Top AAA Minor League Performers

It is tough to keep track of the multitude of minor league players out there, but myworld thought we would do a position by position breakout of the top performers at each position, starting with AAA.

Catchers

Josh Phegley (White Sox) - The 2009 supplemental first round pick has been troubled by injuries but now appears healthy with a .397 average.

Max Rameriz (Royals) - If only he could play defense.  He is hitting .313, 5, 21 and could be a good stop gap until Salvador Perez recovers from his injuries.

Derek Norris (Athletics) - one of the players acquired in the Gio Gonzalez trade.  He struggled to hit for average the last two years but in april he is hitting .346, 3, 16.  For a catcher who walked a lot he has only drawn three walks in his first 19 games.  Perhaps he is being more aggressive at the plate.

Yan Gomes (Blue Jays) - They liked his work in spring training.  The Brazillian is hitting .333 as he shares playing time with hot prospect Travis d’Arnaud (.239).  His aggressiveness at the plate has only allowed him to draw one walk in 69 at bats.

First Base

Brad Eldred (Tigers) - Where were the Japanese teams that were looking for power in a first baseman/DH.  He has put together incredible numbers in AAA (.388, 13, 35) in just 20 games.  If those numbers were translated into a 160 game season he would finish with 104 homeruns and 280 RBIs.  He won’t be able to build on the freakish numbers.  The Tigers called him up to DH for their major league team.  He went 2 for 4 in his first start.

Tyler Moore (Nationals) - He was playing left field because the Nationals thought about promoting him instead of Bryce Harper.  He is hitting for good power (.286, 7, 20) but some are concerned with his difficulty making contact.

Matt LaPorta (Indians) - The Indians have given him many opportunites to win the major league job.  He is looking for one more with his .371, 6, 15 numbers.

Mauro Gomez (Red Sox) - We saw him play in the Series del Caribe.  The Red Sox don’t need a first basmean or DH, but if someone should get hurt he is hitting .329, 7, 20.

Leslie Anderson (Rays) - The Cuban defector may be figuring it out, hitting .352.  He has yet to hit a homerun, a major impediment to a promotion.

Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) - Anthony is back tormenting AAA pitchers, this time in the uniform of the Cubs.  He is hitting .380, 7, 21.  A cause of concern is his 5/16 walk to whiff ratio in 20 games.

Randy Ruiz (Diamondbacks) - The minor league vet also toiled in the Series del Caribe.  The air is drier in Reno but it hasn’t prevented him from hitting .353, 5, 19.  A playoff team could use that kind of production.

Second Base

Bobby Scales (Mets) - The Mets spent all spring trying to find a second baseman.  Bobby wondered why no one looked his way.  He is hitting .400 with 12 runs scored and an impressive 17/8 walk to whiff ratio.  The Mets could certainly use some of that production.  Unfortunately, he is 34 years old so there is not a lot of upside here.

Joaquin Arias (Giants) - The Giants have already called him up after he raked the Pacific Coast League for a .400 average.  He is hitting .375 for the Giants in eight at bats.

Tony Abreu (Royals) - He is not a prospect in an organization loaded with young budding stars, but he is hitting .352, 2, 17.  That should account for something.

Jake Elmore (Diamondbacks) - His name draws a blank with me, but his April numbers (.344, 13 runs scored) tell me that I should remember his name.  He has an 11/11 walk to whiff ratio to put his OBA at .434.

Third Base

Wil Middlebrooks (Red Sox) - Kevin Youkilus is looking in his rearview mirror.  Wil is assaulting AAA pitching at .358, 9, 27.  He’s even stolen three bases.

Scott Moore (Astros) - You can’t have much more than the numbers that Scott is producing (.385, 2, 16).  His 12/13 walk to whiff ratio give him an impressive .522 OBA.

Alex Castellanos (Dodgers) - His .366 average is impressive, but he has already racked up seven doubles, four triples and four homeruns to give him a .746 slugging percentage.  His 12/17 walk to whiff ratio has put his OBA at .477.  That adds up to a 1.224 OPS.

Shortstop

Paul Janish (Reds) - Who said he couldn’t hit.  His .324 average is the best of all International League shortstops.

Evereth Cabrera (Padres) - The Rule V sensation would like to get back to the major leagues.  He has stolen 10 bases and is hitting .301.  The down side is his 16 strikeouts.

