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Top Prospects Among Minor Leaguers Reaching Statistical Thresholds In 2022



With seasons wrapping up across minor league baseball, the year-in-review phase of the offseason is in full-view. This gives us an opportunity to look at the season as a whole and identify players who reached exciting milestones. While not all milestones guarantee success at the major league level, there is strong historical evidence that links some of the top minor league seasons to many of today’s major league stars.

We will examine three different thresholds pertaining to batting average, on-base percentage, home runs and stolen bases. These numbers will be used to identify well-rounded offensive performers who impact the game in a variety of ways as a hitter. Each group is discussed in historical context as well as players that achieved notable feats when factoring in their age and level of competition.

.300 Batting Average, 15 Home Runs, 15 Stolen Bases

Total Number of threshold seasons since 2012:  71 Individual .300, 15 HR, 15 SB seasons

Players Who Reached the Threshold in 2022: Elly De La Cruz, SS, Reds; Edouard Julien, 2B, Twins; Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Cubs; Jordan Walker 3B/OF, Cardinals; Vaun Brown, OF, Giants; Jordan Lawlar, SS, D-backs; Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs; Wynton Bernard, OF, Rockies; Esteury Ruiz, OF, Brewers; Miguel Vargas, 3B, Dodgers

The jump in players that reached the .300 batting average, 15-home run and 15-stolen base threshold was substantial following the canceled 2020 season. Eleven players reached the .300/15/15 threshold in 2021, while another 10 accomplished the feat in 2022. This came after just eight players combined did it in 2018 and 2019. The last time 10 or more players met this threshold in a season prior to 2021 was the 2012 season, when 13 players hit .300 with 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases.

The 2022 group looks the strongest of any class with six Top 100 prospects (Corbin Carroll, Jordan Walker, Jordan Lawlar, Elly De La Cruz, Miguel Vargas, Pete Crow-Armstrong) among the group of 10. In addition to the six Top 100 talents there were three breakout players in Esteury Ruiz of the Brewers, Vaun Brown of the Giants and Edouard Julien of the Twins. Wynton Bernard is the only player above 24 to meet the threshold this season, and he made his major league debut this summer at the age of 31.

Since 2012, 69 prospects have reached this particular threshold in a season. Of that group, eight have accumulated 10 or more career fWAR, including Mookie Betts, Kris Bryant, George Springer, Ronald Acuña Jr., Kyle Tucker and Joc Pederson. Both Springer and Pederson accomplished the feat twice during their minor league careers.

Only five players have hit .300/15/15 in their age-19 season since 2012. That group includes Alen Hanson in 2012, Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2017, Zac Veen and Luis Matos in 2021 and Jordan Lawlar in 2022. Of those five only Lawlar and Acuña reached a level above Low-A, with Acuña climbing to Triple-A by the end of the year and Lawlar reaching Double-A this season—a historically significant accomplishment for Lawlar in his first full professional season.

The success rate in the major leagues is fairly high among players who have reached this threshold, with 44 of the 47 players to hit .300/15/15 between the years of 2012 and 2019 seeing major league service time. Of those 44 players, 27 have accumulated a positive career WAR to date.

Top 20 in career fWAR among players between 2012-2019

NameTeamFWARAgeYearAVGHRSB
Mookie BettsBOS49.9202013.3141538
Kris BryantCHC32.1222014.3254315
George SpringerHOU32232013.3033745
George SpringerHOU32222012.3022432
Ronald Acuna Jr.ATL18192017.3252144
Corey DickersonCOL13.4232012.3042216
Joc PedersonLAD12.9222014.3033330
Joc PedersonLAD12.9202012.3131826
Kyle TuckerHOU10.9212018.3322420
Ramon LaureanoHOU10.1212016.3191543
Michael A. TaylorWSN8.7232014.3042337
Brad MillerSEA7.5222012.3341523
Randy ArozarenaSTL7.4242019.3441517
Luis RobertCHW6.8212019.3283236
Daulton VarshoARI6.5222019.3011821
Steven Souza Jr.WSN6.4252014.3451828
Gregory PolancoPIT6.1202012.3251640
Devon TravisDET4.6222013.3511622
Brett PhillipsMIL4.3212015.3091617
Josh RojasARI3.8252019.3322333

.300 Batting Average, 20 Home Runs, 20 Stolen Bases

Total Number of threshold seasons since 2012: 19 Individual .300, 20 HR, 20 SB seasons

Players Who Reached the Threshold in 2022: Elly De La Cruz, SS, Reds; Vaun Brown, OF, Giants; Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs; Wynton Bernard, OF, Rockies

This is the most exclusive group included within this article, as only 18 players have achieved a .300 batting average, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a single minor league season since 2012. The Blue Jays' George Springer is the only player in this group to accomplish the feat twice, as he did it in consecutive campaigns in 2012 and 2013.

