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: Maikel Franco, 3B
Power: Maikel Franco, 3B
Eye: Art Charles, 1B
Base Stealer: Roman Quinn, SS
K-Ability: Jesse Biddle, LHP
Control: Severino Gonzalez, RHP
[/pullquote] Best Hit Tool: As a 20-year-old splitting his time between high Class A and Class AA, Maikel Franco hit a combined .320/.356/.569 against older competition. Franco’s historically shown modest K-rates, despite flashing above-average power.
Best Power: Maikel Franco finished the year with 70 extra-base hits (36 doubles, three triples, and 31 homeruns) en route to a career best .249 Isolated Power, or ISO.
Best Plate Discipline: Acquired in a widely panned deal sending reliever Michael Schwimer to Toronto in February, first baseman Art Charles took small developmental steps in 2013, including maintaining an impressive walk rate, 11.3%, during his debut in the South Atlantic League. Charles has walked in 159 of his 1219 career plate appearances (13.0%).
Best Base Stealer: There are some considerable concerns surrounding shortstop Roman Quinn’s upside at the plate, but the former second round pick is coming off of his second 30+ stolen base season in 2013, despite playing under 70 games in each of the last two seasons.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Southpaw Jesse Biddle improved upon his already impressive strikeout rate for the second consecutive season, going from 8.4 K/9 in 2011 to 9.5 K/9 a year later and a career best 10.0 K/9 in 2013. Biddle fanned 24.9% of the hitters he faced this season.
Best Control: The pitching equivalent of Maikel Franco’s meteoric rise in 2013, right-hander Severino Gonzalez impressed across parts of three levels, totaling 119 punch outs and just 22 free passes in 103.2 innings of work. Gonzalez has walked just 3.4% of the total batters he’s faced in his career.
Photo of Severino Gonzalez Courtesy of David M. Schofield/Lakewood BlueClaws via MiLB.com.