Miracle slugger, Crabs righty lead end-of-season All-Stars
Trevor Larnach and Tommy Romero each stood out in their first FSL seasons. (Cliff Welch, Joshua Tjiong/MiLB.com)
By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 29, 2019 11:45 AM
The Florida State League may be known as a pitchers' league, but the biggest names on this year's list of honorees are reserved for those on the hitting side.
Twins outfielder Trevor Larnach (Fort Myers) and Rays right-hander Tommy Romero (Charlotte) were named Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, as the Florida State League announced its end-of-season All-Stars on Thursday. The list also includes top overall prospectWander Franco at shortstop.
Ranked as MLB.com's No. 94 overall prospect, Larnach left his mark on the FSL before jumping to Double-A Pensacola on July 16. The 2018 first-rounder is the only league qualifier with an average above .300 at .316 and Larnach also sits atop the circuit with a .459 slugging percentage, .842 OPS and 148 wRC+. The left-handed-hitting slugger contributed six homers, one triple, 26 doubles and four stolen bases in 84 games with the Miracle.
Romero was a clear favorite to take the FSL's top pitching award as the leader in ERA (1.89), WHIP (1.02), average-against (.203) and wins (12). The 22-year-old right-hander has notched 103 strikeouts and 36 walks over 119 1/3 innings with the Stone Crabs.
That said, Romero wasn't the most notable Charlotte player on the FSL end-of-season All-Star list. Franco made the cut at shortstop, despite playing only 51 games at Class A Advanced following his June 25 promotion from Class A Bowling Green. The 18-year-old switch-hitter batted .330/.402/.457 with three homers, 15 strikeouts and 26 walks over 219 plate appearances. Only Nick Madrigal (2.8) had a higher BB/K rate than Franco's 1.7 among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances for a Class A Advanced club in 2019. Romero and Franco were joined by Stone Crabs catcher Ronaldo Hernandez on the All-Star team after the 21-year-old Rays backstop hit .264/.299/.395 with nine homers.
Dunedin led the way with four All-Star representatives -- outfielder Ryan Noda, outfielder Cal Stevenson (who was traded to the Astros on July 31), starting pitcher Maximo Castillo and reliever Brad Wilson. Blue Jays skipper Cesar Martin was named FSL Manager of the Year after leading the Toronto affiliate to a 79-55 record entering play Thursday. The Blue Jays won the first-half North Division title and hold a two-game lead over Lakeland for the second-half crown as well.
Below is the full list of 2019 Florida State League end-of-season All-Stars and honorees:
2019 Florida State League end-of-season All-Stars and honorees
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.