Midseason Minor League Players Of The Year For All 30 MLB Teams
With the Futures Game behind us, we pause to take stock of midseason Minor League Players Of The Year for all 30 organizations.
The criteria used is simply best performance by a prospect.
Arizona: Alek Thomas, OF
Double-A Amarillo • Age: 21
Thomas adapted to Double-A to deliver a well-rounded .273/.366/.481 batting line with five home runs in 47 games.
Atlanta: Jesse Franklin, OF
High-A Rome • Age: 22
The Braves liked Franklin’s power-speed combo at Michigan and drafted him in the third round in 2020 even though he missed the year with an injury. He hit .268/.332/.568 with 14 homers and 14 steals in 53 games.
Baltimore: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP
Double-A Bowie • Age: 21
The young fireballer muscled his way into the best pitching prospect in baseball conversation with a 2.02 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and a strikeout rate of 13.2 per nine innings through 12 starts. He led all qualified minor league starters with a swinging-strike rate of 20%.
Boston: Jarren Duran, OF
Triple-A Worcester • Age: 24
Duran began tapping into power at the alternate site last year and then in the Puerto Rican League. That power was on display as he batted .276/.372/.573 with 15 homers in 45 games.
Chicago NL: Brennen Davis, OF
Double-A Tennessee • Age: 21
Before launching two home runs at the Futures Game to take MVP honors, Davis hit .287/.386/.507 with six homers and five steals in 39 games in his first taste of the upper levels.
Chicago AL: Jake Burger, 3B
Triple-A Charlotte • Age 25
The 2017 first-rounder returned from three lost seasons to hit .322/.368/.596 with 10 homers in 42 games in hitter-friendly Charlotte. Burger earned his first big league callup.
Cincinnati: Nick Lodolo, LHP
Double-A Chattanooga • Age: 23
The 6-foot-6 southpaw laid waste to Double-A South competition in the first half, compiling a 0.84 ERA in seven starts with 46 strikeouts, six walks and no home runs allowed
Cleveland: Tyler Freeman, SS
Double-A Akron • Age: 22
Freeman kept doing his thing in his first taste of Double-A, hitting .327/.377/.469 to push his career average to .320. He also saw time at second base and third base as he nears Cleveland.
Colorado: Willie MacIver, C
Double-A Hartford • Age: 24
The Rockies had no obvious POY candidate, but MacIver has come a long way since his University of Washington days, when he was as much third baseman as catcher. He hit .268/.378/.542 with 13 homers in 53 games and earned a trip to the Futures Game in Denver.
Detroit: Spencer Torkelson, 3B/1B
Double-A Erie • Age: 21
It would be hard to go wrong with Torkelson or Riley Greene, but Tork, the No. 1 overall pick in 2020, is the pick here. He overcame a slow start to hit .294/.416/.583 with 12 homers in 52 games.
Houston: Matthew Barefoot, OF
High-A Asheville • Age: 23
A number of lower-level Astros players had stepped forward, perhaps none as much as Barefoot, a 2019 sixth-rounder from Campbell. He shows an ability to lift the ball and hit .317/.377/.593 with 13 homers in 50 games.
Kansas City: Nick Pratto, 1B
Double-A Northwest Arkansas • Age: 22
Even in a system boasting Bobby Witt Jr., Pratto’s offensive excellence stood out. He hit .276/.407/.593 with 14 home runs and 41 walks in 54 games, showcasing his improved hitting approach.
Los Angeles AL: LHP Reid Detmers
Double-A Rocket City • Age: 22
The 2020 first-rounder out of Louisville pitched to a 3.60 ERA through 11 starts with a minor league-leading 16.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
Los Angeles NL: Miguel Vargas, 3B
Double-A Tulsa • Age: 21
The Cuban standout added power to his game and had already nearly doubled his previous career high for home runs. Vargas hit .298/.359/.529 with 13 home runs in 59 games.
Miami: Max Meyer, RHP
Double-A Pensacola • Age: 22
The Marlins tabbed Meyer with the third overall pick in 2020 and have watched him carve at Double-A in his pro debut. Through 11 starts he recorded a 1.67 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 27 walks in 54 innings.
