Hey guys, very soon I’m going to be getting into the top prospect lists by position and by skill. But I wanted to highlight some top Sally performers 1st.
This is part 2 of the 2 part piece I began yesterday highlighting some outstanding statistical performers in the Sally with a look at the infielders Top performers in the 2016 SAL infield edition. Today I want to talk about the top performing outfielders and pitchers.
LF 1st team: Eduard Pinto – Hickory Crawdads (Rangers). Pinto battled injuries in the 1st half missing time in April, May and June but he got healthy in July and raked. Hitting .359/.394/.467 for the month. Overall in 51 Hickory games Pinto hit .337/.392/.478. I made about a 1/2 dozen trips to Hickory this year but never really took notice of Pinto. I’m sure he missed some of the games I attended.
2nd team: Alex Call – Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox). Call is the only 2016 draftee to make this or the infield list. Since getting to Kannapolis he’s hit .317/.379/.453 over 35 games. I haven’t had a chance to see Call yet my friend and colleague Dan Victor wrote a guest piece on him that’s well worth the read Thoughts on Alex Call, OF, White Sox.
A few other left field mentions: Cornelius Randolph struggled in April got hot and then got hurt and missed 2 mos but I love his swing and bat to ball skills. Kyri Washington in Greenville has a nice power and speed combination. An aggressive hitter with contact issues.
CF 1st team: Victor Robles – Hagerstown Suns (Nationals). Robles had an outstanding 1st half in Hagerstown hitting .305/.405/.459 earning a promotion to Potomac. He came to the Sally with a lot of advanced billing. He’d been rocketing up prospect lists all Winter. I got a couple of looks and I love his game. He’s aggressive at the dish but he hits everything he swings at. Add in 70 speed, excellent CF defense and a rocket launcher for a throwing arm. The only thing I wouldn’t put + on is his power which I think can play average. He placed 2nd on my mid season SAL top 20 prospect list. Narrowly behind Brendan Rodgers 1st annual mid season top 20 Sal league prospects list.
2nd team: Tito Polo – West Virginia Power (Pirates). Polo had a very strong 1st half for West Virginia. Hitting .302/.368/.551 and earning a promotion to Bradenton. I got one look at Polo this year, he turned around an Anderson Espinoza 96 MPH heater for a 2B into the left field corner. Quick bat, good pop and he can run too. Nice player.
As great as Robles and Polo were it made it tough for any other CF to even get considered but there were others certainly worthy of mention. I have to start with Ronald Acuna who injured his thumb the day before I was due to get my 1st look at him. He never did make it back from the thumb injury so he really only played the month of April but the reports I’ve read have all been glowing. Others worthy of mention: Luis Alexander Basabe has a nice combination of power, speed and CF defense. The hit tool will need to progress though. Mylz Jones offers a nice combination of hit and speed with average power potential. Erik Jenkins can fly but needs to tighten the contact.
RF 1st team: Dylan Davis – Augusta Greenjackets (Giants). Davis had a very good 1st half in Augusta hitting .288/.368/.496 over 63 games earning a promotion to San Jose. I got a couple of looks, while not super toolsy he can hit and he showed good pop.
2nd team: Ray-Patrick Didder – Rome Braves. Didder started in RF but switched to CF when Acuna went down. He put together a solid year hitting .272/.385/.379. Didder is very good defensive OF with excellent speed. He’s a patient hitter with a swing that’s a little on the long side and gap power.
Some other RF I considered: Anderson Miller had a strong 1st half for Lexington. Tate Matheny had a solid year in Greenville. Jose Pujols leads the league with 24 HR; he’s long and lanky and can really drive a baseball when he gets the arms extended. There are holes in his swing however.
LHSP 1st team: PJ Conlon – Columbia Fireflies (Mets). Conlon pitched excellent in 12 starts with Columbia totaling 78.1 innings. He put up an ERA of 1.84 and a 3.05 FIP. And he struck out 19% of the batters he faced and walked just 4%.
2nd team: Kolby Allard – Rome Braves. Allard had a strong 1st full season with the Braves. In 9 starts with Rome totaling 49 Innings he’s put up a 3.83 ERA and 3.5 FIP. He’s struck out 24.5% of the batters he’s face and walked 7.5%. He’s finishing very strong and in the middle he dominated the Appy.
Other lefties in consideration: Brian Gonzalez had a very good year for Delmarva. Foster Griffin got off to a good start for Lexington but was promoted quickly. Max Fried had a pretty strong showing in his first year back from TJ.
RHSP 1st team: Luke Leftwich – Lakewood Blueclaws. Leftwich dominated the Sal competition this yr. In 12 starts totaling 67.2 Inn, his ERA was 2. but his FIP was 1.78 and he struck out 32% of the batters he faced while walking just 6%. I didn’t get a chance to see Leftwich.
2nd team: Mitch Keller – West Virginia Power. Keller dominated Sal league hitters all season. In 119 innings his ERA was 2.56 and FIP was 2.44. His strikeout rate was 26.5% and his walk rate was a minuscule 3.4%. Despite my best efforts I never got to see Keller pitch this year (one of my more frustrating misses).
Other’s in consideration: Anderson Espinoza of Greenville has front line stuff, he’s been doing a lot of work with fastball command this year. He was traded mid season to San Diego. Dillon Tate I saw in April. The fastball, slider combo was overwhelming hitters. He got dinged up and his stuff backed up and his command eluded him. I hope he rediscovers it. He was traded to the Yanks at the deadline. Mike Soroka, nice combination of stuff and current command. Peter Lambert, ditto. I thought the top 2 would be Keller and Soroka. I didn’t realize Leftwich had been that dominant. Keller vs Soroka vs Weigel for the #2 spot was interesting. Keller was a little more dominant. Domingo Acevedo had a strong 1st half for Charleston. Roniel Raudes has had a great year for Greenville.
Closer 1st team: Andrew Schwaab – Charleston Riverdogs. Schwaab had a very good 1st half closing games for Charleston. He saved 18 games while striking out 26.5% of the batters he faced, and walking 5.4%. His ERA was 2.06 and FIP was 2.66.
2nd team: Ryan Meisinger – Delmarva Shorebirds. Meisinger is not the primary closer in Delmarva. He has collected a few saves but he’s been very dominant. He’s struck out 28.9% of the batters he’s faced while walking 7.4%. His ERA is 2.05 and his FIP is 2.98.
This puts a bow on the 2016 top performers. I hope you got as much out of this as I did. For those in deep dynasties, this is where you can find the hidden gems.