In 2022 four players produced a .300/20/20 season—the D-Backs' Corbin Carroll, Elly De La Cruz of the Reds, Vaun Brown of the Giants and Wynton Bernard of the Rockies. De La Cruz, the youngest of the group at just 20 years old, is the youngest player to accomplish the feat since Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2017. The Reds infielder owns the highest stolen base total among players who reached the .300/20/20 mark with 47 stolen bases in 2022. Only one player reached the .300/20/20 threshold in 2021—the Rangers' Dustin Harris.

Outside of De La Cruz, Brown and Harris, who are yet to debut in the major leagues, all but one of the remaining 15 players to produce a .300/20/20 season since 2012 has played in the major leagues. Keury De La Cruz is the only player to not reach the big leagues among players with a .300/20/20 line between 2012 and 2019. Among the 14 players that have debuted from this list, seven have a career WAR of three or higher, while four have a career WAR of 10 or higher. Four have produced a career WAR of zero or below, two of which are the lone players older than 25 to make this list.

NameTeamfWARAgeYearAVGHRSB
Elly De La CruzCINN/A202022.3042847
Vaun BrownSFGN/A242022.3462344
Corbin CarrollARI0.8212022.3072431
Wynton BernardCOL0312022.3352029
Dustin HarrisTEXN/A212021.3272025
Luis RobertCHW6.8212019.3283236
Josh RojasHOU3.8252019.3322333
Kyle TuckerHOU10.9212018.3322420
Kevin SmithTOR-0.4212018.3022529
Ronald Acuna Jr.ATL18192017.3252144
Sam HilliardCOL1232017.3002137
Scott KingeryPHI0.8232017.3042629
Jason PridieOAK-0.1312015.3102020
Joc PedersonLAD12.9222014.3033330
Michael A. TaylorWSN8.7232014.3042337
George SpringerHOU32232013.3033745
Francisco SosaCOL-0.7232013.3152030
Keury De La CruzBOSFA202012.3072020
George SpringerHOU32222012.3022432

Elly De La Cruz Photo By Daniel Shirey MLB Photos Via Getty Images

Elly De La Cruz Produced Power And Speed Like Few Prospects Ever

Reds 20-year-old shortstop Elly De La Cruz completed one of the greatest power-speed seasons ever seen in the minor leagues.

.400 On-Base Percentage, 15 Home Runs, 15 Stolen Bases

Total Number of threshold seasons since 2012: 33 Individual .400, 15 HR, 15 SB seasons

Players Who Reached the Threshold in 2022: Edouard Julien, 2B, Twins; Vaun Brown, OF, Giants; Jordan Lawlar, SS, D-backs; Corbin Carroll, OF, D-backs; Esteury Ruiz, OF, Brewers; Miguel Vargas, 3B, Dodgers; Will Benson, OF, Guardians; Adael Amador, SS, Rockies; Colton Cowser, OF, Orioles; Gunnar Henderson, SS, Orioles

In 2022 a whopping 10 players produced a .400 on-base percentage with 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases, totaling the same number that did it between 2016 and 2021.

Among this group the Twins' Edouard Julien is particularly notable as he’s the only player since Roger Horne in 1996 and 1997 to produce consecutive .400/15/15 seasons in the minor leagues. Even more impressive, Julien reached this threshold in his age-22 and -23 seasons, while Horne did it in his age-26 and -27 years.

Of the players to accomplish a .400/15/15 season between the years of 2012 and 2019 all but two have debuted in the major leagues.

Among the remaining 17 players, 14 have a positive career WAR and seven of those players have produced a career WAR of 10 or higher. Of the thresholds included within this article, the .400/15/15 category had the most individuals with a career WAR of 25 or higher.

NameTeamFWARAgeYearOBPHRSB
Dustin HarrisTEXN/A212021.4012025
Anthony VolpeNYYN/A202021.4232733
Edouard JulienMINN/A222021.4341834
Joey WiemerMILN/A222021.4032730
Luis CastroCOLFA232019.4192715
Randy ArozarenaSTL7.4242019.4311517
Josh RojasARI3.8252019.4182333
Drew FergusonHOUFA232016.4081730
Yoan MoncadaBOS13.6212016.4071545
Ramon LaureanoHOU10.1212016.4281543
Lewis BrinsonTEX-3.3212015.4032018
Kris BryantCHC32.1222014.4384315
Joc PedersonLAD12.9222014.4353330
Steven Souza Jr.WSN6.4252014.4271828
Mookie BettsBOS49.9202013.4171538
George SpringerHOU32232013.4113745
Marcus SemienCHW25.8222013.4011924
Devon TravisDET4.6222013.4181622
Cesar PuelloNYM1222013.4031624
Rosell HerreraCOL-0.8202013.4191621

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