Mountcastle, Keller take top IL honors

Norfolk slugger, Indy right-hander named top player, pitcher

Ryan Mountcastle and Mitch Keller are each appearing on their second end-of-season All-Star list. (David Monseur, Dave Wegiel/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 27, 2019 3:00 PM

The Pacific Coast League announced its end-of-season All-Stars on Monday. Now, we know their Triple-A counterparts.

Norfolk first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and Indianapolis right-hander Mitch Keller won Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Pitcher awards, respectively, as the International League released its 2019 end-of-season All-Star list Tuesday. Louisville's Aristides Aquino (Rookie of the Year) and Gwinnett's Damon Berryhill (Manager of the Year) were the other major award winners.

Mountcastle continued to build his case for being a big part of the Orioles' future with his strong first season at Triple-A. MLB.com's No. 68 overall prospect leads the IL with 153 hits and 262 total bases entering play Tuesday and also ranks among the league leaders in extra-base hits (58, second), RBIs (80, fourth), runs scored (79, fifth) and slugging percentage (.528, eighth). His 25 homers over 121 games is a new career high, besting the 18 he hit in 2017 between Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie.

Keller thrived in his second Triple-A season after making 10 starts for the Indians in 2018. The Pirates' top prospect ranked third in the league with 123 strikeouts over 103 2/3 innings and also placed third among IL pitchers with at least 100 frames with his 3.56 ERA. His 3.80 FIP and 28.2 percent K rate were both tops among the 20 pitchers in the latter group. The 23-year-old right-hander has made six Major League starts in 2019 and has been up with the big club since Aug. 12.

Aquino has made his own Major League headlines by going deep 12 times in his first 24 games with the Reds, but before his season debut with Cincinnati on Aug. 1, the right-handed slugger had already been making waves with Louisville, thanks to a more open batting stance. Aquino hit 28 homers in 78 games with the Bats, which still ranks as the fourth-most in the IL this season despite the fact he hasn't played in the league this month. He also produced a .299/.356/.636 line in Triple-A.

Video: Louisville's Aquino blasts one off scoreboard

Among the other All-Star honorees were home run leader Bobby Bradley (31) at designated hitter, OPS leader Ryan McBroom (.970) at the utility spot and wRC+ leader Jake Cronenworth (147) at shortstop.

Berryhill was named Manager of the Year after leading the Stripers to a league-best 76-56 record entering Tuesday. Gwinnett holds a 2 1/2 game lead over Charlotte in the IL South Division with the season set to end next Monday. 

Below is the full list of 2019 International League end-of-season All-Stars and honorees:

2019 International League end-of-season All-Stars and honorees
POSITION NAME TEAM
Catcher Eric Haase Columbus
First Base Ryan Mountcastle # Norfolk
Second Base Jake Elmore Indianapolis
Third Base Kean Wong Durham
Shortstop Jake Cronenworth Durham
Outfield Aristides Aquino ^ Louisville
Outfield Brandon Barnes Columbus, Rochester
Outfield Adam Duvall Gwinnett
Designated Hitter Bobby Bradley Columbus
Utility Ryan McBroom Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Starting Pitcher Mitch Keller Indianapolis
Relief Pitcher Trevor Kelley Pawtucket
Manager Damon Berryhill Gwinnett
# -- Most Valuable Player; ^ -- Rookie 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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