Minors : : General
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

2015 PG Minor League All-Stars

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game

Since 2006 Perfect Game has assembled a Minor League All-Star Team comprised of players coming off of successful seasons in professional baseball below the Major League level that had previously participated in a Perfect Game event. Many of those names are easily recognizable and represent a large bulk of the young talent that defines the game at its highest level.

The 2015 season was a banner year when it comes to graduating prospects to the big leagues with no shortage of easily recognizable talent.

Carlos Correa, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Daniel Norris, Francisco Lindor, Lance McCullers and Aaron Nola are among those players already making an impact in the big leagues. Bryant, Pederson, Seager and Norris all have made this team in past years with Schwarber, Seager and Nola making the cutting this year.

Established big league stars including Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Joey Votto, Chris Archer, Gerrit Cole, George Springer and Jose Fernandez are just a handful of players that have also been named to this team in previous years.

To view those teams visit the following links, year-by-year:

2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009
2008 2007 2006

Although there's no lack of starpower on this year's team, the aforementioned wave of graduating talent to the big leagues created an opportunity for the next wave of talent to identify itself.

The talent on this year's team is fairly evenly distributed between 21 different ballclubs, with the Brewers having the most representatives with three. The Dodgers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Rays, Phillies, Giants, Twins, Tigers and Orioles each have two prospects listed, while the Rangers, Mariners, Rockies, Nationals, Indians, Royals, Pirates, Cardinals, Mets, Reds and Angels each have one.

*Indicates the player is a former Perfect Game All-American


Starting Lineup

Brett Phillips, CF (Brewers)
A talented multi-positional, multi-sport athlete coming out of high school, Phillips showed not only his tools (6.76 60-yard dash, 96 mph throw from the outfield) at the 2012 World Showcase six months prior to being drafted by the Astros in the sixth round, but he also showed how serious he was about pursuing a professional baseball career. He was also the top prospect traded prior to this year's deadline, being dealt to the Brewers as part of the trade in which the Astros acquired Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. Phillips hit .309 this summer with 64 extra-base hits (34 doubles, 14 triples, 16 home runs) while scoring 104 times, driving in 77 and swiping 17 bases.

Lewis Brinson, LF (Rangers)
Brinson capped his nine PG tournament appearances by making the All-Tournament Team at the 2011 WWBA World Championship – more commonly known as Jupiter – by hitting .400 with three doubles. While he had enjoyed a solid professional career leading up to the 2015 season, he exploded this year by hitting .332/.403/.601 across three levels that includes 31 doubles, eight triples, 20 home runs and 18 stolen bases, ending the season at Triple-A Round Rock. While he predominantly plays center field, he did make a handful of starts in both left and right field and will enter the 2016 season just a phone call away from the Rangers.

Corey Seager*, SS (Dodgers)
Also a member of the 2014 Perfect Game Minor League All-Star team, Seager was rewarded with a callup to the big leagues earlier this month and has continued to hit for the Dodgers. Prior to his callup the lefthanded hitting Seager hit .293 with 37 doubles, 18 home runs and 76 RBI across two levels, and with the aforementioned callups Seager was considered the top prospect in all of baseball during the second half of the season that had yet to make his big league debut. Prior to being selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, Seager's high school career was highlighted by participating in the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic where he started on the infield for the East squad alongside Addison Russell and Carlos Correa.

Kyle Schwarber, C (Cubs)
Although Schwarber's season is defined by the impact he is making at the big league level with the surging Chicago Cubs, he forced a midseason callup by hitting .323/.430/.591 in 75 minor league games, which included 17 doubles and 16 home runs. The power certainly has continued for the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft at the Major League level as part of the game's most talented young lineup that includes Kris Bryant, who made this same team last year, Anthony Rizzo, who was named to the squad in 2011, and Addison Russell.

Tyler O'Neill, RF (Mariners)
After hitting 13 home runs between three levels last year O'Neill exploded at the plate this season, hitting 32 home runs in the California League. With 55 combined extra-base hits, O'Neill, a native of British Columbia, slugged .558 while hitting .260 for the season. Like many young sluggers the Mariners will look for O'Neill to trim down the strikeouts (137) while bumping up the walks (29) in the patience department, but assuming the power and overall improvements continue he could enjoy a quick ascent to the big leagues.

Trey Mancini, 1B (Orioles)
The Orioles landed a steal out of the eighth round of the 2013 draft in the form of first baseman Trey Mancini. A career .315 hitter in the minor leagues, Mancini has made a steady ascent towards the big leagues, enjoying his best season to date with a .341/.375/.563 triple slash line across two levels, ending the year at the Double-A level. Of his 182 base hits 70 went for extra-bases, including 43 doubles and 21 home runs, while also driving in 89 and scoring 88 times, although his path to the big leagues may be blocked somewhat due to the presence of Chris Davis.

Daniel Palka, DH (Diamondbacks)
Speaking of Davis, Palka's overall profile is similar to that of the Orioles slugger, with an extremely patient approach at the plate and prodigious power potential from the lefthanded batter's box. Palka showed off his offensive prowess this season by hitting .280 with 36 doubles, 29 home runs and 90 RBI in 129 games at the High-A level. Palka played in six PG tournament events while in high school with the Carolina Cyclones prior to attending Georgia Tech where he enjoyed a successful college career. Although he's listed here as the team's designated hitter, Palka played most of the 2015 season in right field after playing first base predominantly in 2013 and 2014.

