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: Addison Russell, SS
Power: Addison Russell, SS
Eye: Max Muncy, 1B
Base Stealer: Addison Russell, SS
K-Ability: Sonny Gray, RHP
Control: Tanner Peters, RHP
[/pullquote] Best Hit Tool: After totaling just 244 plate appearances in his pro career prior to the season, shortstop Addison Russell handled his aggressive promotion to high Class A with impressive results. The 19-year-old hit .275/.377/.508 while showing solid contact skills and an above-average walk rate.
Best Power: With all due respect to first baseman Matt Olson (55 extra-base hits with Beloit), Addison Russell’s power in high Class A (29 doubles, 10 triples, and 17 homeruns) rates as the system’s best. Russell posted a .233 Isolated Power.
Best Plate Discipline: Twenty-year-old first baseman Max Muncy posted a 102-to-88 strikeout-to-walk ratio during his time with Stockton (A+) and Midland (AA). The former Baylor slugger owns a career 14.2% walk rate.
Best Base Stealer: Potent with the bat and on the base paths, Addison Russell was extremely efficient in terms of stolen bases. Russell swiped 21 bags in 24 attempts (87.5%), and for his career he’s 37-for-42 (88.1%).
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Admittedly, I expressed some serious concerns about Sonny Gray’s meager strikeout rate during his first full season in professional ball. Gray, the 18th pick in the 2011 draft, averaged just 5.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 2012. But the hard-throwing right-hander saw a dramatic uptick in his second season, striking out 185 hitters between Triple-A and the big leagues.
Best Control: A 16th round pick out of the UNLV in 2011, Peterson walked just 27 of the 680 hitters he faced last season (4.0%) and has averaged just 1.9 BB/9 throughout his professional career.
Photo of Max Muncy Courtesy of MiLB.com.