Toolshed reveals its Triple-A All-Star picks

Hoskins, Moncada among prospects deserving place in showcase

Phillies No. 13 prospect Rhys Hoskins has been an early candidate for International League MVP. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | June 16, 2017 10:00 AM ET

Voting should be an independent process -- a chance to express yourself, make your voice heard, show what matters most to you.

Don't worry, we're still talking about baseball here.

The Esurance Triple-A All-Star Game ballot remains open until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 23, meaning there's about one more week to have your say on which players will get starting nods in Tacoma on July 12.

Just because voting is an independent process, however, that doesn't mean we all don't need a little help identifying the candidates. Below is a sneak peak at Toolshed's picks for the Triple-A performers who most deserve All-Star votes this summer. (Note: stats are through Thursday afternoon.)

First base

International: Rhys Hoskins, Lehigh Valley -- No contest here. Hoskins leads the IL with a .578 slugging percentage and .968 OPS and is tied for the lead with 14 homers through 65 games. It won't get much easier than this.

Pacific Coast: Garrett Cooper, Colorado Springs -- Much tougher choices at first base are out west. Healthy consideration should be given to Reno slugger Christian Walker, who ranks second in the circuit with 17 homers and is tops with 65 RBIs. However, Cooper nips him in the percentage stats with a .362/.417/.608 line in 52 games. It'd be tough enough to deny the average alone, but the 1.025 OPS also ranks second and his 11 homers, 16 doubles and 54 RBIs are nothing to sneeze. Walker will make for a good power bat off the bench in Tacoma. Let Cooper get the start.

Second base

International: Yoan Moncada, Charlotte -- The difference between Moncada (.804 OPS, 127 wRC+) and Johnny Giavotella (.809 OPS, 126 wRC+) is fairly negligible. Even when taking prospect status out of the equation, Moncada still gets the nod because he's hit more homers (seven vs. four) and stolen plenty more bases (13 vs. three). Ozzie Albies is also worthy of consideration with his IL-leading 17 steals but is lacking the more rounded resume of Moncada.

Pacific Coast: Drew Robinson, Round Rock -- There are some at this position on the ballot who have hit for a high average, like Ramon Torres (.327) or Ildemaro Vargas (.320). There are some who have power, like Willie Calhoun (14 homers). Robinson is in the middle ground, doing it all with a .286/.395/.553 line with 10 homers, four triples and 17 doubles in 52 games. The Express slugger has an OPS of .948, eighth-best in the league. No other PCL second baseman has an OPS above. 924.


Vote today on the Esurance Triple-A All-Star Ballot »


Shortstop

International: Max Moroff, Indianapolis -- Moroff is currently in the Majors with the Pirates. However, he's still on the ballot, and no one should overlook the fact that he's lapping the IL shortstop field with 13 homers -- his closest ballot competition has six -- and trails only Hoskins in slugging percentage (.569) and OPS (.954). Give him the All-Star notation on his player page, even if he's not back with Indy by July 12.

Pacific Coast: Ketel Marte, Reno -- No need to overthink this one. Marte is the PCL leader in average (.366) and hits (98) and ranks second in runs (55) and total bases (145). Apologies to Paul DeJong, Amed Rosario and Raul Mondesi, but a click for Marte shouldn't elicit a second thought.

Third base

International: Jason Leblebijian, Buffalo -- No massive standouts in this category. Give it to Leblebijian, who has been solid with a .304/.376/.505 line, eight homers, three triples and 11 doubles in 59 games. He leads IL third baseman in all three slash-line categories. Durham's Patrick Leonard might earn your vote if you value his 10 steals, but he has only two more total bases than his Buffalo counterpart, despite also having 30 more at-bats.

Pacific Coast: Matt Chapman, Nashville -- This isn't entirely fair to the Sounds. Two of their most prodigious sluggers are both candidates in the same category with PCL home run leader Renato Nunez (18 homers) sharing the spot with Chapman (16 homers). We give Chapman the nod for his advantage in OBP (.350-.324), slugging (.592-.577), OPS (.942-.901) and stolen bases (five-zero). But if that isn't convincing enough, consider that Nunez has played more games in left field than third base this season. By next Friday's voting deadline, it's possible he passes Chapman, who is now in the Majors, for consideration. For now, it's Chapman.

Catcher

International: Mike Marjama, Durham -- You might not be convinced by Marjama's .288/.360/.438 line, five homers and nine doubles in 43 games -- even if they are some of the best offensive numbers put up by a qualified IL catcher this season. So consider this -- Marjama has thrown out 13-of-24 -- or 54.2 percent -- of attempted basestealers this season. The 27-year-old backstop hasn't made an All-Star Game in his seven seasons in the Minors but has performed well enough to get a long look on the ballot.

