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Baseball America 2022 Minor League All-Star Team

Kyle Manzardo (Tracy Proffitt Four Seam Images)
Kyle Manzardo (Tracy Proffitt/Four Seam Images)

Minor league all-star team as selected by Baseball America.

C Endy Rodriguez, Pirates
Triple-A Indianapolis

The athletic Rodriguez moved between catcher, second base, left field and first base early in the season while he split time behind the plate with Henry Davis at High-A Greensboro. Something clicked for the 22-year-old around midseason and his bat carried him to Double-A and then Triple-A. From June 25 until the end of the season, Rodriguez hit .386/.469/.724 with 18 home runs in 67 games. No qualified minor league hitter topped his 1.193 OPS during this time.

1B Kyle Manzardo, Rays
Double-A Montgomery

Drafted out of Washington State in the second round in 2021, Manzardo had no trouble adjusting to pro ball in his full-season debut. He cruised through High-A on his way to Double-A in early August. Manzardo popped 22 home runs in 93 games and his 1.043 OPS ranked second in the minor leagues, but he truly stood out for his swing decisions. He makes a ton of contact, rarely chases out of the zone and finished the season with 59 walks against 65 strikeouts.

2B Vaughn Grissom, Braves
Double-A Mississippi

Grissom rocketed from High-A to the majors this season, showing exceptional hitting ability every step of the way. He hit .312 at High-A Rome, .363 at Double-A Mississippi and spent all but a few days in the majors batting over .300 after taking over as the Braves’ starting second baseman with Ozzie Albies on the injured list. Grissom complemented his exceptional contact skills with increased power—his 20 doubles and 14 home runs in 96 games this season were both career-highs—and 27 stolen bases to make him one of the most well-rounded offensive players in the minors. Drafted in the 11th round in 2019 out of high school, Grissom is a remarkable player development success story.

3B Gunnar Henderson, Orioles
Triple-A Norfolk

The Minor League Player of the Year showcased above-average to plus tools across the board as he flew from Double-A to Baltimore. Henderson broke out at Class A in 2021 and upped his game this season by hitting more home runs, stealing more bases, walking more often and slashing his strikeout rate by nearly eight percentage points. By the end of the season he was in the big leagues batting near the top of the order most nights.

SS Elly De La Cruz, Reds
Double-A Chattanooga

The powerful, twitchy, extra-tall shortstop narrowly missed becoming the 20th hitter in modern minor league history with at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season. De La Cruz entered September with 28 homers but came up empty in 14 games. He was successful in 47 of 53 stolen base attempts to turn in one of the most remarkable power-speed seasons in the modern history of the minor leagues.

OF Corbin Carroll, D-backs
Triple-A Reno

Carroll played just 49 games in his first three years as a professional due to the coronavirus pandemic and a major shoulder injury, but he showed what he was capable of in his first extended playing time this year. The 2019 first-round pick reached a 20-20 season by late July and finished with a .307 batting average, 24 home runs and 31 stolen bases in 93 games before the D-backs called him up to the majors. He complemented that offensive production with exceptional defense in center field at both Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno.

OF Moises Gomez, Cardinals
Triple-A Memphis

A minor league free agent signee last offseason, Gomez finally began making enough contact to get to his power and led the minor leagues with 39 home runs this season. He also finished second in the minors with a .624 slugging percentage and sixth with a .996 OPS.

OF Esteury Ruiz, Padres/Brewers
Triple-A Nashville

Ruiz transformed from a toolsy athlete who swung at everything to a disciplined hitter who rarely chased in 2022, setting the stage for a breakout campaign. Ruiz led the minors with a .447 on-base percentage and took advantage of his increased frequency on the basepaths by stealing a minor league-high 85 bases this season. He also finished fourth in the minors with a .332 batting average and third with 114 runs as he climbed from Double-A to the majors.

DH Kerry Carpenter, Tigers
Triple-A Toledo

A productive hitter dating back to his Virginia Tech days, Carpenter made adjustments to hit the ball harder and in the air more and delivered a breakout season. He crushed 30 home runs in just 98 games across Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo and did it while batting .313 and keeping his strikeouts low. He earned his first big league callup in early August and was an everyday starter in the Tigers outfield through the end of the season.

SP Hunter Brown | Astros
Triple-A Sugar Land

Brown led all Triple-A pitchers at the 100 innings threshold with a 2.55 ERA and 31.5% strikeout rate. While dominance was nothing new for the 24-year-old power pitcher, he made huge strides with his command by walking fewer batters, throwing more strikes and expending fewer pitches per inning. It culminated in a September callup for Brown, where he continued to look sharp for the American League’s best team.

