For many young ballplayers, the Arizona League provides their first taste of professional baseball in the United States. For a select few, it can also represent the first time they're rewarded for their play in affiliated ball as well, and that's precisely what happened this week.
The Rookie-level circuit announced its 2013 All-Star team Thursday, led by league MVP Christian Arroyo.
Arroyo -- the first-round pick (25th overall) of the Giants in this year's Draft -- owned a .326/.388/.511 slash line in 45 games in the Rookie-level circuit this season. The 19-year-old shortstop, who shares an All-Star spot at the position with Franchy Cordero (Padres), led the Arizona League with an .898 OPS, 18 doubles and 39 RBIs and tied for first in slugging percentage. He is listed as San Francisco's No. 8 prospect, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
He was joined on this year's All-Star team by fellow first-rounder (fifth overall) Clint Frazier, who nabbed one of the three outfield spots on this year's team. The center fielder, who turns 19 on Sept. 6, owned a .296/.362/.506 line with 11 doubles, five triples, five homers and 28 RBIs in 44 games with the Arizona Indians. The Tribe's No. 3 prospect's .506 slugging percentage ranked fourth among the circuit's sluggers.
Home-run champion Jose Urena took a spot at DH after going deep nine times for the Padres. He also led the league with 94 total bases and ranked third in RBIs (34) and slugging (.508).
Angels second baseman Ismael Dionicio batted .354 across 47 contests for the highest average among this year's AZL All-Stars. (Dodgers third baseman Adam Law technically led the circuit with a .357 average but only appeared in 33 games.)
The Padres also had a pair of pitching prospects honored with Pete Kelich (7-1, 1.40 ERA) and Payton Baskette (1.37 ERA) being named the best right-handed starter and left-handed reliever, respectively. The pair were first and second in this year's ERA category.
Here's the list of this year's Arizona League All-Stars:
2013 Arizona League All-Star Team
|Clint Frazier||OF||Ariz. Indians||CLE|
|Justin Williams||OF||Ariz. D-backs||ARI|
|Luis Ysla||LH SP||Scottsdale||SF|
|Pete Kelich||RH SP||Peoria||SD|
|Payton Baskette||LH RP||Peoria||SD|
|Ben Carlson||RH RP||Tempe||LAA|