Farmers Only: Minor League All-Star Team

Jesse Winker! - Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Here's your unofficial, unscientific midseason minor league all-star team!

Since it’s an off day for every minor league team, and it’s the All-Star Break for the Reds, AND it’s my day for a Farmers Only post, I figured I’d put together a minor league all-star team. I picked starters at every position, plus a list of reserves not dependent on position. Inclusion is based on stats accrued from whichever level the majority of playing time came. So here goes.


Catcher

Bryan Anderson, 27
AA Pensacola - 21 games: .343/.427/.643  .300 ISO
AAA Louisville - 31 games: .305/.387/.514

Sure, he's a journeyman, but dude is absolutely raking this year. Somebody's been talking to Corky Miller...

First Base

Sebastian Elizalde, 22
Low-A Dayton - 55 games: .311/.439/.503; 17.9% BB; 7 HR
High-A Bakersfield - 24 games: .292/.379/.416

Granted, the Mexican League transplant has played more outfield than first base this year, but he has made 20 appearances there this season, mostly with the Dragons. He's an on-base machine with power, and it's awesome.


Second Base

Rey Navarro, 24
AA Pensacola - 67 games: .271/.336/.459 9 HR, 11% K
AAA Louisville - 23 games: .284/.322/.457 10.3% K

With apologies to Wick, Navarro's had a better season than Ryan Wright (and his sub-4% BB-rate). He's still only 24, and was actually the #7 prospect in the Diamondbacks system in 2010 (I know, a long time ago). He doesn't walk much either, but he also doesn't strike out very much, and has good power for a middle infielder. Honestly, I want to see the Reds bring him up and give him the 2B job. He's hit well all year, and there's upside there.


Third Base

Seth Mejias-Brean, 23
High-A Bakersfield - 69 games: .300/.396/.476  14.1% BB, 15.7% K, 11 HR
AA Pensacola - 24 games: .265/.402/.337  17.3% BB, 13.5% K

This was a tough one, but the Seth Matthews Band gets the nod. He hasn't hit for much power at all in AA yet, so I'm curious to see how much of that .467 SLG in Bakersfield was California League-aided, but he's walking at near-Vottonian levels while actually striking out a bit less often. He was old for A-ball, but he's actually a year-and-a-half younger than the average AA player, according to BBRef. Oh, and he's a plus defender at third. Props to The Casserole.


Shortstop

Carlton Daal, 20
Low-A Dayton - 85 games: .291/.330/.333 12 SB

Pretty thin at SS throughout the system. I suppose I could've put Rey Navarro here and started Ryan Wright at 2B, but I thought I'd give the young Curaçao native some props.


Outfield

Jesse Winker, 20
High-A Bakersfield - 53 games: .317/.426/.580 13 HR, .263 ISO, 16.1% BB%
AA Pensacola - 20 games: .213/.326/.360 14.6% BB% .259 BABIP

Uncle Jesse hasn't hit in Florida like he did in the desert, but his BABIP is much lower than it should be, and he's still taking walks like he's the lead singer of Passion Pit. He does have 22.5% K% in 20 games with the Blue Wahoos, which is the highest it's ever been, but we're talking about an 89 PA sample size here. He's way young for the league, and I have full confidence he'll start hitting again, and soon.

Juan Silva, 23
High-A Bakersfield - 67 games: .310/.421/.437, 34 SB, 15.6% BB, 16% K

Long a cult favorite around these parts due to his on-base skills and speed, Silva continues to walk as much as he strikes out this year. An .858 OPS from a speedy outfielder with a .127 ISO is pretty awesome. He's right around the same age as the average of the Cali League, and if the OF wasn't so crowded throughout the system, I'd think he'd probably already be in Pensacola. Hopefully he can make the jump this year.

Kyle Waldrop, 22
High-A Bakersfield - 65 games: .359/.409/.516 6 HR, 11 SB
AA Pensacola - 22 games: .269/.338/.478, .209 ISO

With great power comes great responsibility. Waldop's always had power to spare, and his .516 slugging was good for 11th even in the vaunted California League. He's kept up his big-hitting ways in 22 games as a Blue Wahoo, and his walk and strikeout rates are trending the right directions. I dunno if he'll ever hit well enough to make it to the bigs, but he's taking the right steps.


Pitchers

Michael Lorenzen, 22, RHP
AA Pensacola - 88 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 0.31 HR/9

I'm still amazed by how quickly Lorenzen has developed, considering this is his first full season focusing solely on pitching. He's limiting baserunners, keeping the ball in the park, and refining his off-speed stuff, and I'm very encouraged. Maybe he really does have a direct line to God.

