With the minor league season officially wrapped up, it’s time to look back at the each organization’s top tools. Note: only everyday players with 250+ plate appearances, starting pitchers with 80+ innings, and relievers with 40+ innings were considered. For more Top MiLB Tools click here.
Hit Tool: Garin Cecchini, 3B
Power: Bryce Brentz, LF/RF
Eye: Garin Cecchini, 3B
Runner: Mookie Betts, 2B
K-Ability: Henry Owens, LHP
Control: Mike Augliera, RHP
Best Hit Tool: Garin Cecchini looked like the second coming of Wade Boggs during his brief tenure in high Class A this season. The lefty swinging third baseman batted .350/.469/.547 in 262 plate appearances. Having little else to prove, Boston bumped up the 22-year-old to Class AA where he continued his torrid pace (.296/.420/.404). Cecchini could contend for a batting title or two during his big league career.
Best Power:After exploding onto the scene in 2012 (.307/.373/.523), Xander Bogaerts continued to establish himself among the top handful of prospects in the game. As a 20-year-old splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A, Bogaerts slugged 23 doubles, six triples and 15 homeruns in 515 plate appearances. The power isn’t fully developed yet, but should settle in as a 25- to 30-HR threat in the coming seasons.
Best Plate Discipline: Along with an above-average or better hit tool, Garin Cecchini possesses one of the elite walk rates in the minor leagues. After walking in 11.6% of his plate appearances in 2012, he improved that number at both stops this season, walking 16.4% of the time in high Class A and 17.3% in Class AA.
Best Base Stealer: A fantastic find in the fifth round two years ago, Mookie Betts swiped a total of 38 bags in just 42 total attempts (90.5% success rate). For his career, the diminuitive second baseman has 59 steals in 68 attempts (86.8%).
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Arguably the top lefty prospect, Henry Owens struck out the second most hitters in the minors this season (169), trailing Danny Winkler by six despite throwing 22 fewer innings.
Best Control: Mike Augliera spent the year in high Class A where he averaged 2.44 BB/9, a solid total but the Boston organization lacks extreme control pitchers.
Photo of Garin Cecchini Courtesy of Cliff Welch/MiLB.com.