Rookie-level circuit reveals 2015 All-Star team and award winners
White Sox shortstop Bradley Strong is hitting .326 with two homers, 31 RBIs and 12 steals this year. (Western Carolina)
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | August 31, 2015 5:55 PM
Reds prospect James Vasquez was named the MVP of the Arizona League on Monday when the Rookie-level circuit revealed its 2015 All-Star team.
Vasquez, a 22-year-old first baseman out of Central Florida, hit .359 with nine homers, 36 RBIs and a .415 on-base percentage in 42 games with the AZL Reds after signing with Cincinnati on June 20. The Reds' 25th-round pick in this year's Draft, Vasquez led the league in average, homers and ranked second in RBIs, also had 11 doubles, three triples and owned a 1.084 OPS in 142 at-bats. He posted a pair of two-homer games on June 28 and Aug. 3 and drove in three RBIs on both June 28 and July 17.
Indians prospect Gabriel Mejia, who ranks second in the AZL with a .357 average, was one of three outfielders named to the team alongside Ariel Sandoval of the AZL Dodgers and Rudy Martin of the Royals. Sandoval trails Vasquez and ranks second in the league with eight home runs, while Martin, a 19-year-old 2014 Draft pick, is hitting .338 with 11 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 40 games.
Including Vasquez, the AZL All-Star infield consists solely of Reds and White Sox prospects, with catcher Seby Zavala, third baseman Corey Zangari and shortstop Bradley Strong all making the team for Chicago. Second baseman Blake Butler joined Vasquez as the only other Reds farmhand on the team.
Darryl Kennedy of the Royals was named Manager of the Year. The 46-year-old began his managerial career with the Rangers in 1998 and spent four seasons in the AZL from 2010-14 before leading Class A Advanced Wilmington last summer. He returned to the AZL this year. The former Minor League catcher has won four league championships in the Minors at three different levels.