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Wander Franco Leads A Star-Studded Group Of Midwest League All-Stars

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Wander Franco (Photo by Dave Arnold)

Wander Franco, the Rays phenom who in a few weeks will almost certainly inherit the title of the best prospect in the game, leads a group of five Top 100 prospects to be included in the Midwest League All-Star Game, which will be held on June 18 in South Bend.

Franco's season has been nothing short of marvelous. The 18-year-old began the year as the youngest player in the MWL and near's the halfway point as the league's third-leading hitter behind behind fellow all-stars Brice Turang (Wisconsin) and Xavier Edwards (Padres). His .916 OPS is also third in the league, behind another pair of all-stars in Will Benson (Lake County) and Niko Hulsizer (Great Lakes).

He will be flanked on the Eastern Division infield by Edwards and Miguel Vargas, a Dodgers prospect who is showing a knack for hitting and getting on base in a return to Great Lakes after 23 games there in 2018. Vargas will be joined by teammate Hulsizer, who has burst on the scene with 16 doubles, 13 home runs and 44 RBIs through his first 49 games with the Loons.

The league's top four strikeout artists each earned spots on the team. That list includes Clinton's Chris Vallimont (70 strikeouts), Bowling Green lefty Shane McClanahan (68), Wisconsin's Aaron Ashby (67) and Burlington's Jose Soriano (61).

Burlington righthander Robinson Pina, who is notable as the only pitcher in pro ball to strike Franco out more than once, also made the team.

The Western Division's infield features a pair of 2018 first-rounders in Peoria's Nolan Gorman, who was drafted 19th overall by the Cardinals a year ago, and Wisconsin's Brice Turang, whom the Brewers took 21st in the 2018 draft. Gorman has made his money as a bruiser, and he has already swatted 27 career home runs as a pro. By contrast, Turang's game emphasizes hitting over power, and his .415 on-base percentage is the best in the league.

Edwards, too, has made plenty of noise. The Padres' supplemental first-rounder from last season is just behind Turang and is getting on base at a .411 clip. So, if OBP is something you want, X gon' give it to you.

WESTERN DIVISION

NamePositionTeamMLB Org
PITCHERS
Eric MartinezRHPBeloitAthletics
Aiden McIntyreRHPBeloitAthletics
Robinson PinaRHPBurlingtonAngels
Jose SorianoRHPBurlingtonAngels
Cristopher MolinaRHPBurlingtonAngels
Josh WinderRHPCedar RapidsTwins
Humberto MejiaRHPClintonMarlins
Chris VallimontRHPClintonMarlins
Blake WorkmanRHPKane CountyDiamondbacks
Diego CorderoLHPPeoriaCardinals
Matt RuppenthalRHPQuad CitiesAstros
Austin HansenRHPQuad CitiesAstros
Adam HillRHPWisconsinBrewers
Aaron AshbyLHPWisconsinBrewers
Logan GillespieRHPWisconsinBrewers
CATCHERS
David FryCWisconsinBrewers
Cesar SalazarCQuad CitiesAstros
INFIELDERS
Brady Whalen1BPeoriaCardinals
Blaze Alexander2BKane CountyDiamondbacks
Nolan Gorman3BPeoriaCardinals
Brice TurangSSWisconsinBrewers
Gabe SnyderINFCedar RapidsTwins
Trey DawsonINFQuad CitiesAstros
Buddy KennedyINFKane CountyDiamondbacks
Jeremy PenaINFQuad CitiesAstros
Delvin PerezINFPeoriaCardinals
OUTFIELDERS
Alek ThomasOFKane CountyDiamondbacks
Austin DennisOFQuad CitiesAstros
Chris WilliamsOFCedar RapidsTwins
Jesus LujanoOFWisconsinBrewers


EASTERN DIVISION

NamePositionTeamMLB Org
PITCHERS
Easton McGeeRHPBowling GreenRays
Shane McClanahanLHPBowling GreenRays
Alan StrongRHPBowling GreenRays
Caleb SampenRHPBowling GreenRays
Ryan WeathersLHPFort WaynePadres
Henry HenryRHPFort WaynePadres
Jose ChacinRHPGreat LakesDodgers
Austin DruryLHPGreat LakesDodgers
Manuel AlvarezRHPLake CountyIndians
Josh WinchowskiRHPLansingBlue Jays
Cobi JohnsonRHPLansingBlue Jays
Jeff PassantinoRHPSouth BendCubs
Brailyn MarquezLHPSouth BendCubs
Riley ThompsonRHPSouth BendCubs
Cam SandersRHPSouth BendCubs
CATCHERS
Chris BettsCBowling GreenRays
Pabel ManzaneroCDaytonReds
INFIELDERS
Jake Brodt1BLansingBlue Jays
Xavier Edwards2BFort WaynePadres
Miguel Vargas3BGreat LakesDodgers
Wander FrancoSSBowling GreenRays
Dillon PaulsonINFGreat LakesDodgers
Andy WeberINFSouth BendCubs
Nick PodkulINFLansingBlue Jays
Tyler FreemanINFLake CountyIndians
Ryan GoldINFLansingBlue Jays
OUTFIELDERS
Niko HulsizerOFGreat LakesDodgers
Will BensonOFLake CountyIndians
Ulrich BojarskiOFWest MichiganTigers
Grant WitherspoonOFBowling GreenRays
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Baseball America Prospect Report -- August 12, 2019

Wander Franco, Julio Rodriguez and Ian Anderson headline Monday's MLB Prospect Report.

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