D-backs, Twins prospects lead announcement of leagues' best
Byron Buxton and Archie Bradley are the top prospects in their respective systems.
By Minor League Baseball | September 16, 2013 6:00 AM ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Four first round picks, including Joey Gallo who led MiLB™ with 40 home runs, are among those who have been honored with their league's August Topps Player of the Month award. The Topps Company of New York, N.Y., in conjunction with Minor League Baseball™, announces the winners.
Tyler Moore (26) of Brandon, Miss., hit .339 with seven doubles, four homers and 20 RBIs. The Syracuse Chiefs OF/1B had a .677 slugging percentage and a 1.069 OPS in 16 International League games, before the Washington Nationals recalled him on August 17. The Nationals selected Moore in the 16th round out of Mississippi State University in 2008.
Eric Campbell (26) of Norwich, Conn., batted .355 and paced the Pacific Coast League with a dozen doubles and a .474 on-base percentage. The Las Vegas 51s OF/1B ranked second in the PCL in walks (23) and hits (38). Campbell had multiple hits in 13 games last month and finished sixth with 13 extra-base hits. The New York Mets drafted Campbell in the eighth round in 2008 out of Boston College.
J.C. Linares (29) of Miami, Fla., tied for the Eastern League lead in batting average (.368), hits (42), doubles (12) and slugging percentage (.649). The Portland Sea Dogs outfielder led the league with a 1.065 OPS and ranked third with 25 runs batted in. The Boston Red Sox signed Linares as a free agent in July 2010.
Archie Bradley (21) of Muskogee, Okla., won all six of his starts with the Mobile BayBears. The right-hander led the Southern League in wins and tied for first with 36 strikeouts. Bradley's 1.24 ERA was second best in the circuit. In 36.1 innings, he allowed 23 hits and held batters to a .189 average. The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Bradley in the first round (7th overall) in 2011 out of high school.
Randal Grichuk (22) of Rosenberg, Texas, and Kyle Parker (23) of St. Johns, Fla., share Texas League honors. Grichuk hit .304 with a league-leading seven home runs for Arkansas Travelers. The outfielder also paced the league with 16 extra-base hits and a .574 slugging percentage. He also ranked in the top five in hits (35), doubles (8), RBIs (20) and OPS (.907). Parker topped the TL with 23 runs batted in and 38 hits. The Tulsa Drillers outfielder/first baseman was third in batiing average (.330) and OPS (.930) and fourth in homers (5), slugging percentage (.539) and extra-base hits (13). The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim picked Grichuk in the first round (24th overall) in 2009 out of high school. The Colorado Rockies took Parker in the first round (26th overall) in 2010 out of Clemson University.
Taylor Featherston (23) of Houston, Texas, batted a California League best .385 with four homers and 22 RBIs. The Modesto Nuts second baseman tied for the league lead with 40 hits and 28 runs. Featherston ranked second in OPS (1.117), slugging percentage (.663), extra-base hits (19) and doubles (13). The Colorado Rockies selected him in the fifth round in 2011 out of Texas Christian University.
Jake Cose (23) of Stockton, Calif., didn't allow a run in his first 21 August innings in going 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA. The Winston-Salem Dash right-hander tied for the league lead in victories and innings pitched (38.1). Cose struck out 27 batters and held hitters to a .182 average. The Chicago White Sox drafted him in the 27th round in 2011 out of San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) Junior College.
Byron Buxton (19) of Baxley, Ga., hit .402 with 16 stolen bases, a .523 on-base percentage and a 1.017 OPS, all tops in the Florida State League. The Ft. Myers Miracle outfielder had a 14-game hitting streak and ranked second in hits (35), runs (21), walks (20) and triples (3). The Minnesota Twins took Buxton in the first round (2nd overall) in 2012 out of high school.
Tim Shibuya (23) of Jackson, Wyo., went 3-0 and led Midwest League pitchers in ERA (0.88) and WHIP (0.72). The Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander ranked second in batting average against (.167) and fanned 17 in 30.2 innings. Shibuya ended his month by firing a 4-hit shutout at Clinton on August 31. The Minnesota Twins picked Shibuya in the 23rd round in 2011 out of the University of California-San Diego.
Joey Gallo (19) of Henderson Nev., ranked first in the South Atlantic League in homers (12), extra-base hits (18), triples (3), slugging percentage (.885) and OPS (1.285). The Hickory Crawdads third baseman also ranked in the top 10 in RBIs (21), runs (21) and on-base percentage (.400). Gallo smacked seven of his dozen homers in the last week of the season to give him 40 and the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, as the top slugger in MiLB. The Texas Rangers selected him with the 39th overall pick last year out of high school.
Conor Bierfeldt (22) of Torrington, Conn., hit .345 and led New York-Penn League hitters in slugging percentage (.667) and OPS (1.108). The Aberdeen IronBirds outfielder ranked second in homers (5), extra-base hits (16) and on-base % (.441). His batting average and 18 RBIs were fourth best. The Baltimore Orioles drafted Bierfeldt in the 29th round in June out of Western Connecticut State University.
Kevin Encarnacion (21) of Santo Domingo, D.R., paced all Northwest League batters in average (.370), hits (40), runs (24), extra-base hits (12) and OPS (1.017). The Boise Hawks outfielder tied for the league lead with five homers and 22 RBIs. Encarnacion had hits in 22 of his 26 games and finished second in the circuit in on-base percentage (.433) and slugging percentage (.583). The Chicago Cubs signed him as a free agent in May 2010.
Matt Dean (20) Highland Village, Texas, put together a 16-game hitting streak on his way to leading the Appalachian League with a .396 average. The Bluefield Blue Jays first baseman was second in the league with a .615 slugging percentage and 36 hits and third in RBIs (22) and extra-base hits (11). The Toronto Blue Jays took Dean in the 13th round in 2011 out of high school.
Daniel Rockett (22) of Sugar Land, Texas, hit .352 and ranked third in the Pioneer League with six homers and a .615 slugging percentage. The Idaho Falls Chukars outfielder also was among the top 10 in the league in RBIs (22), OPS (.997), batting average and hits (32). The Kansas City Royals drafted Rockett in the ninth round in June out of the University of Texas-San Antonio.
Pete Kelich (22) of Jackson, N.J., had a dominating month for the Padres, allowing just one earned run in 27.0 innings. The right-hander won five games and had a miniscule 0.33 ERA, both of which led the Arizona League. Kelich struck out 35 and walked just one batter. He ranked third in strikeouts and WHIP (0.78). The San Diego Padres selected Kelich in the 38th round in June out of Bryant (RI) University.
Rafael Bautista (20) of Santo Domingo, D.R., hit .325 and had hits in 16 of his 19 Gulf Coast League games for the Nationals. The outfielder ranked among the top 10 in hits (27), runs (14), RBIs (14) and stolen bases (7). The Washington Nationals signed Bautista as a free agent in January 2012.