Top-100 prospects Tucker, Kieboom, Diaz among honorees
Kyle Tucker and Kevin Cron have combined to hit 70 home runs over 198 games in the PCL in 2019. (Jim Redman/MiLB.com, Reno Aces)
By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 28, 2019 7:31 PM
As expected, this group features a real murderer's row of hitting talent from the Minors' top level.
Top-100 prospectsKyle Tucker, Carter Kieboom and Isan Diaz combined with dominant sluggers like Kevin Cron, Ty France and Jared Walsh to form the 2019 Pacific Coast League end-of-season All-Stars, the Triple-A circuit announced Monday. Las Vegas skipper Fran Riordan was named as the Manager of the Year on Tuesday while France was tapped as Rookie of the Year on Wednesday.
The highest-ranked prospect of the bunch at No. 13 overall, Tucker made news over the weekend when he became the fifth player in the history of the PCL to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season. The Round Rock outfielder is hitting .267/.355/.555 with 32 blasts and 30 thefts over 120 games for the Express this season, his second at Triple-A.
Kieboom (No. 21) is hitting .311/.416/.513 with 16 homers in 102 games and earns the All-Star nod at shortstop. One spot over, Isan Diaz (No. 84) is the second-base representative after hitting .305/.395/.578 with 26 homers in 102 games for New Orleans. The left-handed slugger has been up in the Majors with the Marlins since Aug. 5.
Following an offensive explosion in the circuit this year, some of 2019's top Minor League statistical hitters also made the PCL end-of-season list.
Reno first baseman Cron leads the Minors with 39 homers -- 38 of which have come with the Aces -- and also tops all full-season Minor Leaguers with a .789 slugging percentage and 1.227 OPS over 78 games. Walsh -- a part-time two-way player for Salt Lake who was honored at DH -- ranks second behind Cron among full-season Minor Leaguers with his .695 slugging percentage and 1.125 OPS for the Bees. He has also clubbed 34 homers, tied for fifth-most in the Minors. San Antonio catcher David Freitas found his way onto the All-Star team, in part due to his Minors-best .386 batting average and .466 on-base percentage (with France no longer qualifying).
France was among the top hitters in all of the Minors, with only a big league callup stopping him from reaching a .400 average with El Paso. The Padres third baseman finished his Triple-A campaign with a .399/.477/.770 slash line, 27 homers and 89 RBIs in 76 games with the Chihuahuas.
The numbers on the pitching side aren't nearly as rosy, but those honored still deserve recognition for what they accomplished in trying circumstances. Colin Rea was named the PCL All-Star right-handed starter after leading the league with a 3.74 ERA over 142 innings for Iowa. Along with Hector Noesi (3.82), he was one of only two PCL qualifiers with an ERA below 4.00 in 2019, as of Monday. Omaha southpaw Foster Griffin was the left-handed pick after he posted a 5.35 ERA with 103 strikeouts in 117 2/3 innings. Nashville closer David Carpenter was the selection in the relief role, thanks to his league-best 20 saves and 1.77 ERA over 36 appearances (35 2/3 innings).
Other PCL awards will be rolled out this week. Pitcher of the Year and Most Valuable Player will be revealed over the following couple days.
Below is the full list of 2019 Pacific Coast League end-of-season All-Stars:
2019 Pacific Coast League end-of-season All-Stars
* 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.