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: Byron Buxton, CF
Power: Miguel Sano, 3B
Eye: Byron Buxton, CF
Base Stealer: Byron Buxton, CF
K-Ability: Alex Meyer, RHP
Control: Pat Dean, LHP
Best Hit Tool: Prospect Digest’s Minor League Hitter of the Year, Byron Buxton flashed a complete offensive toolkit during his first full season in professional ball, including an above-average or better hit tool. The former number two overall pick finished the year 67% better than the league average on offense.
Best Power: Miguel Sano, who was featured in the documentary Pelotero, slugged 35 homeruns this season, the fourth highest total in the minors, trailing only Joey Gallo, George Springer and Javier Baez. Sano also added 30 doubles and five triples as well. The young third baseman owns a career .288 Isolated Power, or ISO.
Best Plate Discipline: Byron Buxton isn’t just blessed with an impressive hit tool, but his plate discipline was also advanced for his age as well. As a 19-year-old with Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers, Buxton posted a 105-to-76 strikeout-to-walk ratio and posted a BB-rate of 13.24%.
Best Base Stealer: Byron Buxton stole 55 bags in 74 attempts (74.3%). For his career, Buxton has swiped 66 bags in a little more than a full season’s worth of games.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: A gargantuan right-hander from the University of Kentucky, Alex Meyer, who stands 6-foot-9, averaged nearly 11 punch out per nine innings during his first taste of Double-A. He fanned just a touch over 30% of the hitters he faced this season.
Best Control: A southpaw in the typical Minnesota Twins fashion, Pat Dean, who averaged 4.5 K/9 this season, issued just 22 free passes in 165 innings this season.
Photo of Miguel Sano Courtesy of Cliff Welch/MiLB.com.