Montero, Lewis snag MWL season awards

Cardinals third baseman, Twins shortstop headline 2018 All-Stars

Elehuris Montero and Royce Lewis have each moved up after dominating the Midwest League. (Allison Rhoades, Paul R. Gierhart)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 17, 2018 2:00 PM

Award season has come early to the Minor Leagues, starting Friday in the Midwest League.

The Class A circuit named Peoria third baseman Elehuris Montero its Most Valuable Player and Cedar Rapids shortstop/No. 10 overall prospect Royce Lewis the Prospect of the Year as part of its postseason All-Star unveiling.

Montero, the No. 8 prospect in the Cardinals system, leads the Midwest League in a host of categories including average (.321), slugging percentage (.529), OPS (.910) and total bases (201). He also chipped in 15 homers, three triples and 28 doubles during his 102-game stint with Peoria. The right-handed slugger was promoted to Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Aug. 7.

Lewis -- the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft -- returned to the Midwest League in 2018 after getting an 18-game taste of the circuit last summer. The 19-year-old shortstop hit .315/.368/.485 with nine homers, 23 doubles and 22 steals in 75 games with Cedar Rapids before moving up to Class A Advanced Fort Myers on July 14. Lewis demonstrated a plus hit tool and plus-plus speed with the Kernels, solidifying his place as one of the game's most exciting Minor Leaguers.

Video: Kernels' Lewis hits it out

Lewis was joined by teammate Alex Kirilloff (No. 30 overall) as the two top-100 prospects among the circuit's postseason All-Stars. Kirilloff hit .333/.391/.607 with 13 homers, five triples and 20 doubles in 65 games with Cedar Rapids. His .999 OPS and 176 wRC+ are both tops among the 128 batters with at least 250 Midwest League plate appearances.

Bowling Green right-hander Tommy Romero and Fort Wayne southpaw Osvaldo Hernandez were the two starting pitchers honored by the Class A circuit. Hernandez leads the league with a 1.81 ERA to go with a 1.19 WHIP and 94 strikeouts and 27 walks in 109 2/3 innings. Romero's 3.01 ERA ranks fifth while his 122 strikeouts in 113 2/3 innings sit third. 

Bowling Green led the league with four All-Star representatives on the 2018 squad, with catcher Ronaldo Hernandez (league-leading 18 homers), second baseman Vidal Brujan (43 steals) and outfielder Moises Gomez (.277/.327/.472) joining Romero. Craig Albernaz was named Midwest League Manager of the Year after leading the Hot Rods to a league-best 78-44 record, as of Friday.

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

2018 Midwest League Postseason All-Star Team
Name Position Team MLB Org
Yariel Gonzalez First Base Peoria STL
Vidal Brujan Second Base Bowling Green TB
Elehuris Montero * Third Base Peoria STL
Royce Lewis Shortstop Cedar Rapids MIN
Alex Kirilloff Outfield Cedar Rapids MIN
Ernie De La Trinidad Outfield Kane County ARI
Moises Gomez Outfield Bowling Green TB
Ronaldo Hernandez Catcher Bowling Green TB
Hendrik Clementina DH Dayton CIN
Tommy Romero RH SP Bowling Green TB
Osvaldo Hernandez LHP SP Fort Wayne SD
John Ghyzel RHP RP Dayton CIN
Travis Radke LHP RP Fort Wayne SD
Craig Albernaz Manager Bowling Green TB
* Most Valuable Player      
† Prospect of the Year      

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.

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