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  • Writer's pictureSam "No Spell Check" Willie

Season 52 Minor-League All-Pros

Beloit, WI - With the end of the minor-league regular season in Yount, we wanted to recognize the All-Pro Team, which will undoubtedly create controversy.

Catcher - Richard Little Los Angeles Low A

Runs: 91 Hits: 177 HR: 24 RBI: 127 SB: 5

AVG: .359 OBP: .438 SLG: .554 OPS: .992

This was a very crafty move by the Dodgers, as being on minor-league probation, they needed to hit the MWR. They signed Little and DFAed him to the Low A squad. Little has appeared in 336 major league games, and although initially upset, he adapted to his role in Low A and led the Dodgers to 89 wins. What were his parents thinking when he was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin? He has been subject to constant teasing despite being 6'3" and 215 lbs.

First Base - Saul Melendez Washington High A

Runs: 122 Hits: 196 HR: 42 RBI: 177 SB: 0

AVG: .328 OBP: .406 SLG: .643 OPS: 1.049

Melendez was signed as an IFA in Season 51 for $21M and has proven his worth almost immediately. Melendez was ranked as the #86 overall prospect in the Yount Season 52 prospect rankings primarily because he likely doesn't have a position in the majors, as he projects out as a DH. That said, he has one of the best-projected bats in the minors. The question becomes when he will make it up, as Washington has shown a propensity to keep talent in the minors, resulting in one of the best farm systems in Yount.

Second Base - Rolando Cleto Milwaukee Double A

Runs: 155 Hits: 209 HR: 38 RBI: 122 SB: 53

AVG: .382 OBP: .505 SLG: .722 OPS: 1.227

The top-rated position player in the minors showed precisely why he rates so high, putting up a complete season with 58 doubles and 53 stolen bases. Cleto is yet another Milwaukee IFA, signing for $24.5 M in Season 49. With the logjam of talent in Milwaukee, Cleto might be a couple of years away from making it up in Sudstown.

Third Base - Gregg Duff Texas Double A

Runs: 137 Hits: 156 HR: 31 RBI: 133 SB: 3

AVG: .292 OBP: .377 SLG: .563 OPS: .940

The Classic 4A player, Duff, could be a perennial minor league All-Pro if he continues to play once he doesn't see a path forward. A consistent force since being drafted in the 5th round in Season 49, Duff has three straight seasons of 30 home runs. Duff comes from a racing family, as his Uncle is Joey Clanton, a former champion. Clanton owns two Zaxby's, including one in Tyrone, Georgia. Duff swears by Zaxby's and has been known to sabotage any post-game meal featuring Raising Cane's.

Shortstop - Lyle Acosta Oakland Double A

Runs: 91 Hits: 164 HR: 20 RBI: 81 SB: 21

AVG: .288 OBP: .343 SLG: .490 OPS: .833

Acosta pulled off the rare minor league double for a shortstop, winning the gold glove and the silver slugger at Double-A. That will always get the attention of the GUGUGOHG staff. Acosta has a major league glove, with 32-plus plays at SS in Season 52 and 85 for his career. The question is whether or not he will be able to hit at the ML level. A second-round pick out of Rib Lake High School in Season 49, Acosta was born in Colby, Wisconsin, and counts among his cousins Kirk Baumgartner, a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point legend and 9th-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers.

Outfield - Aaron Rollins Arizona Rookie

Runs: 105 Hits: 132 HR: 38 RBI: 138 SB: 9

AVG: .423 OBP: .511 SLG: .952 OPS: 1.463

Aaron "VideoGame" Rollins acquired his nickname at a very young age, as he has always put up ridiculous numbers at every level of baseball. The first overall pick in the Season 52 draft out of LSU, Rollins is a cornerstone player for the Diamondbacks as they continue to rebuild. The question will become when we will see Rollins with the big club. At age 22, his bat might be ready very soon.

Outfield - Robert Hayes Washington Double A

Runs: 138 Hits: 203 HR: 48 RBI: 134 SB: 28

AVG: .337 OBP: .417 SLG: .666 OPS: 1.083

We are not exactly sure what is in the water in Wisconsin, but it is the third Wisconsinite on the All-Pro team. Hayes was the 3rd overall pick in Season 50 and has continued to show his worth. Ranked as the #4 overall prospect and the second-best position player, Hayes is on a fast track at just 20 years old and will be part of the projected Nationals dynasty that is big on bats but lower on pitching at this point. Hayes was born in Birchwood, Wisconsin, which is the bluegill capital of the world, which both Babe Winkelman and Riehl Outdoors designated.

Outfield - Wilbur Thayer Baltimore Low A / High A

Runs: 127 Hits: 188 HR: 60 RBI: 170 SB: 0

AVG: .337 OBP: .405 SLG: .733 OPS: 1.138

The Orioles consistently have talent like Thayer in the minors who produce. Thayer was a second-round pick in season 51 out of Central Missouri State. He has insane power, which might be his ticket to the majors, but he is likely a 4A player. A fashion merchandising major at Central Missouri, Thayer has spent his off-season interning for Dilliard's, with his highlight thus far being the award-winning Halloween layout in the Dillard's Northpark Center.

Designated Hitter - Davey Woodson Cleveland Low A

Runs: 125 Hits: 190 HR: 51 RBI: 157 SB: 0

AVG: .363 OBP: .439 SLG: .748 OPS: 1.187

After tearing his hamstring in Season 51, which limited him to just 13 games, Woodson came back with a vengeance in Season 52. Spending his fourth straight year in Low A, Woodson went ballistic as one of the most feared bats in the minors. Woodson is destined for the minors and a lot of home runs for as long as he wants to stay. An 8th-round pick out of Florida International in Season 48, Woodson has overproduced when healthy.

Starting Pitcher - Jerome Maya Milwaukee High A

Games: 29 Games Started: 29 W-L: 17-5 Inn: 200.0

BB: 56 SO: 187 WHIP: 1.08 ERA: 2.48

The #2 overall prospect in Yount, Maya dethroned Christian Kintzler from a threepeat. Maya was drafted by Florida as the #3 overall pick in the Season 49 draft and was subsequentely traded last year for Stephen Peavy, which has worked out very well for both teams. Peavy has been part of one of the best rotations in Yount with Hidalgo and led the Marlins to the World Series title in Season 51.

Relief Pitcher - Barry Ellsbury Double A

Games: 61 Saves: 35 W-L: 8-4 Inn: 83.2

BB: 14 SO: 71 WHIP: 0.92 ERA: 2.26

Ellsbury was very impressive as a closer+, throwing an absurd 83.2 innings in relief. Ellsbury is looking like a major league setup man who can eat up a lot of innings. A 16th round pick out of the esteemed Georgia Perimeter College, Ellsbury really took off after being named a Diamond in the Rough. Ellsbury hails from Rome, Georgia and grew up at the ballpark, as his dad has been in the front office of the Rome Emperors for over a decade.

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