Minors | General | 9/23/2016

2016 PG Minor League All-Stars

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game

Last year marked the 10th
 year in a row that Perfect Game has assembled a Minor League All-Star team comprised of players that had previously attended a Perfect Game event.  The squad in 2015 was highlighted by Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, and up-and-coming star who was a member of the incredibly talented 2011 PG All-American Classic.

Seager joins a long list of players who have been named to this team who represent the young and now established foundation of talent in all of Major League Baseball. He joined the liked of Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Mookie Betts, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Joey Votto, Gerrit Cole and Jose Fernandez – just to name a few – who have been honored on similar PG Minor League All-Star teams in the past.

This year two other members of the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic – Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros and David Dahl of the Colorado Rockies – look to be mentioned in the same breath as the names shared above as they are already making their impact felt in the big leagues, and are honored on the team below.

Here are the links to the previous teams, which began in 2006:

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Similar to past years we will name a player at each position (lined up as a projected batting order) as well as a designated hitter, a five-man starting pitching staff and a reliever. This year’s team has two repeat honorees from last year’s First Team, outfielder Tyler O’Neill of the Mariners and lefthanded pitcher Stephen Gonsalves of the Twins. Jose Berrios (righthanded pitcher, Twins), listed below on the Third Team starting staff, made the First Team squad a year ago.

The Dodgers lead the way with three first-teamers, the only team with multiple players honored on the First Team, as well as a third-teamer. The Blue Jays also have four total representatives while the Astros, Braves, Cubs, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Twins and Tigers each have two.

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

Starting Lineup

Scott Heineman, LF (Rangers)
Heineman is a long-time PG alum, making his first appearance at the 2006 SoCal Pre-High School Showcase, more than four years before his graduating year of 2011. He attended the 2010 National Showcase as a primary righthanded pitcher (where he topped out at 87 mph, but also ran a 6.80-second 60-yard dash) and took the field in Jupiter for SGV Arsenal at the 2010 WWBA World Championship. He dealt with some injury issues at the University of Oregon, missing almost his entire true junior year, but has an exciting blend of tools, which culminated in an equally exciting stat line this year for the Rangers Advanced-A ball affiliate in the California League. There Heineman hit .303 with 39 doubles, eight triples, 17 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

David Dahl*, CF (Rockies)
This is Dahl’s second time making Perfect Game’s Minor League All-Star Team, first appearing in 2012 as a rare rookie ball honoree due to the video game-esque numbers he posted after being drafted 10th overall by the Rockies that year. An on-field collision early in the 2015 caused him to undergo surgery on his spleen and subsequently missed a large part of the year. He rebounded incredibly strong this year, hitting a combined .314/.394/.569 between the Rockies Double-A and Triple-A affiliates before getting called up. Dahl, a member of the aforementioned and talent loaded 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic, has continued to hit well for the big league Rockies, and looks to be a star in the making with game-changing speed and power.

Alex Bregman*, SS (Astros)
The injury theme continues with Bregman who was considered by many to be the top pure hitter among the high school class of 2011 before breaking his finger early during his senior year. Bregman displayed those hitting skills and put on one of the most memorable individual performances at a Perfect Game event during the Home Run Challenge at the 2011 National Showcase. The second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, Bregman exploded out of the gates this year hitting .297/.415/.559 in 62 games at the Double-A level in the Astros system before hitting .333/.373/.641 in 18 more games at Triple-A. He now calls third base home in the big leagues, sliding over to the hot corner due to the presence of fellow 2011 PG All-American Carlos Correa.

Tyler O’Neill, RF (Mariners)
O’Neill has claimed a starting spot on the First Team for a second year in a row, as he has added 24 more home runs to the 32 he blasted a year ago while answering some questions about his overall prowess as a hitter by raising his batting average (.293 as compared to .260 in 2015) and increasing his walks as well (62 to 29). He did so this year playing in the hitting suppressed Southern League at the Double-A level, and at 21 years old appears to be poised to make quick work of all of minor league baseball before making his Major League debut, which could happen towards the end of the 2017 season.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B (Phillies)
Hoskins, who was drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of Sacramento State, attended the 2010 PG/EvoShield Upperclass National Championship as a member of the EDH Vipers. After hitting nine home runs during his professional debut in 2014, and 17 during his first full season, Hoskins exploded for 38 home runs and 116 RBI this year while producing a .281/.377/.566 triple slash at the Double-A level. A hulking 6-foot-4, 225-pound righthanded slugger, Hoskins will be pushing for playing time at the big league level next year.

Rowdy Tellez*, DH (Blue Jays)
Speaking of hulking sluggers, they don’t get much bigger than 2012 PG All-American Rowdy Tellez. Entering the year with 22 career home runs over three years as a professional, Tellez added 23 more bombs this year while hitting .297/.387/.530 at the Blue Jays Double-A affiliate in New Hampshire as a 21-year old. Next year he will be just a step away from complementing an already potent Toronto offense.

Rob Segedin, 3B (Dodgers)
Segedin played for the Bayside Yankees at the 2005 18u WWBA National Championship two summers before taking his talents to Tulane, where he enjoyed a successful three-year career. The Yankees took him in the third round of the 2010 draft after he hit .434-14-54 as a college junior and he enjoyed his best season as a professional as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization this year, hitting .319/.392/.598 before getting the call to the big leagues in early August.

Travis Demeritte*, 2B (Braves)
Considered one of the best defensive infielders coming out of high school in 2013, Demeritte enjoyed a long and successful career with the East Cobb program – capped by a championship at the 2012 WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. – and was a member of the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic. The Braves acquired Demeritte from the Rangers prior to the trade deadline this year, and he collectively hit .266 with 28 home runs and 70 RBI, to go along with 17 stolen bases, for two different teams at the Advanced-A level.