SP Andrew Painter | Phillies
Double-A Reading

Drafted 13th overall in 2021, Painter dominated two Class A levels to reach Double-A in August. While he fell a couple starts short of qualifying for the minor league ERA title, he turned in one of the most dominating seasons ever by a teenage pitcher. Painter’s 1.56 ERA put him in the same vicinity as Cole Hamels in 2003, Madison Bumgarner in 2008 and Jose Fernandez in 2012 as teenagers with sub-2.00 ERAs over 100-plus innings.

SP Brandon Pfaadt | D-backs
Triple-A Reno

Pfaadt had a throwback type of season, one that should be celebrated because he thrived in the hostile pitching environments of Reno and Double-A Amarillo. He led the minor leagues with 218 strikeouts—becoming the first minor league pitcher to approach 220 since Brandon Claussen in 2001— and was the first starter to surpass 160 innings since 2018.

SP Gavin Stone | Dodgers
Triple-A Oklahoma City

Stone ended 2021 on a high note by showing an improved changeup at High-A. This season he mastered three levels, won the overall minor league ERA title with a 1.48 mark and stands poised for his MLB debut next season. Athletic ability, competitiveness and a fastball that now gets up to 97 mph set Stone apart.

SP Gavin Williams | Guardians
Double-A Akron

No first-round college pitcher drafted in 2021 looked better this season than Williams, who led the minors with a .173 opponent average and ranked third with a 1.96 ERA. The 6-foot-6 righthander is long-levered but projects to throw enough strikes to develop into a workhorse starter with mid-90s heat and quality breaking stuff.

RP Cam Robinson | Brewers
Triple-A Nashville

A 23rd-round pick out of high school in 2017, Robinson didn’t reach full-season ball until 2021. This season he put himself on the prospect map by shooting from High-A to Triple-A as a 22-year-old and leading the minor leagues with 25 saves. Robinson sits in the mid 90s out of the bullpen and throws a 12-to-6 curveball that completely destroys hitters’ timing.

Kyle Manzardo (Tracy Proffitt Four Seam Images)

10 More Breakout Hitters For The 2022 Minor League Season

10 more hitters with breakout seasons in 2022.

Minor League All-Stars • First Team

PosPlayer (Peak Level)AgeAVGOBPSLGABHRRBIBBSOSB
CEndy Rodriguez, Pirates (AAA)22.323.407.5904582595601014
1BKyle Manzardo, Rays (AA)21.327.426.617324228159651
2BVaughn Grissom, Braves (AA)21.324.405.4943891467365427
3BGunnar Henderson, Orioles (AAA)21.297.416.53140719767911622
SSElly De La Cruz, Reds (AA)20.304.359.58647128864015847
OFCorbin Carroll, D-backs (AAA)21.307.425.61036224626710731
OFMoises Gomez, Cardinals (AAA)23.294.371.62444239945217410
OFEsteury Ruiz, Brewers/Padres (AAA)23.332.447.5264371665669485
DHKerry Carpenter, Tigers (AAA)24.313.380.645358307533893

PosPitcher (Peak Level)AgeWLERAGGSIPBBSOWHIP
SPHunter Brown, Astros (AAA)23942.552314106451341.08
SPAndrew Painter, Phillies (AA)19621.562222104251550.89
SPBrandon Pfaadt, D-backs (AAA)231173.832929167332181.16
SPGavin Stone, Dodgers (AAA)23961.482625122441681.12
SPGavin Williams, Guardians (AA)22541.962525115401490.95
RPCam Robinson, Brewers (AAA)22312.495206530841.15

Minor League All-Stars • Second Team

PosPlayer (Peak Level)AgeAVGOBPSLGABHRRBIBBSOSB
CLogan O’Hoppe, Phillies/Angels (AA)22.283.416.544360267870747
1BMatt Mervis, Cubs (AAA)24.309.379.60551236119501072
2BJonathan Aranda, Rays (AAA)24.318.394.5214031885451004
3BBrett Baty, Mets (AAA)22.315.410.5333621960491042
SSJordan Lawlar, D-backs (AA)19.303.401.50938916625711539
OFVaun Brown, Giants (AA)24.346.437.62338723754711944
OFAlec Burleson, Cardinals (AAA)23.331.372.532432208729674
OFTyler Gentry, Royals (AA)23.326.422.54240221866010510
DHNiko Kavadas, Red Sox (AA)23.280.443.54739326861021521

PosPitcher (Peak Level)AgeWLERAGGSIPBBSOWHIP
SPTanner Bibee, Guardians (AA)23822.172525133271670.96
SPBrayan Bello, Red Sox (AAA)231042.34181796361291.04
SPTaylor Dollard, Mariners (AA)231622.252727144311310.95
SPKyle Harrison, Giants (AA)20432.712525113491861.13
SPMason Montgomery, Rays (AA)22632.102727124431711.06
RPZach Brzykcy, Nationals (AAA)22821.765106129951.01

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