2019 High-A All Stars: Florida State League, Carolina League and California league

This is the Prospects Live All Stars series, where we settled on All Stars from all 17 professional leagues, giving credit where it was due. To be eligible for a list, a player must have played the majority of his season in said league and not exceeded 60 IP/300 PA in the majors. Players are listed under the position they played the most and stats shown pertain only to the listed league.

Triple-A All Stars
Double-A All Stars
A Ball All Stars

Florida State League

Year in, year out, the combination of large ballparks and high humidity plague hitters in the Florida State League. 2019 was no exception. As you would expect, pitching stood out with a multitude of dominant performers. -Kyler Peterson


C - Hendrik Clementina (CIN)

.249/.296/.411, 14 HR, 1 SB, .163 ISO, 25.2 K%, 5.2 BB%

Acquired from the Dodgers for Tony Cingrani back in 2017, the stout 6’0”/ 250 Clementina turned in an impressive campaign last year hitting 18 home runs in Dayton. He followed up this season logging 14 bombs in 338 AB. He still has some work to put in behind the plate, but in the best case scenario, Clementina could be an everyday big league catcher.

1B - Lewin Diaz (MIA)

.290/.333/.533, 13 HR, 0 SB, .243 ISO, 17.1 K%, 6.0 BB%

The Fish may have gotten a steal in the power-hitting Diaz, receiving him in a deal that involved Sergio Romo back in July. The first baseman had a breakout year tapping into his plus raw power. With 27 home runs across two levels, he saw his previous season-high home run total more than double.

2B – Carlos Cortes (NYM)

.255/.336/.397, 11 HR, 6 SB, .142 ISO, 14.6 K%, 9.9 BB%

Taken in the third round as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2018, Cortes has already been somewhat on the radar. Cortes shows a knack for contact as well as showing discipline at the plate. Contrary to his small 5’7”/197 frame, he does have above-average raw power and has showed the ability to get into it in games.

3B – Jonathan India (CIN)

.256/.346/.410, 8 HR, 7 SB, .150 ISO, 22.9 K%, 10.1 BB%

With sky high expectations for this season, it was a decent, yet unspectacular campaign for India. Much of India’s above-average raw power may have been sapped by the hot, humid FSL. He will have to cut down on the strikeouts, although he did walk at a 10 percent clip. It seems to be only a matter of time until India’s athleticism and tremendous bat speed break out in a big way.

SS – Jose Garcia (CIN)

.280/.343/.436, 8 HR, 15 SB, .156 ISO, 18.4 K%, 5.5 BB%

Garcia was originally a $5 million signing out of Cuba just a couple of years ago. The tall, lanky 21-year-old put up a quite impressive year in 2019. Garcia showed plus speed along with the looks of a future shortstop in the field. With eight home runs and 37 doubles, he is already tapping into some power. Look for those doubles to turn to home runs as he continues to grow into his body.

OF – Trevor Larnach (MIN)

.316/.382/.459, 6 HR, 4 SB, .144 ISO, 20.5 K%, 9.7 BB%

Once a star at Oregon State, Larnach was the best pure hitter in the Florida State League this year. Don’t let the 13 home runs across two levels fool you; he has plenty of power within his 6’4”/225 frame that will eventually translate to game power. Larnach also has a good approach at the plate, walking a fair amount of times. It isn’t hard to see Larnach mashing in the middle of the Twins lineup with Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis in the coming years. There’s lots to be excited about for the future in Mineneosta.

OF – Cal Stevenson (TOR)

.298/.388/.393, 5 HR, 11 SB, .095 ISO, 13.3 K%, 12.8 BB%

Before he was moved to Houston at the deadline, Stevenson showed off his ultra-patient, contact-oriented approach in Dunedin. He stunningly walked almost as much as he struck out. Although he likely won’t offer much in the power department, he does offer speed to be a threat on the base paths. Stevenson doesn’t have the highest ceiling but does have the chance to be a fourth outfielder on a Major League club.

OF – Travis Swaggerty (PIT)

.265/.347/.381, 9 HR, 23 SB, .116 ISO, 22.1 K%, 10.9 BB%

Swaggerty was the 10th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Both his power and hit tools look to grade around average in the future. His plus speed and arm make him an asset in center field. I see a lot of similarities to Brett Gardner when I watch Swaggerty play. With his solid all-around toolset, he has the looks to be a future everyday regular.

SP – Joe Ryan (TB)

82.2 IP, 1.42 ERA, 1.69 FIP, 35.9 K%, 3.9 BB%, .159 BAA

There are two words to describe Joe Ryan’s 2019 campaign: Pure domination. With a heater up to 96 and the makings of a plus curveball, Ryan struck out 112 batters while scattering only 12 walks across 82.2 innings. With the lack of a true third pitch, the jury is still out whether or not he will be a future starter or end up in the pen. Either way, the Rays have an exciting arm.

