The half way point of the season is nearly upon us. That means it is time to name the All Stars for the system.
Starting Pitcher – Tony Cingrani
Was there even another choice here? Cingrani has arguably put up the best stats of any starting pitcher in the minor leagues when we consider where he had to pitch. He leads the organization with a 1.17 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 17 walks and 85 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched.
Starting Pitcher – Kyle Lotzkar
Lotzkar has a 2.53 ERA between Bakersfield and Pensacola to go along with 70 strikeouts and 31 walks in 64 innings pitched. He has a 6-1 record on the year, tying him with Tony Cingrani and Daniel Wolford for the most wins in the system.
Starting Pitcher – Chad Rogers
Rogers was relieving last season in Dayton, so to say it is a surprise that he has made 12 starts in the California League with a 2.33 ERA is an understatement. The 22 year old has a 1.04 WHIP, 13 walks and 50 strikeouts in 68.1 innings for the Blaze and a 55% groundball rate.
Relief Pitcher – Donnie Joseph
Much like Cingrani, there was no other choice for the first reliever on the team. Donnie Joseph has been downright dominant this season. The lefty has a 0.84 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and 48 strikeouts against just 8 walks in 32.1 innings pitched. He also leads the system with 14 saves.
Relief Pitcher – Brian Pearl
In any other year Brian Pearl would easily stand out as the easy choice for the first reliever on the team with a 1.14 ERA and 12 saves to go along with his 0.95 WHIP, 8 walks and 36 strikeouts in 31.2 innings in the California League.
Bullpen – Wilkin De La Rosa (1.27 ERA in 28.1ip with 25 strikeouts), Chris Manno (2.31 ERA in 23.1ip with 24 strikeouts) and Curtis Partch (1.88 ERA in 28.2ip with 33 strikeouts in the bullpen).
Catcher – Dioner Navarro
Navarro has been splitting time with Corky Miller in Louisville. In his first year with the organization he is hitting .309/.383/.423 for the Bats with 12 walks and 13 strikeouts. He has also thrown out 39% of attempted base stealers.
First Baseman – Donald Lutz
While Lutz is currently on the disabled list, he leads the organization with 16 doubles, 13 home runs and a .617 slugging percentage. With a .306 average and a .363 on-base percentage he makes it an easy choice at first base in most year, but in a year where first base has been relatively weak in the system he is the highlander.
Second Base – Ryan Wright
Wright has been one of the few offensive bright spots for the Dayton Dragons this season as he has hit .307/.352/.427 on the season so far with 16 walks and 29 strikeouts. He has also been about as sure in the field as you could ever expect with a .975 fielding percentage.
Third Base – Henry Rodriguez
Rodriguez, like Donald Lutz, has found himself on the disabled list over the past several weeks. While he was healthy and in the line up for the Blue Wahoos, Rodriguez paced the way with a league leading .348 average to go along with a .385 on-base percentage and .439 slugging percentage. In the field, despite limited action in the past (at least in the US) he has a .976 fielding percentage at the position.
Shortstop – Billy Hamilton
What, you expected someone else? Nah, I didn’t think so. Hamilton is hitting .315/.401/.438 with 35 walks and 48 strikeouts on the season. Oh, and he has 72 steals in 86 attempts on the year. That is more than roughly 100 teams in the minor leagues. Hamilton has also cut down on his error rate this season some.
Corner Outfield – Bryson Smith
Smith has been one of the more consistent hitters in the system this year with a .317/.382/.441 line for the Bakersfield Blaze while manning mostly center field for the first place squad. He gets pushed to a corner position because there is a better defender in center and not many options for outfielders this season that are performing.
Corner Outfield – Josh Fellhauer
Fellhauer has been a staple for the Blue Wahoos since coming off of the DL where he began the season. He has hit .307/.390/.423 in 161 plate appearances with 19 walks and 23 strikeouts. His .813 OPS is second among outfielders (excluding Donald Lutz, who has played a few more games at first than the outfield) to only Bryson Smith.
Center Field – Ryan LaMarre
Ryan LaMarre is hitting .282/.375/.374 for the Blue Wahoos with 33 walks and 60 strikeouts in 277 plate appearances. His .748 OPS ranks third among outfielders in the system. After having an organizational leading 16 assists last season, LaMarre already has 12 this season.
Bench – Mike Costanzo (3B/1B – .300/.421/.525 in 145 PA’s), Didi Gregorius (SS – .283/.345/.336 in 258 PA’s), Theo Bowe (OF – .273/.375/.360 in 205 PA’s) and Yovan Gonzalez (C – .291/.341/.419 in 133 PA’s)