest (Low-A): Xavier Edwards, Fort Wayne (Padres)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Greg Cullen, Rome (Braves)

Best Defensive Third Baseman


International (Triple-A): Ke'Bryan Hayes, Indianapolis (Pirates)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Sheldon Neuse, Las Vegas (Athletics)
Eastern (Double-A): Hunter Owen, Altoona (Pirates)
Southern (Double-A): Drew Ellis, Jackson (D-backs)
Texas (Double-A): Edwin Diaz, Midland (Athletics)
California (High-A): Joe Rizzo, Modesto (Mariners)
Carolina (High-A): Ryan Dorow, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Jonathan India, Daytona (Reds)
Midwest (Low-A): Nolan Gorman, Peoria (Cardinals)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Bobby Honeyman, West Virginia (Mariners)

Best Defensive Shortstop


International (Triple-A): Jake Cronenworth, Durham (Rays)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Luis Urias, El Paso (Padres)
Eastern (Double-A): Andres Gimenez, Binghamton (Mets)
Southern (Double-A): Jazz Chisholm, Jackson (D-backs)
Texas (Double-A): Gavin Lux, Tulsa (Dodgers)
California (High-A): Nick Allen, Stockton (Athletics)
Carolina (High-A): Anderson Tejeda, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Cole Peterson, Lakeland (Tigers)
Midwest (Low-A): Jeremy Pena, Quad Cities (Astros)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Ronny Mauricio, Columbia (Mets)

Best Infield Arm


International (Triple-A): Jake Cronenworth, Durham (Rays)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Jorge Mateo, Las Vegas (Athletics)
Eastern (Double-A): Bobby Dalbec, Portland (Red Sox)
Southern (Double-A): Jordan Gore, Pensacola (Twins)
Texas (Double-A): Edwin Diaz, Midland (Athletics)
California (High-A): Gabriel Arias, Lake Elsinore (Padres)
Carolina (High-A): Anderson Tejeda, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Royce Lewis, Fort Myers (Twins)
Midwest (Low-A): Justin Lopez, Fort Wayne (Padres)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Nathan Eaton, Lexington (Royals)

Best Defensive Outfielder


International (Triple-A): Oscar Mercado, Columbus (Indians)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Yonathan Daza, Albuquerque (Rockies)
Eastern (Double-A): Derek Hill, Erie (Tigers)
Southern (Double-A): Cristian Pache, Mississippi (Braves)
Texas (Double-A): Dylan Carlson, Springfield (Cardinals)
California (High-A): Heliot Ramos, San Jose (Giants)
Carolina (High-A): Leody Taveras, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Aaron Whitefield, Fort Myers (Twins)
Midwest (Low-A): Alek Thomas, Kane County (D-backs)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Justin Dean, Rome (Braves)

Best Outfield Arm


International (Triple-A): Aristides Aquino, Louisville (Reds)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Adolis Garcia, Memphis (Cardinals)
Eastern (Double-A): Jose Azocar, Erie (Tigers)
Southern (Double-A): Cristian Pache, Mississippi (Braves)
Texas (Double-A): Buddy Reed, Amarillo (Padres)
California (High-A): Donovan Casey, Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers)
Carolina (High-A): Seuly Matias, Wilmington (Royals)
Florida State (High-A): Travis Swaggerty, Bradenton (Pirates)
Midwest (Low-A): Jerar Encarnacion, Clinton (Marlins)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Hansel Moreno, Columbia (Mets)

Most Exciting Player


International (Triple-A): Jake Cronenworth, Durham (Rays)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Jorge Mateo, Las Vegas (Athletics)
Eastern (Double-A): Bobby Dalbec, Portland (Red Sox)
Southern (Double-A): Jo Adell, Mobile (Angels)
Texas (Double-A): Gavin Lux, Tulsa (Dodgers)
California (High-A): Heliot Ramos, San Jose (Giants)
Carolina (High-A): Jarren Duran, Salem (Red Sox)
Florida State (High-A): Vidal Brujan, Charlotte (Rays)
Midwest (Low-A): Wander Franco, Bowling Green (Rays)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Canaan Smith, Charleston (Yankees)

Best Manager Prospect


International (Triple-A): Brady Willians, Durham (Rays)
Pacific Coast (Triple-A): Fran Riordan, Las Vegas (Athletics)
Eastern (Double-A): Warren Schaeffer, Hartford (Rockies)
Southern (Double-A): Blake Lalli, Jackson (D-backs)
Texas (Double-A): Phillip Wellman, Amarillo (Padres)
California (High-A): Denny Hocking, Modesto (Mariners)
Carolina (High-A): Corey Ragsdale, Down East (Rangers)
Florida State (High-A): Jeff Smith, Charlotte (Rays)
Midwest (Low-A): Ray Hernandez, Quad Cities (Astros)
South Atlantic (Low-A): Brooks Conrad, Lexington (Royals)

Wander Javier Bracehemmelgarngetty

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