Richie Shaffer*, 3B (Rays)
A member of the 2008 Perfect Game All-American Classic, Shaffer's professional career has been a little slow to progress since being selected in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Clemson. That is until this season in which he hit .267 with 26 home runs and 72 RBI between the Double-A and Triple-A levels of the Rays' farm system, and finishing the year with the Rays to get a taste for big league pitching. With 60 career home runs in the minor leagues, and the .539 slugging percentage he posted this past year, power is Shaffer's calling card, and he has seen time at first base as well as both corner outfield spots should Evan Longoria's presence create the need for Shaffer to switch positions.

Trevor Story, 2B (Rockies)
Story has moved up the ladder steadily since being the Rockies supplemental first-round pick in 2011. He played at several PG tournaments while in high school with the Dallas Patriots, and ended his prep career as Perfect Game's 27th best high school player eligible for the 2011 draft. Although he spent more time at shortstop (85 games) than second base (24) this year, he starts at second on this team largely because his offensive production was impossible to ignore. Between the Double-A and Triple-A levels he hit .279 with astonishing extra-base totals (40 doubles, 10 triples, 20 home runs) that will fit in nicely at Coors Field when he finally gets the call.


And since it's hard to limit this team to nine players, here is the second team:

C – Andrew Knapp (Phillies)
1B – Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
2B – Javier Baez* (Cubs)
3B – Matt Duffy (Giants)
SS – Trae Turner (Nationals)
OF – Peter O'Brien (Diamondbacks)
OF – Clint Frazier* (Indians)
OF – Brett Eibner (Royals)
DH – Josh Bell (Pirates)


Pitching Staff

Jose Berrios, RHP (Twins)
Berrios was one of several players from Puerto Rico that attended the 2011 National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. in a promising class from the island that included Carlos Correa and Edwin Diaz, a righthanded pitcher in the Mariners system. In four seasons pitching in the minor leagues Berrios has a 2.98 ERA and has advanced steadily up the Twins' organizational ladder. He finished this year at the Triple-AAA level, and between that level and Double-A the 21-year old righthander went 14-5 with a 2.87 ERA, striking out 175 and allowing just 136 hits and 38 walks in 166 1/3 innings. He's poised to make his big-league debut at some point in 2016 less than four years removed from high school with impressive stuff, and command, for such a young pitcher.

Stephen Gonsalves*, LHP (Twins)
It would seem as though the Twins have an embarrassment of riches on the mound for a team that routinely depends on their farm system to cultivate young, impact talent. While Gonsalves is a few years behind Berrios developmentally, he too has shown little problems adjusting to pro ball after signing straight out of high school as the Twins fourth-round pick in 2013. A native of San Diego, Gonsalves was the winning pitcher, and scored the game-tying run, for the winning West squad at the 2012 PG All-American Classic at Petco Park. This year used his well-rounded arsenal to compile a 13-3 record with a 2.01 ERA across two levels of Single-A.

Austin Gomber, LHP, (Cardinals)
The 2015 season marked the first full year Gomber spent as a professional after being selected in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He more than embraced that challenge, going 15-3 in the Low-A Midwest League, posting a 2.67 ERA over 22 starts. He also struck out 140 and allowed just 97 hits and 34 walks in 135 innings. That's less than one baserunner per inning. Of course Gomber will need to continue to prove to be effective as he moves up next year, as the Cardinals could opt to challenge him a little more considering he turns 22-years old in November.

Jacob Faria, RHP (Rays)
After going 10-1 at the High-A level over the first half of the season, the Rays rewarded Faria with a promotion to Double-A Montgomery in the Southern League where he proved to be almost as effective. Between the two levels he collectively went 17-4 with a 1.92 ERA. The secondary numbers (159-to-52 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 103 hits allowed) are just as impressive for the young righthander who was a 10th-round pick in 2011, yet one who spent his first three pro seasons in rookie ball. With nearly 270 innings pitched the last two years, the pace for Faria has quickened and he may get a taste of the big leagues at this time next year with continued success.


Every year the hardest part of this exercise is trimming down the pitching staff to four starters. Because of that, here are two more four-man staffs of players who enjoyed successful seasons on the mound:

Staff 2:
Jorge Lopez, RHP (Brewers)
Michael Fulmer, RHP (Tigers)
Matt Boyd, LHP (Tigers)
Aaron Nola, RHP (Phillies)

Staff 3:
Tyler Wagner, RHP (Brewers)
Steven Matz, LHP (Mets)
Cody Reed, LHP (Reds)
Sean Newcomb, LHP (Angels)


Mychal Givens*, RHP (Orioles)
Givens originally began his career as a shortstop as the Orioles second-round pick in 2009, and was a well-known two-way talent coming out of high school. In fact, he held the fastball velocity record for the Perfect Game All-American Classic (98 mph in 2008) until Tyler Kolek broke it with a 99 mph heater in 2013. Givens made his big league debut in late June for the Orioles, and has steadily made more and more appearances out of the bullpen. He wasn't coverted to a pitcher at the professional level until 2013, and this past year he went 4-2 with a 1.73 ERA in 35 games at AA Bowie, recording 15 saves while striking out 79 in 57 1/3 innings.

Mike Broadway has thrown over 500 innings in the minor leagues, and has had a taste of the big leagues this season with the Giants. A fourth-round pick of the Braves back in 2005, Broadway enjoyed one of his best seasons in the minor leagues this year, posting a 0.93 ERA in 40 games, recording 13 saves while allowing just 25 hits and eight walks, with 64 strikeouts, in 48 1/3 innings. It's hard not to root for a journeyman like Broadway.

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