Ben Lively, 22, RHP
High-A Bakersfield - 79 IP, 2.28 ERA, 10.82 K/9, 1.82 BB/9
AA Pensacola - 24.2 IP, 13.14 K/9

Lively is here for his absolutely dominant time spent in Bakersfield. The guy was unhittable. He's struggled a bit with command in AA, walking 6.57 per 9, and he's giving up more than a homer per 9 as well, but it's still a small sample, and his K-rate has actually jumped to an astounding 13.14 K/9 with the Wahoos. I don't think we've heard the last from Lively.

Amir Garrett, 22, LHP
Low-A Dayton - 86 IP, 3.98 ERA, 7.33 K/9

Take out a few blow-up starts at the beginning of the year, and a few big innings in otherwise dominant games, and Garrett's numbers would look a lot better (duh). He's showing flashes of the brilliance that scouts drooled over when he was drafted, and he's starting to look like a prospect again, just when we were all ready to give up on him like he should give up on basketball.

Dan Langfield, 23, RHP
Low-A Dayton - 39.1 IP, 2.29 ERA, 12.81 K/9, 0.23 HR/9

There goes the neighborhood. After missing all of last season with injuries, Rodney Dan Langfield picked up where he left off, striking out everyone and their mom in the Midwest League. He's old, but also a year behind on development. I could see him moving up if/when a spot opens up in Bakersfield.

Jon Moscot, 22, RHP
AA Pensacola - 113.1 IP, 3.10 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 2.49 K/BB

The muskrat isn't doing any one thing to blow our minds, but he's doing everything decently well. His peripherals suggest he's not pitching above his head (.288 BABIP, 3.69 FIP), though considering his repertoire I'd love to see him bump his Ks up (6.91 K/9), but he's well under his career norms, so maybe he's just working on some things.

Jacob Constante, 20, LHP
Rookie League Billings - 18 IP, 3.00 ERA, 9.5 K/9, 2 BB/9

The barely-20 year old Dominican lefty has looked great in limited time with the Mustangs. It's a very small sample, but he was a hyped international signing last year (along with Reydel Medina), and he's lived up to it so far. Cool.

Jake Johnson, 23, RHP
High-A Bakersfield - 51 IP, 2.47 ERA, 3.42 K/BB

The 2009 11th-rounder of a Florida high school hasn't made much noise up until now, but in his second season with the Blaze (and first pitching solely out of the pen), he's pitched well in a lot of innings. I don't know if there's much of a future here, but he deserves to be here.

Zack Weiss, 22, RHP
Low-A Dayton - 39.1 IP, 1.60 ERA, 10.98 K/9, 4 K/BB

Last year's 6th-rounder out of UCLA has been nails for the Dragons this year. He's a big-K, low-walk guy so far this year, which is great to see in a bullpen arm. Just another guy who may or may not turn into anything, but should be commended nonetheless for his performance thus far.

Carlos Gonzalez, 24, RHP
High-A Bakersfield - 31.1 IP, 0.57 ERA, 9.77 K/9, 2.01 BB/9, 0.29 HR/9
AA Pensacola - 8.2 IP, terrible stats

Our CarGo absolutely dominated the California League for 31 innings, though he took a page from Cueto's book, being helped by a 97.5% strand-rate. He's been beat around quite a bit in his brief stint with the Wahoos, but his performance with the Blaze earns him the last spot on the staff here.

Bench

Felix Perez, 29, OF
AAA Louisville - .296/.342/.498  10HR, .202 ISO

Tanner Rahier, 20, 3B
Low-A Dayton - .281/.331/.413 6HR

Rossmel Perez, 24, C
AA Pensacola - .316/.371/.435  7% K%, 7.9% BB%

Ryan Wright (!), 24, 2B
High-A Bakersfield - 55 games: .311/.345/.498 8HR
AA Pensacola - 24 games: .237/.257/.361

Beau Amaral, 23, CF
High-A Bakersfield - 50 games: .310/.353/.440 11SB
AA Pensacola - 10 games: .167/.286/.233

Neftali Soto, 25, 1B
AAA Louisville - .333/.371/.496

Aristides Aquino, 20, OF
Rookie League Billings - .286/.327/.552,  .267 ISO

Taylor Sparks, 21, 3B
Rookie League Billings - .378/.500/.703,  .324 ISO


Honorable Mentions

Jumbo Diaz, 30, RHP
Carlos Contreras, 23, RHP

These two guys aren't really eligible, since they're both currently with Cincinnati, but I figured I'd give 'em a shout-out for the work they put in before their call-ups. Jumbo saved 18 games for the Bats with a 1.35 ERA before (finally) being called up, and Contreras had been striking out 12 per 9 in Pensacola before he got the call. Keep it up, fellas!

So, there you have it. Some obvious names, some less well-known guys, and some notable omissions (Stephenson, Travieso, Lutz, Ervin to name a few), but it's a fun exercise to take stock of the farm. I'm sure there'll be some disagreement here, so let me know in the comments who you think should've made the list, or who you think doesn't deserve to be here! Happy Farming, kids.

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