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: Nick Castellanos, 3B/LF
Power: Nick Castellanos, 3B/LF
Eye: Nick Castellanos, 3B/LF
Base Stealer: Daniel Fields, 2B
K-Ability: Jake Thompson, RHP
Control: Jose Alvarez, LHP
Best Hit Tool: While the power is finally starting to develop for Nick Castellanos, the young third baseman/left fielder owns one of the top hit tools in the minors. As a 21-year-old debuting in the International League, Castellanos hit a respectable .276/.343/.450 to go along with a solid-average eye at the plate and strong contact skills.
Best Power: For the first extended period in his career, Nick Castellanos, who’s been aggressively pushed through the minors, showed solid-average or better power. Castellanos set career highs in Isolated Power (.174), homeruns (18), and doubles (37). And when it’s all said and done, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him develop 30-homerun pop.
Best Plate Discipline: Again, more projection than results at this point but as a 21-year-old in Triple-A, Nick Castellanos has posted at different points in his career walk rates just north of 9.0% against older competition.
Best Base Stealer: A sixth rounder playing for the hometown Tigers, Daniel Fields had a bit of breakout in Double-A this season, hitting .284/.356/.435 while swiping 24 bags in 31 attempts (77.4%). The 22-year-old second baseman had nabbed 47 bags over the past two seasons.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Another one of the high ceiling prospect poised to move through the system quickly, right-hander Jake Thompson averaged nearly 10 punch outs per nine innings during his 17 starts in the Midwest League this season.
Best Control: A smallish left-hander that’s bounced around quite a bit throughout his career, Jose Alvarez has averaged 2.2 BB/9 through 846.1 minor league innings. This season he issued just 25 free passes in 128.2 innings (1.7 BB/9).
Photo of Jake Thompson Courtesy of Emily Jones/MiLB.com.