Chance Sisco, C (Orioles)
Sisco was a member of a talented Midland Redskins squad at the 2012 WWBA World Championship that included Andrew Benintendi and Logan Ice, among others. Sisco was named to the All-Tournament Team at that event and was the Orioles second round pick in 2013. After hitting .320/.406/.422 at the Double-A level Sisco was promoted to Triple-A for four games at the end of the year, finishing the season with 28 doubles, six home runs and 51 RBI while showing very good control from the lefthanded batter’s box, walking 61 times and striking out just 88 times in 426 minor league at-bats.

The second team is comprised of the following players:

C – Max Pentecost (Blue Jays)
1B – Dominic Smith* (Mets)
2B – Carlos Asuaje (Padres)
3B – Hunter Dozier (Royals)
SS – Gavin Cecchini (Mets)
OF – Eloy Jimenez (Cubs)
OF – Hunter Renfroe (Padres)
OF – Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox)
DH – Christin Stewart (Tigers)

Pitching Staff

Chase De Jong, RHP (Dodgers)
De Jong, a member of the SGV Arsenal travel program while in high school, was ranked 53rd overall in the high school class of 2012 prior to being drafted by the Blue Jays in the second round of that year’s draft. He attended the 2011 National Showcase, peaking at 91 mph but showing considerable future strength gains given his projectable 6-foot-5, 190-pound build. Now a member of the Dodgers organization, De Jong has progressed nicely with a career 3.43 ERA in the minor leagues and is now knocking at the door to the big leagues after going 15-5 with a 2.82 ERA between the Double-A and Triple-A levels.

Stephen Gonsalves*, LHP (Twins)
This marks the second year in a row that Gonsalves, a 2012 Perfect Game All-American, has made the PG Minor League All-Star First Team. After going 13-3 with a 2.04 ERA last year he nearly replicated those stats by going 13-5 with a 2.06 ERA, splitting the year between the Twins’ Advanced-A and Double-A affiliates, posting an impressive 155-to-57 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 140 innings of work. He’s poised to spent the 2017 season at the Triple-A level and could be a member of the Twins’ pitching staff by this time next year.

Chance Adams, RHP (Yankees)
Adams was an intriguing two-way prospect coming out of high school, with a powerful righthanded swing to go along with his prowess on the mound. After spending two years at Yavapai College, the Yankees drafted Adams in the fifth round of the 2015 draft after he went 7-1 with a 1.98 ERA for Dallas Baptist. The statistical success has continued for Adams in the minor leagues, posting a 1.78 ERA across three levels during his professional debut and following that up with a 13-1, 2.33 ERA season this year at the Yankees’ Advanced-A and Double-A levels. He exhibits great command, with a 144-to-39 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 127 1/3 innings, which should allow him join the Bronx Bombers at some point next year.

Brock Stewart, RHP (Dodgers)
The Mets drafted Stewart out of high school as a shortstop in the 40th round of the 2010 draft before he took his talents to Illinois State. He spent most of his time in college as a primary infielder before the Dodgers drafted him in the sixth round of the 2014 draft as a righthanded pitcher. That move has paid off for both Stewart and the Dodgers, and he enjoyed a big season on the mound, seeing time at three levels of minor league baseball amidst a few spot starts in the big leagues. Collectively in the minors he went 9-4 with a 1.79 ERA, striking out 129 and allowing just 87 base hits and 19 walks in 121 innings of work.

Mitch Keller, RHP (Pirates)
A second round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Keller has progressed nicely since beginning his professional career. He posted a 1.98 ERA during his pro debut in 2014 and then went 0-3 with a 5.49 ERA in just six starts during his first full season in 2015. He rebounded and then some this year, going a combined 9-5 with a 2.35 ERA between the Pirates' Low-A and Advanced-A levels, with a 138-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He likely could re-open the 2017 back in the Florida State League since he made only one start there to close the 2016 season, but could advance quickly given his high-octane stuff and impeccable command.

Whittling down the worthy candidates to four starting pitchers is never an easy task, so here are two more staffs worthy of mention:

Staff 2:
Preston Morrison, RHP (Cubs)
Sean Reid-Foley*, RHP (Blue Jays)
Daniel Gossett, RHP (Athletics)
Brandon Woodruff, RHP (Brewers)
Jake Thompson, RHP (Phillies)

Staff 3:
Jon Harris, RHP (Blue Jays)
Jose Berrios, RHP (Twins)
Brady Rodgers, RHP (Astros)
Patrick Weigel, RHP (Braves)
Andrew Sopko, RHP (Dodgers)

Joe Jimenez, RHP (Tigers)
Closers usually are made, not born, but there may be an exception for Jimenez, who starred at numerous PG events including the WWBA World Championship as well as the National and World Showcases. So far so good for the hard-throwing righthander, who now has 52 saves as a professional after adding 30 more this past year, soaring up the ladder after spending time at the Tigers’ Advanced-A, Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. That time spanned 55 appearances and 53 2/3 innings, posting a 1.51 ERA while allowing far less than a baserunner per inning (0.80 WHIP). That, along with his upper-90s fastball, is a good recipe for a dominant late-inning stopper, something the Tigers and their fans are excited about.

Jimmie Sherfy (Diamondbacks) and Jimmy Herget (Reds) are also worthy of mention due to their success in the minor leagues during the 2016 season. Sherfy was dominant in his first two stops prior to reaching the Triple-A level, recording 18 saves (30 total in 2016) while allowing just one earned run in 32 innings. Herget spent the entire year at the Reds’ Advanced-A affiliate in Daytona of the Florida State League on the opposite Florida coast of his Tampa, Fla. home, and posted 24 saves and a 1.78 ERA in 50 appearances out of the bullpen.


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