Okay, it’s more of a blog post than an awards show, but it’s still really effing prestigious. Well, maybe it’s not prestigious either, but no one watches sports award shows anyway, and I think we can all agree that the ESPY’s would be much better if it were simply a short-form blog post. I’ll be digging into team-by-team 2013 previews in the coming weeks, so what we have for you here is one last look around the 2012 Minor League Baseball action. Enjoy.
Notes on the qualifiers: Award winners are limited to those players who will be retaining their prospect statuses for 2013. Also, I’m not even gonna bother with RP’s on the All Razzball teams — the high leverage relievers of the future are probably SP’s right now anyway.
2012 First-Team All Razzball
C — Mike Zunino, Mariners: .360/.447/.689 between Low-A and Double-A.
1B — Darin Ruf, Phillies: MiLB home run king with 38.
2B — Delino DeShields, Astros: First in history to steal 100+ bags and hit 10+ homers.
3B — Mike Olt, Rangers: 28 homers and a .977 OPS at Double-A.
SS — Billy Hamilton, Reds: 155 SB’s. ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FIFTY-FLIPPING-FIVE.
OF — Oscar Taveras, Cardinals: .321/.380/.572 at Double-A.
OF — Wil Myers, Royals: 37 homers and a .987 OPS on the year.
OF — Christian Yelich, Marlins: .329/.402/.516 at High-A.
SP — Dylan Bundy, Orioles: Lived up to the hype and reached the bigs in first pro year.
SP — Jose Fernandez, Marlins: Posted a 1.75 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP over 134 IP.
SP — Dan Straily, Athletics: Came out of nowhere to post a K/9 at 11.2.
SP — Trevor Bauer, D’backs: 2.42 ERA and 10.8 K/9 shine through.
SP — Tony Cingrani, Reds: 172 K’s in 142 IP earned him a call-up to Cincy.
2012 Second-Team All Razzball
C — Gary Sanchez, Yankees: 18 homers and 15 SB’s from a catcher is intriguing.
1B — Jonathan Singleton, Astros: .893 OPS in a full year at Double-A.
2B — Kolten Wong, Cardinals: Faded down the stretch but a strong year overall.
3B — Miguel Sano, Twins: 28 Low-A homers for the 19-year-old.
SS — Jurickson Profar, Rangers: My No. 1 prospect had a solid year at Double-A.
OF — Adam Eaton, D’backs: .978 OPS and 44 SB’s between Double-A and Triple-A.
OF — Jackie Bradley, Red Sox: .911 OPS and 24 SB’s between High-A and Double-A.
OF — Trayce Thompson, White Sox: Huge 2nd half helped Thompson reach 25 homers.
SP — Shelby Miller, Cardinals: Returned to form with huge 2nd half at Triple-A.
SP — Zack Wheeler, Mets: Steady, solid numbers at both Double-A and Triple-A.
SP — Jameson Taillon, Pirates: Earns his spot with impressive finish at Double-A.
SP — Danny Hultzen, Mariners: Thoroughly dominated Double-A. Can’t be ignored.
SP — Michael Wacha, Cardinals: Tiny sample, but still: 0.86 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 17.1 K/9.
2012 Hitter of the Year
Myers looked like the best hitter in the minors all year long. A call-up in May or June would’ve been justified, but the Royals opted to take their time with their prized prospect. They did the same with Mike Moustakas back in 2010 and it paid off nicely for fantasy players. We’ll have to wait ’til next year to see if the same holds true with Myers.
2012 Break-Out Hitter of the Year
Oscar Taveras, Cardinals
Taveras spent the entire year at Double-A Springfield after skipping the High-A level over the off-season. The 20-year-old is being touted as the best pure hitter in the minors after hitting .321/.380/.572 and winning the Texas League batting title. He’s ready for big league pitching now, but the Cardinals will hold off ’til next year to use him, perhaps right out of camp if the opportunity is there.
2012 Pitcher of the Year
Bundy entered 2012 with enormous hype, and his performance proved he deserved every bit of it. The 19-year-old climbed from Low-A to the Major Leagues in his first year as a pro, posting a 2.08 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9 along the way. I expect to see him begin 2013 back in Double-A, but he should be starting games for the O’s before the year is through.
2012 Break-Out Pitcher of the Year
Fernandez’s story of his defection from Cuba is incredible, likewise are his 2012 numbers: 1.75 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 10.6 K/9 through 134 IP between Low-A and High-A. At 6-3, 215, Fernandez profiles like a true ace, and many are projecting him as such after his huge 2012. A late 2013 arrival isn’t out of the question.
2013’s Mike Trout
No One, Nobody
Sorry folks, but what Trout accomplished this year is pretty much unprecedented. Don’t expect the same from, say, Wil Myers next year, or Oscar Taveras the year after. Don’t expect to see this sort of production out of a 20-year-old ever again.