Season 44 Minor League All-Pro Team
Beloit, WI - With the end of the minor-league regular season in Yount, we wanted to recognize the All-Pro Team, which will be sure to create controversy.
Catcher - Alan Caufield (Diamondbacks - Rookie League)
Runs: 99 Hits: 122 HR: 32 RBI: 131 SB: 0
AVG: .403 OBP: .489 SLG: .805 OPS: 1.294
Crazy numbers for Caufield this year, as he was very close to the triple crown. The absolutely rare signing from Holland, Caufield signed as an IFA for $700,000. Caufield projects as a career minor-leaguer, but hopefully WIS finds it in their good graces to add this award to his profile.
First Base - Maikel Rosales (Brewers - High A)
Runs: 101 Hits: 150 HR: 52 RBI: 135 SB: 1
AVG: .385 OBP: .475 SLG: .859 OPS: 1.334
It was hard to deny Gaylord Oeltjen of thc Cubs, but what Rosales did in limited action is absolutely insane. Signing as a highly-sought after IFA at $20.5M, his assignment to High A made him the most feared prospect in the league. This was all done in just 99 games. Projected over a full 144, Rosales goes for 147 runs, 75 home runs and 96 RBI. One of many studs in the minors for the Brewers, Rosales will continue to put up numbers in the minors before hitting Brew Town.
Second Base - Saul Fuentes (Angels - High A)
Runs: 104 Hits: 104 HR: 19 RBI: 120 SB: 5
AVG: .366 OBP: .450 SLG: .589 OPS: 1.039
Nicknamed the "Hit Frog", Fuentes was a supplemental draft pick in Season 43 and after a solid debut season, Fuentes was a hit machine this year, with 188 hits in just 125 games after sitting out an assorted number of games with a serious case of toenail fungus that flares up from time to time. Fuentes projects out as a major leaguer at some point, but for now the "Hit Frog" will keep racking up hits and have a steady diet of garlic to keep his nasty lower digits healthy.
Shortstop - Murray Staley (Brewers - Double A)
Runs: 101 Hits: 209 HR: 20 RBI: 113 SB: 3
AVG: .345 OBP: .414 SLG: .508 OPS: .922
To play shortstop, you need to be able to handle your glove. Staley won the gold glove at AA while putting up very solid offensive numbers. The ultimate glue guy, he played every game, bringing his consistency to the AA Brewers. There is no doubt the complete game of Staley will play well at the major league level.
Third Base - Tommy Robinson (Mets - Double A)
Runs: 110 Hits: 193 HR: 44 RBI: 161 SB: 3
AVG: .322 OBP: .399 SLG: .628 OPS: 1.027
Third base is a really unique position in HBD, especially in the minors as there are very few true 3B. As a first round pick of the Mets in season 42, Robinson has been extremely solid in his three seasons and projects out as a major leaguer. Robinson was a beast with runners in scoring position this season, knocking in 161 runs.
Outfield - Eugene McVaney (Diamondbacks - Rookie)
Runs: 61 Hits: 92 HR: 12 RBI: 72 SB: 0
AVG: .409 OBP: .479 SLG: .711 OPS: 1.190
A 6th round pick out of Eastern Oklahoma State College, McVaney just shows up and hits. Part of the offensive juggernaut that was the Diamondbacks rookie league team, McVaney consistently found the gaps, with 30 doubles this season. McVaney projects out as a 4A player, so this might be the highest honor the Okie achieves.
Outfield - Ron Fife (Orioles - Double A)
Runs: 123 Hits: 210 HR: 59 RBI: 152 SB: 0
AVG: .352 OBP: .412 SLG: .717 OPS: 1.130
You don't obtain the nickname "Legend" without being one. Quite simply, Fife has left a trail of home runs and broken hearts all over this great land of ours. The author of 406 long balls in the minors, he has been an all-star all seven of his minor league seasons. Fife was released from the Colonels for an unfortunate situation some would call a misunderstanding, involving a rake, rubber hose and a member of the front office staff. The Orioles scooped in and claimed "Legend".
Outfield - Marcos Mercado (Brewers - Triple A)
Runs: 107 Hits: 163 HR: 38 RBI: 121 SB: 0
AVG: .304 OBP: .375 SLG: .607 OPS: .982
Coming to a big league ballpark near you, Mercado was a relative bargain at $11 Million in season 40. He has worked his way up through the minors and is poised to be in Milwaukee next season, where the Brewers could start to show all the prospects poised for the show. Mercado is not spectacular, but a winning player you can count on to deliver.
Designated Hitter - Cal Graham (White Sox - Low A)
Runs: 118 Hits: 174 HR: 57 RBI: 175 SB: 1
AVG: .334 OBP: .411 SLG: .741 OPS: 1.152
Fly, Fight, Win. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Graham has lit up his two seasons since being a 5th round pick. Destined to be a DH, Graham projects out as a potential DH-only or great pinch-hitter.
Starting Pitcher - Oliver Braden (Orioles - Triple A)
Games: 29 Games Started: 29 W-L: 20-3 Inn: 196.2
BB: 56 SO: 153 WHIP: 0.95 ERA: 1.83
A former major leaguer, Braden had a year for the ages. He really hasn't experienced this level of success, so we need to recognize it. Everything clicked this year and somehow Braden had a WHIP below 1.00 in almost 200 innings. It is tough to only recognize one starting pitcher, but those are the rules.
Relief Pitcher - Luis Guzman (Braves - Low A)
Games: 49 Saves: 37 W-L: 1-1 Inn: 44.0
BB: 6 SO: 49 WHIP: 0.57 ERA: 0.82
Wow. Absolutely filthy. After being signed as an IFA for $10M this year, Guzman was assigned to the Low A Braves. In 47 games, he only allowed baserunners in 19 games and runs in four. This was perhaps the easiest selection on the board. Can Guzman repeat the magic going forward?