SP – Trevor Rogers (MIA)

110.1 IP, 2.53 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 26.8 K%, 5.3 BB%, .228 BAA

The lanky 6’6” lefty impressed over his 100.1 innings in the Sunshine State. Rogers struck out 122 batters over 110.1 innings while also limiting his walks to 28. His fastball usually operates in the low-90s and has been up to 96. He will need to continue to refine the rest of his repertoire, as he lacks a plus secondary offering. If Rogers can continue to develop his secondaries, he has the potential to be a mid-rotation arm.

SP – Miguel Yajure (NYY)

127.2 IP, 2.26 ERA, 2.73 FIP, 23.8 K%, 5.5 BB%, .231 BAA

Standing at 6’1, 175, Yajure isn’t the most overpowering arm. He operates in the low-90s, reaching back for 95 at times. He also throws a cutter in the high-80s and a changeup that are both solid offerings. Whether in the pen or in the back of a rotation, Yajure should offer a team some value at the big league level.

RP – Daysbel Hernadez (ATL)

52.2 IP, 1.71 ERA, 2.68 FIP, 31.8 K%, 10.5 BB%, .176 BAA

Hernandez dominated in the back end of the pen for the Fire Frogs. He gets a lot of swings and misses from his fastball/slider combo. The fastball sat 95-97 in my viewing with the slider in the high-80s. Hernandez has a stiff, high effort delivery which leads to some control issues. With refinement with his control, he has the chance to be a legitimate weapon out of the pen.

Most Valuable Player: Joe Ryan

With no monster year from a hitter, the Most Valuable Player goes to the most dominant pitcher in the FSL, and one of the most dominant this year in the minors.

Carolina League

The Carolina League season started off with Luis Robert terrorizing the league but he wasn’t the only future major league star to see time here. The 2019 season will likely be best remembered for the players who were promoted before they could be considered for this team: Robert, Nick Madrigal, Seth Beer, Brady Singer, and Jarren Duran to name a few. The league wasn’t lacking in quality, though many of the higher end prospects seemed to be gone before we could get live looks at them. Fortunately, we will always have Robert… and Michael Baumann. - Jason Kamlowsky


C – Mario Feliciano (MIL)

.273/.324/.477, 19 HR, .205 ISO, 6.0 BB%, 28.8 K%, 129 wRC+

Feliciano, who ranked fifth on our Brewers mid-season top 10, was in his second stint in the Carolina League and he didn’t disappoint. At just 20-years old, he led the league in home runs and was second in RBIs. I had a chance to see him during the Carolina League All-Star Game and he consistently barrels the baseball with authority. To give you a better idea of his talent, he beat out Miguel Amaya and MJ Melendez for this spot.

1B – Jake Adams (HOU)

.246/.311/.446, 15 HR, 4 SB, .178 ISO, 8.6 BB%, 23.8 K%, 112 wRC+

In Jake Adams, the Astros got a mountain of a man who strikes the ball well as he hit a combined 22 home runs between Fayetteville and Corpus Christi. He managed to cut down on the strikeouts since being drafted out of Iowa in 2017 and he posted an .880 OPS in 25 Double-A games in August. He is likely better suited as a DH down the road but the power in his game is real.

2B – Cole Freeman (WAS)

.311/.394/.404, 3 HR, 31 SB, .093 ISO, 9.9 BB%, 11.2 K%, 136 wRC+

If wRC+ were worth votes, Freeman might be considered the MVP of the Carolina League. A throwback prospect who makes contact, gets on base, and steals bases, Freeman is also one of the most versatile players in the league. He logged time at second base and in centerfield while ranking in the top-5 of the league in OPS.   

SS – Aramis Ademan (CHC)

.221/.318/.334, 5 HR, 16 SB, .113 ISO, 11.4 BB%, 21.8 K%, 92 wRC+

Ademan has improved his approach as the walk rate as slowly ticked up in each of his first four seasons of pro ball. For a 20-year old there is a lot to be excited about as the power is starting to come around a little bit as well. The jump to Double-A should provide an opportunity for evaluators to determine if the changes in approach are sustainable.

3B – Nolan Jones (CLE)

.286/.435/.425, 7 HR, 5 SB, .139 ISO, 20 BB%, 26.2 K%, 157 wRC+

Jones is one of the elite talents I saw this year as the former second rounder out of Holy Ghost Prep has a balanced approach and one of the best walk rates in minor league baseball. He struggled a bit when I saw him but the matchup was a tough one (against DL Hall) and the tools were evident. He got promoted to Akron and held his own there swatting eight more home runs giving him 15 on the season. Jones could be in Cleveland as early as 2021.