Milwaukee: Garrett Mitchell, OF
Double-A Biloxi • Age: 22
The 2020 first-rounder aced his High-A test to move to Double-A late in the first half. Overall he batted .321/.461/.536 with five homers, 12 steals and a 29/35 walk/strikeout ratio.
Minnesota: Jose Miranda, 3B
Triple-A St. Paul • Age: 23
Miranda could always hit. This year he added power and dominated the upper levels, batting .340/.407/.589 with 16 home runs in 59 games across Double-A and Triple-A.
New York NL: Francisco Alvarez, C
High-A Brooklyn • Age: 19
The Mets’ No. 1 prospect was one of the hardest-hitting teenagers in the first half. He batted .296/.427/.547 with nine home runs in 50 games and added a bomb in the Futures Game.
New York AL: Anthony Volpe, SS
Low-A Tampa • Age: 20
In a half-season of standout performances for the Yankees, it was Volpe, the 2019 first-rounder, who stood out most. He hit .302/.455/.623 with 12 home runs, 21 stolen bases and 51 walks.
Oakland: Tyler Soderstrom, C
Low-A Stockton • Age: 19
The A’s nabbed Soderstrom 26th overall in 2020 and got one of the steals of the draft. The lefthanded-hitting catcher batted .311/.396/.560 with nine home runs in 48 games.
Brennen Davis: Cubs 2021 Minor League Player Of The Year
The 2018 second-rounder has the aptitude and athletic ability to make up ground in a hurry. He climbed all the way to the cusp of the majors this season.
Philadelphia: Bryson Stott, SS
Double-A Reading • Age: 23
One of the top college shortstops in the 2019 draft stood out in a thin Phillies system. He quickly hit his way to Double-A and overall hit .258/.380/.453 in 53 games with nine homers and 38 walks.
Pittsburgh: Roansy Contreras, RHP
Double-A Altoona • Age: 21
A forearm injury sidelined Contreras in July, but his first-half performance made him an up-arrow prospect. He pitched to a 2.35 ERA in nine starts with 65 strikeouts and 11 walks in 46 innings.
St. Louis: Jordan Walker, 3B
High-A Peoria • Age: 19
Walker decimated Low-A competition on his way to becoming the first high school player drafted in 2020 to reach High-A. All told he hit .326/.416/.582 with six home runs in 37 games.
San Diego: Robert Hassell, OF
Low-A Lake Elsinore • Age: 19
The eighth overall pick in 2020 stands out for his all-around game in a Padres system thinned by trades. Hassell hit .288/.371/.447 in 55 games with four homers, 20 steals and 30 walks.
San Francisco: Marco Luciano, SS
Low-A San Jose • Age: 19
One of the more eagerly-awaited full-season debuts belongs to Luciano, who has not disappointed. He hit .262/.357/.539 in 54 games with a Low-A West-leading 14 home runs.
Seattle: Julio Rodriguez, OF
Double-A Arkansas • Age: 20
Rodriguez left us wanting more with the way he finished at High-A in 2019. We finally got our wish as the wunderkind batted .320/.424/.553 with seven homers in 38 games.
Tampa Bay: Shane Baz, RHP
Triple-A Durham • Age: 22
Few organizations cultivate pitching like the Rays, who have another ridiculously talented arm on the horizon. Baz rounded out his repertoire and logged a 2.09 ERA with 77 strikeouts and eight walks through 11 starts.
Texas: Cole Winn, RHP
Double-A Frisco • Age: 21
The BA High School Player of the Year and Rangers first-rounder in 2018 had no trouble adapting to Double-A in the first half. He put up a 2.49 ERA in 11 starts with 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Toronto: Gabriel Moreno, C
Double-A New Hampshire • Age: 21
Moreno’s first half ended on June 25 with a fractured thumb, but he had been a revelation prior to that, batting .373/.441/.651 with eight home runs in 32 games.
Washington: Cade Cavalli, RHP
Double-A Harrisburg • Age: 22
The 20th overall pick in 2020, Cavalli’s high-90s heat was too much for High-A hitters to handle. He advanced quickly to Double-A, and through 11 total starts had a 2.47 ERA with a minor league-leading 103 strikeouts.