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2019 Minor League Baseball All-Stars

MacKenzie_Gore_HectorVivasGetty.jpg
MacKenzie Gore (Photo by Hector Rivas/Getty Images)

Daulton Varsho | D-backs
Team: Jackson (Double-A)

Varsho rode a second-half surge to an .898 OPS that led the Southern League, all while nearly going for 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases as a catcher before ultimately falling just two home runs short. The lefthanded-hitting Varsho stuck with his approach even when the hits didn’t fall in the first half. It paid off in the second half, when he hit .344/.420/.599 in 52 games after the all-star break.

1B Seth Beer |Astros/D-backs
Team: Corpus Christi/Jackson (Double-A)

One of the more advanced bats available in the 2018 draft, Beer came off the board 28th overall when the Astros took him. He had already reached Double-A a year later when Houston traded him—along with three other prospects—to the D-backs for Zack Greinke. Even with a poor August, Beer still ranked among the most productive minor league first basemen, particularly with his combo of bat-to-ball skill and power production.

2B Gavin Lux | Dodgers
Team: Oklahoma City (Triple-A)

Lux led all full-season shortstops in batting average (.347) and slugging percentage (.607) for the second straight year as he jumped from Double-A to Triple-A to the majors in September. He ranked fourth in the minors with a 1.028 OPS. Primarily a shortstop, Lux played an increasing amount of second base in the weeks leading up to his callup and projects there long term with Corey Seager entrenched at shortstop in Los Angeles.

SS Wander Franco | Rays
Team: Charlotte (High-A)

Franco entered the season as the youngest player in the low Class A Midwest League before laying waste to the level. He finished his time in Bowling Green with an .890 OPS, which would have led the league over a full season. He then moved to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, where he increased his production. Franco finished the year with 21 more walks than strikeouts and solidified his status as the game's best prospect.

3B Ty France | Padres
Team: El Paso (Triple-A)

A late-season callup torpedoed France's chance of becoming the minors' first .400 hitter since a 25-year-old Erubiel Durazo hit .404 in 1999. France would have led the minors in batting average (.399) and on-base percentage (.477) and finished second in slugging percentage (.770) if not for two big league callups that prevented him from qualifying. Still, his season was one of the loudest the minor leagues have seen in years.

OF Dylan Carlson | Cardinals
Team: Memphis (Triple-A)

Carlson entered the season as a promising 20-year-old switch-hitter whose output was modest but whose underlying inputs—low swinging-strike rate, strong batting eye and high flyball rate—suggested more was possible as he advanced to Double-A for the first time. Was it ever! Carlson launched 21 homers and swiped 18 bags while ranking second in the Texas League with an .882 OPS as he claimed the circuit’s MVP trophy.

OF Jarred Kelenic | Mariners
Team: Arkansas (Double-A)

The Mariners acquired Kelenic from the Mets last offseason in the trade that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York. Kelenic bounded up three levels to reach Double-A in his first full season and starred on both sides of the ball. His 23 home runs were the second most in the minors among full-season outfielders age 20 or younger, and his .904 OPS was third highest. Defensively, he ably played all three outfield positions and showcased a plus arm.

OF Luis Robert | White Sox
Team: Charlotte (Triple-A)

After a year spent adjusting to the rigors of pro ball in 2018, Robert destroyed the competition at high Class A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte with a ferocity matched by few prospects this season. He led the minors in slugging (.624) and placed just outside the top 10 in home runs (32), batting average (.328) and stolen bases (36). He did all it while holding down center field at an above-average level.

DH Kevin Cron | D-backs
Team: Reno (Triple-A)

Power is nothing new for Cron, who topped 20 homers in each of his four years in full-season ball. But the 26-year-old elevated his power to a new level at Triple-A Reno in 2019. He launched a minor league-leading 38 homers and drove in 105 runs . . . in just 82 games. Even in limited playing time in Arizona, Cron made an impression. His flyball exit velocity and hard-hit rate both ranked among the highest in the majors, according to MLB Statcast.

SP Seth Corry | Giants
Team: Augusta (Class A)

Corry corralled his control demons to dominate all season for low Class A Augusta. He led the minors in opponent average (.171), finished second in ERA (1.76) and was fifth in strikeouts (172). His second half was especially impressive. After the all-star break, Corry went 8-1, 1.10 with a .154 opponent average and a 0.80 WHIP. The pinnacle was a 32-inning scoreless streak that spanned from mid-July to mid-August.

SP Zac Gallen | Marlins/D-backs
Team: New Orleans (Triple-A)

Gallen spent only half a season in the Pacific Coast League, but it was a truly remarkable 14 starts. In the high-scoring PCL, where five pitchers with 70-plus innings had 8.00-plus ERAs, Gallen was the only pitcher with a sub-2.50 ERA. He held opponents to one earned run or less in 10 of his 14 starts before moving up to the majors, first with the Marlins and then the D-backs after a midseason trade.

