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: Marcus Semien, 2B/SS
Power: Trayce Thompson, CF/RF
Eye: Marcus Semien, 2B/SS
Base Stealer: Micah Johnson, 2B
K-Ability: Erik Johnson, RHP
Control: Anthony Bucciferro, RHP
Best Hit Tool: Marcus Semien’s hit tool grades out as solid-average, maybe a touch better, but the overall void of offensive difference makers in the system pushes the Cal star to the top.
Best Power: While Trayce Thompson’s overall production dipped across the board during his first full season in Class AA, the then 22-year-old still owns the best power potential in the system. After slugging 62 extra-base knocks in each of the two previous season, Thompson hit just 43 (23 doubles, four triples, and 15 homeruns) in 2013.
Best Plate Discipline: Marcus Semien has gone from a sixth round pick to making his big league debut within two seasons, all the while displaying success at each stop along the way, thanks in large part to an above-average or better eye at the plate. Semien finished with 98 walks this season, the sixth highest mark in the minors.
Best Base Stealer: The lone standout offensive tool for second baseman Micah Johnson is his speed on the base paths, where he swiped a minor league leading 83 bags last season.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Not overpowering by any stretch of the means, right-hander Erik Johnson, whose fastball averaged 92 mph during his short debut with the big league club, nonetheless struck out 131 batters in 142 innings split between Birmingham and Charlotte.
Best Control: A 14th rounder out of Michigan State University in 2012, Anthony Bucciferro showed an impressive feel for pounding the strike zone in 2013 (0.6 BB/9; six free passes in 90.2 innings), but his age, collegiate background and level of competition (South Atlantic League) all need to be considered as well.
Photo of Marcus Semien Courtesy of Rob Grabowski/USA Today Sports via ChicagoTribune.com.