Bannon leads California League All-Stars

Former Dodgers prospect takes home MVP, Rookie of the Year

Rylan Bannon batted .296/.402/.559 in 89 games with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga this season. (Joshua Tjiong/MiLB.com)

By Chris Bumbaca / MiLB.com | August 21, 2018 3:00 PM

Rylan Bannon might play on the opposite side of the country now, but that didn't stop him from cleaning up the California League's post-season awards. 

The former Dodgers prospect -- now with Baltimore after being included in the Manny Machado trade in July -- captured the circuit's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year honors for his efforts with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga to lead the end-of-season All-Stars in the eight-team league. 

Bannon began his 2018 campaign with a power surge, clubbing eight homers and driving in 20 runs during April before hitting .340 in May. The hot start carried him to a .296 average and a league-leading .961 OPS by July 18, the day he was shipped to Baltimore, where he currently plays with Double-A Bowie in the Eastern League. 

Video: Rancho Cucamonga's Bannon blasts 20th homer

At the time of the trade, the 2017 eighth-round Draft pick led the league in homers (20) and walks (59). He was tied for second in RBIs with 61 and was a two-time Player of the Week on his way to being named a mid-season All-Star. Bannon now checks in as the Orioles' No. 22 prospect

Another pair of former Quakes -- Dustin May and Gavin Lux -- also earned post-season All-Star spots. May, a right-handed pitcher and the Dodgers' fourth-ranked prospect, posted a 7-3 record with a 3.29 ERA. MLB.com's No. 80 overall prospect fanned 94 batters in 98 1/3 innings. Lux, a former first-round Draft pick and Los Angeles' No. 6 prospect, batted .324/.396/.520 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs. Both Lux and May were promoted to Double-A Tulsa as July flipped to August. 

Rockies No. 3 prospect Colton Welker earned an end-of-season All-Star nod thanks to his .333 average entering Tuesday's play. The Lancaster standout caught fire this month, hitting .488 with a 1.166 OPS during an 11-game stretch. Fellow JetHawk Vince Fernandez, who ranks second in the circuit with 22 homers, was also honored. 

Pitcher of the Year went to Visalia's Emilio Vargas. The D-backs' No. 14 prospect was 8-5 in 19 starts (108 innings) before earning a promotion to Double-A Jackson on Aug. 1. The right-hander's 2.50 ERA and 140 strikeouts still lead the circuit.

The full list of California League end-of-season All-Stars is below:

2018 California League Postseason All-Star Team
Name Position Team MLB Org
Evan White First Base Modesto SEA
Jalen Miller Second Base San Jose SF
Colton Welker Third Base Lancaster COL
Gavin Lux Shortstop Rancho Cucamonga LAD
Vince Fernandez Outfield Lancaster COL
Cody Thomas Outfield Rancho Cucamonga LAD
Buddy Reed Outfield Lake Elsinore SD
Dominic Miroglio Catcher Visalia  ARI
Rylan Bannon*† UTL Rancho Cucamonga LAD
Hudson Potts DH Lake Elsinore SD
Emilio Vargas^ Pitcher Visalia ARI
 Rico Garcia Pitcher Lancaster COL
 Dustin May Pitcher Rancho Cucamonga LAD
 Reid Humphreys Pitcher Lancaster COL
Rick Magnante Manager Stockton OAK
* Most Valuable Player      
† Rookie of the Year      
^ Pitcher of the Year      

Chris Bumbaca is a contributor for MiLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @BOOMbaca. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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