At the All-Star break, all of the minor league teams are in action and most are in the 2nd half of their seasons already. It's time to count down who's been the best so far this year.
6. Dave Sappelt (OF)
Sappelt started off the season slowly, and we were a little surprised to see him get an early promotion to AA, but he showed he belonged there, and then some. He's hitting .338/.382/.502, getting extra base hits, stealing bases from the leadoff spot, and playing good defense in all 3 positions. If things keep going the way they have been, he'll be in AAA in no time.
5. Felix Perez (OF)
The other AA outfielder on the list, Perez just got a well deserved promotion. If you're not familiar with his story, the Cuban originally had a deal with the Yankees for $3.5M last May before it turned out he was 4 years older than he claimed to be. He signed with the Reds this year for a much more modest amount of $550K, and has managed to get on the fast track to contributing. In the Dominican Summer League, he hit an obscene .429/.486/.587, and was sent to High-A Lynchburg. Those expecting him to struggle against his first stateside competition were silenced, as he went .338/.397/.462 with the Hillcats, and has recently made the move to AA. It's not likely we'll see him this year in Cincinnat, but this is as quick of a breakout season we've seen.
4. Cameron Satterwhite (OF)
As hard as it is for me to root for a former Bearcat (as a Xavier guy), it's tough to ignore this great story. The Moeller product stayed local for school, and surprisingly didn't get drafted out of college with decent numbers. He persevered, moving to the independent Frontier League and the Evansville Otters. It was there where the Reds found him, signed him, and sent him to Dayton to help their ailing outfield. He's done that and more, hitting .318/.353/.529 and batting 3rd in the Dragons lineup. He's a great story that continues to get better.
The top 3 minor leaguers are after the jump...
3. Matt Klinker (SP)
The local boy is having another spectacular year, and it looks like the Reds are starting to notice. He's spent most of his year in AA, where he's 5-4 with a 1.75 ERA in 13 starts. He's earned another shot at AAA, and will look to make the most of it, but it's evident now that he has nothing left to prove in AA. With the logjam of starters around the big league level, it's clear that Matt will have to pitch very well to stand out, but with this kid's makeup and drive, he should be up to the challenge.
2. Donnie Joseph (RP)
No Reds minor league pitcher has been better this year than DoJo, his first full pro season. His peripherals are stellar across the board, with 13 saves and a 1.04 ERA between Dayton and Lynchburg. 2 strikeouts per inning? Check. Opponents batting under .150 against him? Check. Lefties batting .080 off of him? Check. DoJo is the man, and could see another promotion before the year is out.
1. Devin Mesoraco (C)
Remember when people were calling this guy a bust? We called on this guy to have a make or break season this year, and he has delivered in a big way so far. Between A+ and AA, Devin has gone .316/.385/.616. He's also throwing out baserunners and is finally hitting for power with 18 HR so far this season. Devin has answered to the pressure, and that's why he's our pick for minor league player of the year so far in 2010.
Okay Red Reporters, it's on you. Who do you think is the Reds minor leaguer of the year? (if other please specify)