Adeiny Hechavarria (Blue Jays) - He wowed myworld in spring and he continues to hit in the Pacific Coast League (.301, 17 runs scored)

Outfield

Dewayne Wise (Yankees) - If Brett Gardner’s injury woes should linger there is a Wise callup in AAA hitting .379 with four homeruns.

Jordan Parraz (Braves) - Jordan looked impressive in spring traning.  He is continuing his hitting in AAA with a .367, 1, 7.  His extra base hit numbers are lacking, with only five of his 29 hits going for extra bases.

Trevor Crowe (Indians) - Trevor has had many opportunities, only to prove that his minor league numbers were just a mirage when put against major league pitching.  He is hitting .345, which could get him another opportunity with the Indians.

Michael Talor (Athletics) - His .366, 2, 17 numbers cry for another opportunity in the major leagues.

Justin Christian (Giants) - He is not considered a prospect but his .400 average with 18 runs scored may deserve recognition for a promotion.  He doesn’t hit balls over the wall but his 10 doubles shows he can find the gaps.

Brandon Moss (Athletics) - Another organization player raking in AAA with a .353, 4, 10 numbers.  He usually shines in winter ball.

Scott Van Slyke (Dodgers) - The son of Andy is making his father proud with .357, 4, 14 numbers.

Travis Snider (Blue Jays) - Travis is looking for another opportunity to play left for the Blue Jays.  He has shown these numbers before (.400, 4, 23) but the Jays can’t ignore them forever.

Roger Kieschnick (Giants) - If the Giants are looking for offense his .352, 5, 15 numbers with 20 runs scored should make them take notice.

Mike Trout (Angels) - The Angels have called him up to enhance their outfield production (.403, 1, 13).  He has scored 21 runs, stolen six bases and hit five triples.  He won’t hit a lot of balls over the fence but he will wear you out running around the bases.

Righthanded Pitching

Aaron Cook (Red Sox) - If the Boston pitching woes continue there is the veteran Cook stewing up 3-0, 1.44 numbers.  His 9/8 walk to whiff ratio in 27 innings may indicate that the recipe is flawed when he faces major league hitters.

Justin Germano (Red Sox) - His numbers are a bit better for the Red Sox to take a risk on (2-1, 1.57).  He has yet to walk a hitter in 23 innings, striking out 14.

Jason Berken (Orioles) - Jason has been dominant in AAA (0.60) in three starts.

Dylan Axelrod  (White Sox) - At 27 he is ready to make the White Sox rotation with his 2-1, 1.08 ERA numbers.  He also has a pretty impressive 4/26 walk to whiff ratio in 25 innings.

Barry Enright (Diamondbacks) - His walk to whiff ratio is not impressive (10/13) but his 2-1, 1.75 ERA in five starts will make you take notice.  He has also been credited for a complete game.

Alex Sanabia (Marlins) - He has impeccable control with just two walks in 33 innings, resulting in a 3-0, 1.65 numbers in five starts.

Nathan Adcock (Royals) - The Royals could use some starting pitching and Nathan’s numbers in four starts should not be ignored (3-1, 1.37).  His 8/14 walk to whiff ratio is underwhelming.

Paul Clemens (Astros) - Acquired from the Braves, Paul is 1-1, 1.59 in three starts.

Lefthanded Pitchers

Yohan Flande (Braves) - He has been dazzling with a 0.90 ERA and nine hits given up in 20 innigs.  His command has been a little spotty with an 11/21 walk to whiff ratio.  With all the top pitching prospects in the Braves system, few expected this kind of performance from Flande.

Scott Diamond (Twins) - If you want to find a diamond in the rough, Scott has a perfect name for it.  He is a perfect 4-0 with a 1.07 ERA in four starts.

Travis Blackley (Giants) - He was born in Australia but last year pitched in Korea.  His 3-0, 0.39 will translate to promotion in any language. In 23 innings he has only given up 13 hits with a 3/19 walk to whiff ratio. Another Ryan Vogelsong in the making.

Dallas Keuchel (Astros) - With the name Dallas he should be playing for the Rangers and not Houston. His 3-1, 1.67 numbers in four starts would pitch in any city.

Brad Mills (Angels) - If the pitching continues to struggle at the major league level Brad is ready. He is 2-0, 1.42 in three starts.

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