Wander Franco Leads A Star-Studded Group Of Midwest League All-Stars
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.
|Josh Winder||RHP||Cedar Rapids||Twins|
|Blake Workman||RHP||Kane County||Diamondbacks|
|Matt Ruppenthal||RHP||Quad Cities||Astros|
|Austin Hansen||RHP||Quad Cities||Astros|
|Cesar Salazar||C||Quad Cities||Astros|
|Blaze Alexander||2B||Kane County||Diamondbacks|
|Gabe Snyder||INF||Cedar Rapids||Twins|
|Trey Dawson||INF||Quad Cities||Astros|
|Buddy Kennedy||INF||Kane County||Diamondbacks|
|Jeremy Pena||INF||Quad Cities||Astros|
|Alek Thomas||OF||Kane County||Diamondbacks|
|Austin Dennis||OF||Quad Cities||Astros|
|Chris Williams||OF||Cedar Rapids||Twins|
|Easton McGee||RHP||Bowling Green||Rays|
|Shane McClanahan||LHP||Bowling Green||Rays|
|Alan Strong||RHP||Bowling Green||Rays|
|Caleb Sampen||RHP||Bowling Green||Rays|
|Ryan Weathers||LHP||Fort Wayne||Padres|
|Henry Henry||RHP||Fort Wayne||Padres|
|Jose Chacin||RHP||Great Lakes||Dodgers|
|Austin Drury||LHP||Great Lakes||Dodgers|
|Manuel Alvarez||RHP||Lake County||Indians|
|Josh Winchowski||RHP||Lansing||Blue Jays|
|Cobi Johnson||RHP||Lansing||Blue Jays|
|Jeff Passantino||RHP||South Bend||Cubs|
|Brailyn Marquez||LHP||South Bend||Cubs|
|Riley Thompson||RHP||South Bend||Cubs|
|Cam Sanders||RHP||South Bend||Cubs|
|Chris Betts||C||Bowling Green||Rays|
|Jake Brodt||1B||Lansing||Blue Jays|
|Xavier Edwards||2B||Fort Wayne||Padres|
|Miguel Vargas||3B||Great Lakes||Dodgers|
|Wander Franco||SS||Bowling Green||Rays|
|Dillon Paulson||INF||Great Lakes||Dodgers|
|Andy Weber||INF||South Bend||Cubs|
|Nick Podkul||INF||Lansing||Blue Jays|
|Tyler Freeman||INF||Lake County||Indians|
|Ryan Gold||INF||Lansing||Blue Jays|
|Niko Hulsizer||OF||Great Lakes||Dodgers|
|Will Benson||OF||Lake County||Indians|
|Ulrich Bojarski||OF||West Michigan||Tigers|
|Grant Witherspoon||OF||Bowling Green||Rays|