Topps, MiLB recognize top Short Season/Rookie performers
December 2, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball™ and the Topps Company announced today that league Topps Players of the Year Chris Flexen (Appalachian League), Jeremy Sy (Northwest) and Raimel Tapia (Pioneer) are among the nine players selected to the Topps Short Season-A™/Rookie® All-Star Team. League Most Valuable Players Wilmer Oberto (Gulf Coast) and Michael Ratterree (Pioneer) were also named to the team. Tapia's Grand Junction teammate Ryan McMahon was also selected, giving the Colorado Rockies two farmhands on the squad.
Wilmer Oberto (21) of Villa del Rosario, VZ, hit .316 with six homers and a Gulf Coast League-best 45 RBIs on his way to winning Most Valuable Player honors. The Phillies first baseman tied for the league lead in home runs and ranked in the top five in hits (59), slugging percentage (.508), extra-base hits (20) and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) (.895). The Philadelphia Phillies signed Oberto as a non-drafted free agent in June 2010.
Gosuke Katoh (19) of Poway, Calif., paced the Gulf Coast League with a .924 OPS and tied for the league lead with half a dozen homers. The Yankees second baseman hit .310 and was second in the GCL in slugging percentage (.522). Katoh also was among the top 10 in the league in on-base percentage (.402), hits (57) and batting average. The New York Yankees drafted Katoh in the second round out of high school in this year's June Draft.
Jeremy Sy (24) of Mt. Zion, Ill., hit .294 with eight homers and 41 RBIs for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The shortstop had a .518 slugging percentage and a .909 OPS, both of which would've ranked second in the circuit had he gotten a few more at-bats to qualify among the league leaders. Sy finished in the top 10 in the league in runs (37), stolen bases (13), home runs and runs batted in. The San Francisco Giants selected Sy with their 12th pick in the 2012 Draft out of the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
Ryan McMahon (18) of Yorba Linda, Calif., finished second among short-season players in slugging percentage (.583) and OPS (.984). The Grand Junction Rockies third baseman was also among the top 10 in RBIs (52), extra-base hits (32) and homers (11). The Colorado Rockies drafted McMahon in the second round in this year's June Draft out of high school.
Jin-De Jhang (20) of Taichung City, Taiwan, hit .277 with five homers and 34 RBIs for the Jamestown Jammers. The catcher threw out 47% of base runners attempting to steal and had a .992 fielding percentage. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Jhang as a non-drafted free agent in June 2011.
Kevin Encarnacion (22) of Santo Domingo, D.R., hit a Northwest League-best .355 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs. The Boise Hawks outfielder posted a .417 on-base percentage, .566 slugging percentage and .997 OPS. The Chicago Cubs inked Encarnacion as a non-drafted free agent in May 2010.
Michael Ratterree (22) of Houston, Texas, led short season players in slugging percentage (.585) and extra-base hits (40) and tied for the lead with 58 RBIs. The Helena Brewers outfielder and Pioneer League MVP was second with 63 runs and fourth in OPS (.976), doubles (22) and homers (12). The Milwaukee Brewers took Ratterree in the 10th round in this year's June Draft out of Rice University.
Raimel Tapia (19) of San Pedro de Macoris, D.R., hit a Pioneer League-best .357 and led short-season players with 92 hits. The Grand Junction Rockies outfielder was among the top 10 short-season players in slugging (.562), extra-base hits (33), OPS (.961), runs (53), doubles (20) and triples (six). The Colorado Rockies signed Tapia as a non-drafted free agent in November 2010.
Chris Flexen (19) of Newark, Calif., went 8-1 with a 2.09 ERA for the Kingsport Mets. The right-hander struck out 62 batters in 69 innings while walking just 12. Flexen registered a 0.94 WHIP and held batters to a .209 average. The New York Mets selected him the 14th round in the 2012 Draft out of high school.
2013 TOPPS/MiLB SHORT SEASON-A/ROOKIE ALL-STAR TEAM
(Statistics do not reflect players' performances in other leagues.)