The Class A Advanced Carolina League has only 10 teams and will conduct its own midsummer classic for the first time since 1995, but its All-Star Game could be the most talent-laden across the entire Minor League landscape this season.
Seven of MLB.com's top-100 prospects and one of the Minors' most productive hitters highlight the circuit's North and South Division rosters, which were announced Monday. The game will take place June 20 at Salem, Virginia.
The South will be especially stacked as five top-100 prospects made the squad: Myrtle Beach outfielder Eloy Jimenez (No. 8), Carolina outfielder Corey Ray (No. 23), Carolina infielder Isan Diaz (No. 56), Winston-Salem catcher Zack Collins (No, 70) and Buies Creek right-handed pitcher Franklin Perez (No. 95). Jimenez is listed as the starting designated hitter.
While the South may have more notable names, the North will pack a punch with some of the first half's most dominant performers.
2017 Carolina League All-Star rosters: North Division | South Division
The league's top hitter, Salem third baseman Michael Chavis is expected to start at the hot corner in his home stadium. The No. 10 Red Sox prospect leads the loop in all three Triple Crown categories (.335 average, 16 homers, 54 RBIs) as well as slugging percentage (.675) and OPS (1.078). No one else in the Class A Advanced circuit has more than 12 homers, and Chavis is the only player with an OPS in quadruple digits. The North also boasts Frederick infielder Ryan Mountcastle. Baltimore's No. 4 prospect got the nod at DH after leading the circuit with 22 doubles and 139 total bases in 61 games.
Lynchburg right-hander Triston McKenzie is a good bet to get the ball for the South Division, though a starter hasn't been announced yet. The No. 49 overall prospect leads active Carolina League pitchers with a 2.51 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings. He'll be joined by No. 5 overall prospect and Potomac outfielder Victor Robles as the North's two top-100 representatives.
The Carolina League shared its midsummer classic with the Class A Advanced California League from 1996 through 2016.
Video: Michael Chavis homers for the Red Sox