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: Gregory Polanco, CF
Power: Stetson Allie, 1B
Eye: Stetson Allie, 1B
Base Stealer: Alen Hanson, SS
K-Ability: Tyler Glasnow, RHP
Control: Nicholas Kingham, RHP
Best Hit Tool: Center fielder Gregory Polanco was one of the system’s bigger breakouts in 2012, hitting .325/.388/.522 in low Class A. This season Polanco split his time between high Class A and Class AA, hitting a combined .285/.356/.434 as a 21-year-old.
Best Power: Blessed with a plus-plus-fastball but the inability to find the strike zone – literally – Pittsburgh moved Stetson Allie to first base in 2012, and the former second round pick hit a surprising .277/.378/.483 with 34 doubles, one triple, and 21 homeruns during his time with West Virginia and Bradenton.
Best Plate Discipline: Stetson Allie, despite beginning his pro career as a pitcher, showed surprising patience at the plate during his first full season as a hitter. Allie walked in 13.5% of his plate appearances this season.
Best Base Stealer: Going back to his days in the Dominican Summer League, Alen Hanson has swiped at least 20 bases every year, including back-to-back years of 30 or more bags. The problem, however, is his success rate: 70.0%.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Tyler Glasnow was nothing short of dominant during his debut showing in low Class A. The big 6-foot-7 right-hander out of Santa Clarita, California, punched out 36.3% of the hitters he faced this season, the highest total in the minor leagues among pitchers with 100+ innings. For his career, Glasnow has averaged 12.5 strikeouts outs per nine innings.
Best Control: Through 13 starts with Bradenton in high Class A, Nicholas Kingham averaged just 1.8 BB/9, a smidgeon better than his career best mark in short season Class A in 2011. Pittsburgh bumped the 21-year-old up to the Eastern League where his control more than doubled, to 3.7 BB/9. Through 344.1 career innings, Kingham has averaged just 2.5 BB/9.
Photo of Tyler Glasnow Courtesy of Carl Kline via MiLB.com.