OF – Brewer Hicklen (KC)

.263/.363/.427, 14 HR, 39 SB, .165 ISO, 11.1 BB%, 28.3 K%, 131 wRC+

I am bullish on Hicklen but when you look at the numbers and tools, I think the stance is justified. Armed with plus speed and borderline plus power, Hicklen has an opportunity to be a fast riser over the next year. I can see a scenario where 20 home runs and 30 steals is within the range of outcomes and the fact he is bound for the Arizona Fall League only heightens my interest. Circle his name as one to watch.

OF – Oscar Gonzalez (CLE)

.319/.342/.455, 8 HR, 7 SB, .135 ISO, 3 BB%, 16.4 K%, 129 wRC+

The Carolina League batting champion, Gonzalez made a massive improvement to his strikeout rate this year. The swing is still a little long and he is overly aggressive early in the count but he makes hard contact as his LD% improved this year as well. He is a tricky prospect to project because he has the frame to add 25 pounds which would seemingly unlock more power. The problem for Gonzalez is that he is a liability defensively and on the bases so the hit tool will have to carry him.

OF – Steele Walker (CWS)

.269/.346/.426. 10 HR, 9 SB, .157 ISO, 9.5 BB%, 14.3 K%, 124 wRC+

A second round pick out of Oklahoma, Walker made steady improvement across nearly every category this year. While I will stop short of calling it a breakout, Walker improved his strikeout ratios and doubled his home run total from 2018. He is far from perfect but he is another one of those stat-stuffing outfielders the White Sox tend to really like.

SP - Kris Bubic (KC)

101.2 IP, 2.30 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 28.1 K%, 6.9%, .212 BAA

Bubic tossed 101.2 innings for the Blue Rocks this year while working to develop his third pitch into more of a weapon and less of an experiment. The lefty has no issue coming inside on guys and he knows pitching that way will help make his secondary offerings that much better. A first-round pick from Stanford in 2018, Bubic will look to make the jump to Double-A as he rounds into form as a potential mid-rotation starter.

SP – Jonathan Stiever (CWS)

71.0 IP, 2.15 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 28.0 K%, 4.7 BB%, .215 BAA

The former Indiana Hoosier made strides as a pitcher this year as he saw a major bump in velocity and lowered his ERA by over two full runs with Winston-Salem. He finished the season with a flurry striking out a batter per inning and August and carrying a 2.08 ERA.

SP – Jojanse Torres (HOU)

78.2 IP, 1.94 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 24.9 K%, 11.7 BB%, .176 BAA

The peripherals on Torres may not be as gaudy as some but Torres is armed with a 100-mph fastball and he struck out more than a batter per inning. Although he is 24, Torres is and interesting in case as he didn’t sign with the Astros out of the Dominican until he was 22. He still figuring out how to pitch so right now his slider and changeup are still evolving but I am going to bet on the talent and on the Astros’ player development to maximize the potential here. Look for Torres to force his way into the Houston top-30 this offseason.

RP – Phil Bickford (MIL)

32.2 IP, 2.48 ERA, 2.03 FIP, 41.1 K%, 8.5 BB%

A 2015 first-round pick by the Giants, Bickford was part of the deal that sent Will Smith to the Brewers back in 2016. Then, he received a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test and broke his hand later that year, limiting him to a combined 51 innings over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Milwaukee made the decision to move him to the bullpen and decision paid off in spades as he posted a 14.61 K/9 this year. Bickford should make the move to Double-A to begin 2020 in the hopes of making it to Milwaukee by 2021 at the latest.  

MVP – Kris Bubic

The Wilmington pitching staff that has been dominant throughout the year and Bubic has been the best of the bunch. He has the potential to be paired with Brady Singer to anchor the Royals staff for a long time.

California League

In full-season professional ball, the Cal league (4.71 runs/game) is surpassed only by the two Triple-A leagues in runs per game. And within that, the Rockies’ affiliate (5.49 per game) and Dodgers’ affiliate (5.36 per game) easily led the league. As such, you’re going to see a lot of their batters in here. So while the numbers of a lot of guys pop off the page, it’s important to keep in mind the offensive context. At the same time, it drives home just how impressive the three pitchers listed here were. -Eddy Almaguer

C - Luis Campusano (SD) 

.325/.396/.512, 15 HR, .187 ISO, 11.6 K%, 10.6 BB%

Campusano entered 2019 known more for his arm behind the plate than his production at it. But he leaves the year turning not only the best Cal league performance for his position, but in a conversation with Daulton Varsho and Alejandro Kirk for the most statistically dominant catcher in full-season ball. A well-built catcher with above-average athleticism, Campusano began lifting the ball more and lowering his pull percentage from last year and the results, paired with the environment, were fantastic. His strong eye at the plate might be the most encouraging development of the year.

