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: Ji-Man Choi, 1B
Power: Julio Morban, OF
Eye: Ty Kelly, 2B
Base Stealer: Chris Taylor
K-Ability: Taijuan Walker, RHP
Control: Victor Sanchez, RHP
[/pullquote] Best Hit Tool: In the argument for MiLB breakout player of the year, first baseman Ji-Man Choi hit .295/.394/.535 across three levels this season. Choi, a converted catcher who missed all of 2011, owns a career .309/.411/.511 triple-slash line.
Best Power: Outfielder Julio Morban has all the tools, including above-average to plus-power potential, but it remains to be seen if he can stay on the field long enough. Morban, who’s totaled the equivalent of one full MLB season over the last two years, slugged 20 doubles, five triples, and seven homeruns with Jackson in 2013. He owns a career .463 SLG and should develop into 25+ homerun territory.
Best Plate Discipline: Picked up from Baltimore for outfielder Marcus Thames halfway through the season, infielder Ty Kelly owns an outstanding 13.8% career walk rate spanning parts of five minor league seasons. Kelly’s career triple-slash line: .287/.388/.381.
Best Base Stealer: After swiping 17 bags in 49 games during his debut last season, shortstop Chris Taylor stole 38 bags in 43 tries (88.4%) in 2013.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Taijuan Walker belongs in the conversation of the top handful of pitching prospects in the game. Walker, who flashed a plus-fastball during his brief stint with the big league club in September, fanned 160 hitters in 141.1 innings split between Jackson and Tacoma and punched out just over 27% of the MiLB hitters he faced in 2013.
Best Control: Among the youngest players in the Midwest League, 18-year-old Victor Sanchez showed a surprising feel for the strike zone, averaging just 1.4 free passes every nine innings. The portly right-hander walked just 3.8% of the batters he faced this season.
Photo of Ji-Man Choi Courtesy of Paul R. Gierhart via MiLB.com.