Pacific Coast: Victor Caratini, Iowa -- You could go crazy here going back and forth between Caratini (.333/.373/.517, six homers, 127 wRC+), Round Rock's Brett Nicholas (.340/.387/.522, five homers, 136 wRC+) and Memphis' Carson Kelly (.296/.391/.491, seven homers, 133 wRC+). How about this for a tiebreaker? Caratini has put up those numbers over 41 more plate appearances than Kelly and 52 more than Nicholas. That's a wide enough difference to push him over the edge in a group full of part-timers, though no one can really make a bad pick here.

Designated hitter

International: Cameron Perkins, Lehigh Valley -- No one in this category can compete with Perkins' .307/.404/.479 line and 33/27 K/BB ratio over 58 games with the IronPigs. His .307 average, especially, ranks second in the IL. Perkins' five homers don't exactly scream DH power, but everything else checks out. 

Pacific Coast: Oswaldo Arcia, Reno -- Much more firepower here with the player who has the early lead for PCL MVP. Arcia leads the circuit with a .432 OBP and 36 extra-base hits (14 homers, four triples, 18 doubles) and is tops in the Minors with a .710 slugging percentage and 1.142 OPS. No one should even need a look at the other candidates.

Outfielders

International: Dustin Fowler, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; Richie Shaffer, Columbus; Clint Frazier, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre -- Fowler (.298/.341/.551, 34 extra-base hits, nine steals) and Shaffer (.276/.372/.521, 13 homers) should be the first two picks written in ink -- or in this case clicked -- on most ballots. The third pick is a little tricky. Frazier's 133 wRC+ is second-highest among IL outfielders, and he's added nine steals as well, making him a well-rounded candidate.

Pacific Coast: Derek Fisher, Fresno; Eric Young Jr., Salt Lake; Brett Phillips, Colorado Springs -- This is about as well-rounded an All-Star outfield as you can find. Fisher (.335/.401/.608, 16 homers, 13 steals) provided the perfect blend of power and speed for Fresno before getting his promotion to the Majors this week. The veteran Young has hit well with a .354 average (fourth-best in the PCL) and used his legs to steal a league-best 15 bags. Phillips is the Frazier of this group. He's been all-around solid with a .292/.366/.579 line and 11 homers in 50 games for the Sky Sox while adding five combined assists from all three spots in the grass.

Starting pitchers

International: Jacob Faria, Durham; Hector Velazquez, Pawtucket -- Despite his last two outings coming in the Majors, Faria continues to lead the IL with 84 strikeouts accrued over his 58 2/3 innings with Durham. His 3.07 ERA and 1.13 WHIP aren't too bad either. Velazquez, a free agent signing by the Red Sox out of the Mexican League, leads the IL in both ERA (1.29) and WHIP (0.82). 

Pacific Coast: Wilmer Font, Oklahoma City; Seth Frankoff, Iowa -- No one in the Minors has more strikeouts than Font's 102 in 71 innings. He's also managed to walk only 14 batters in that span for a PCL-best 7.3 K/BB ratio. So even if his 3.42 ERA isn't impressive on its face, know that his peripherals are quite dominant. For those who prefer more traditional stats, Frankoff is the only PCL pitcher with a WHIP below 1.00 at 0.98, while his 3.13 ERA ranks third. His 25.6 percent strikeout rate trails only Font's 36 percent for the league lead.

Relief pitchers

International: Pedro Beato, Lehigh Valley; Tyler Webb, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre -- We generally try to ignore the save stat here, but Beato has one job with the IronPigs, and he does it very well. His 20 saves are double the total of any other reliever in the IL. Webb has just the one save in 19 appearances, but get this: he's struck out 44 batters and walked only one over 31 innings with the RailRiders. That 44.0 K/BB ratio is easily the best in the Minors among pitchers with a minimum of 25 innings. Nick Pivetta is second with an 18.5 K/BB during his 32 frames with Lehigh Valley.

Pacific Coast: Matt Carasiti, Albuquerque; Drew Steckenrider, New Orleans -- Carasiti represents a good mix of traditional and advanced stats. He's tied with Phil Maton with a league-best 13 saves and owns a 2.70 FIP over 25 1/3 innings, third-best among PCL pitchers with at least 25 frames. Steckenrider earns votes for his 1.65 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, .190 average-against and 32.4 percent strikeout rate.

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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