SP Logan Gilbert | Mariners
Team: Arkansas (Double-A)

A bout of mononucleosis and a toe surgery prevented Gilbert from pitching after the Mariners drafted him 14th overall last year, but the 6-foot-6 Stetson product returned to the mound this year and promptly ascended three levels to Double-A. Gilbert posted a sub-3.00 ERA and averaged at least 10 strikeouts per nine innings at every stop this year, ultimately finishing sixth in the minors among qualifiers with a 2.13 ERA and tied for 12th with 165 strikeouts.

SP MacKenzie Gore | Padres
Team: Amarillo (Double-A)

Gore’s first full season in 2018 was interrupted twice by blisters, but he stayed healthy this year and turned in a stellar performance. Gore’s 1.02 ERA at high Class A Lake Elsinore would have been the lowest ERA by a starting pitcher in California League history had he enough innings to qualify. Overall, Gore’s 1.69 ERA and 0.83 WHIP were the lowest by any pitcher with 100 innings, and his .161 opponent average was second lowest.

SP Brendan McKay | Rays
Team: Durham (Triple-A)

After two dominant full seasons, McKay's future is clearly on the mound. The two-way star in college showed excellent command of a four-pitch mix while slicing up hitters at Double-A and Triple-A before getting his first big league callup on June 29. His 1.15 ERA would have led the minors if he had enough innings to qualify. While McKay continued to hit as a designated hitter on his off days in the minors, he has strictly been a pitcher in the majors.

RP DeMarcus Evans | Rangers
Team: Frisco (Double-A)

Only one pitcher racked up triple-digit strikeouts in 60 or fewer innings in the minors this year—Evans. The Rangers' 25th-round pick in 2015 out of a Mississippi high school spent the spring and summer getting whiff after whiff at high Class A Down East and Double-A Frisco, averaging 15 strikeouts per nine innings. He allowed only 23 hits all season for a minuscule .119 opponent average, the lowest in the minors by a pitcher with at least 60 innings this season.

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2019 Minor League Baseball Classification All-Stars

Picking Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and all-stars from every level of the minors.

FIRST TEAM
Pos Player (Highest Level)AgeAVGOBPSLGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSB
CDaulton Varsho, D-backs (AA)23.301.378.520396851192541858426321
1BSeth Beer, Astros/D-backs (AA)22.289.388.5164507211324026103461130
2BGavin Lux, Dodgers (AAA)21.347.421.6074589915925826766110210
SSWander Franco, Rays (A+)18.327.398.48742582139277953563518
3BTy France, Padres (AAA)25.399.477.77029683118271278930511
OFDylan Carlson, Cardinals (AAA)20.292.372.5424899514328826685811620
OFJarred Kelenic, Mariners (AA)20.291.364.5404438012931523685011120
OFLuis Robert, White Sox (AAA)22.328.376.624503108165311132922812936
DHKevin Cron, D-backs (AAA)26.329.4460.777310821022013910761791
PosPlayer (Highest Level)AgeWLERAGGSIPHERBBSOAVGWHIPSO/9
SPSeth Corry, Giants (A)20931.762726123732458172.1711.0712.6
SPZac Gallen, Marlins/D-backs (AAA)24911.77141491481817112.1530.7111.1
SPLogan Gilbert, Mariners (AA)221052.132626135953233165.1980.9511
SPMacKenzie Gore, Padres (AA)20921.692020101561928135.1640.8312
SPBrendan McKay, Rays (AAA)23601.1515157442918102.1650.8112.4
RPDemarcus Evans, Rangers (AA)22600.904706023639100.1191.0315

SECOND TEAM
Pos Player (Highest Level)AgeAVGOBPSLGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSB
CLuis Campusano, Padres (A+)20.325.396.50942263137311158152570
1BJared Walsh, Angels (AAA)26.325.423.686382901243003686591150
2BJosh Rojas, Astros/D-backs (AAA)25.332.418.606416891383362383577033
SSJeter Downs, Dodgers (AA)21.276.362.5264609212735424866010724
3BAlec Bohm, Phillies (AA)23.305.378.51847576145304218057736
OFTrent Grisham, Brewers (AAA)22.300.407.603370711112262671677212
OFTrevor Larnach, Twins (AA)22.309.384.458476591473011366571244
OFDrew Waters, Braves (AAA)20.309.360.459527801634097523916416
DHKyle Tucker, Astros (AAA)22.266.354.5554639212326334976011630
PosPlayer (Highest Level)AgeWLERAGGSIPHERBBSOAVGWHIPSO/9
SPNate Pearson, Blue Jays (AAA)23542.302525102632627119.1760.8910.5
SPMatt Manning, Tigers (AA)211152.862424134933838148.1920.989.9
SPJoe Ryan, Rays (AA)23941.962422124772727183.1730.8413.3
SPTarik Skubal, Tigers (AA)22682.422424123873337179.1961.0113.1
SPKris Bubic, Royals (A+)211152.2326261491034242185.1990.9711.2
RPSam Delaplane, Mariners (AA)24632.2346069351723120.1520.8415.7
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