1B - Luis Castro (COL)

.319/.429/.587, 24 HR, 14 SB, .268 ISO, 21 K%, 13 BB%

Castro is a 24-year-old righty first baseman, which means he has just about every bias going against him. If there’s one redeeming trait it’s his eye at the plate, something he’s carried with him during a month long stint at Double-A. His bat speed is average but he gets the most of his frame with a long swing through the zone. I expect this might be his statistical zenith of his minor league career.

2B - Devin Mann (LAD)

.280/.360/.501, 19 HR, 5 SB, .222 ISO, 22 K%, 10.5 BB%

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that Ralph had brought Mann’s season to my attention. Mann, whom I had ranked 26th in the Dodgers preseason list labeled a potential utility player, had transformed himself. Like many Dodgers bats, he took to the skies, dramatically reversing his GB% and FB% and leaning into his pull tendencies. As a result he blasted 19 home runs with a .218 ISO and .854 OPS. He’ll be shooting up the Dodgers list this year.

3B- Ryan Vilade (COL)

.303/.367/.466, 12 HR, 24 SB, .163 ISO, 16 K%, 9.5 BB%

You have to appreciate how similar Vilade’s underlying metrics were from 2018 to 2019. Similar BB%, K% and spray data. Yet he went from a groundball heavy bat to hitting more fly balls and as such the home runs crept up. With a short swing and a keen eye at the plate, Vilade strikes me as someone who’s going to unexpectedly take off if he ever gets ahold of the new ball.

SS- Jeter Downs (LAD)

.269/.354/507, 19 HR, 23 SB, .238 ISO, 20 K%, 11 BB%

You might be more familiar with Downs for his Double-A performance (1.116 OPS in first 12 games), but he’s been tearing the cover off the ball long before arriving in Tulsa. Downs was never a ground ball player, but he’s become even more of an extreme fly ball hitter in his first year in the Dodgers organization. He’s got really strong bat speed and hands giving him the ability to continue being above average in strikeouts while maintaining this new power bump.

OF- Heliot Ramos (SF)

.306/.385/.500, 13 HR, 6 SB, .194 ISO, 25 K%, 9.5 BB%

While I wrestled with the next two outfield spots, Ramos was an easy shoo-in here. The 19-year-old sent his prospect stock soaring this year after he torched the Cal League and earned a promotion to Double-A. Ramos’ violent swings belie his ability to hit the ball to all fields, let the ball travel deep, and his knack for staying on the ball’s plane.

OF- Sean Bouchard (COL)

.292/.354/.496, 13 HR, 8 SB, .203 ISO, 26 K%, 8 BB%

Bouchard, whose season was cut short when he was placed on the IL on July 30 with an undisclosed injury, still had such a strong season that he merited a spot. The big 6-foot-3 righty bat has a long lofted swing that sometimes gets exposed by offspeed. An encouraging development was his ability to not be so pull reliant. The 23-year-old will likely open 2020 in the same league again.

OF- Casey Golden (COL)

.253/.355/.493, 23 HR, 9 SB, .240 ISO, 35 K%, 10.6 BB%

Golden’s 2019 couldn’t quite match his stat stuffing 2018, but the warts remain the same. His K% and raw strikeout totals were top five in the league and while the power is real, the holes might be too large to overcome unless he learns to hit non-fastballs.

SP- MacKenzie Gore (SD)

79.1 IP, 1.02 ERA, 2.38 FIP, 38 K%, 7 BB%, .135 BAA

Gore’s ERA was not only the best for any starter by a wide margin, but it was the best if you include any relievers as well. The 20-year-old’s dominance was absurd, as he allowed more than one earned run just once in the Cal. His ability to command his pitches with his unique delivery, bolstered by his athleticism makes him one of the elite pitching prospects in the game and potentially the top one right now.

SP- Josiah Gray (LAD)

67.1 IP, 2.14 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 30 K%, 5 BB%, .207 BAA

Gray, who took to pitching late in his career and was a position player convert, has officially broken out. At 21 he not only dominated the Cal league but he’s doing the same in Double-A. Riding his athleticism, he’s honed his slider and changeup to complement his mid-90s heat. The Dodgers are masters at getting the most from their position.

SP- Luis Patiño (SD)

87 IP, 2.69 ERA, 2.88 FIP, 31 K%, 9.5 BB%, .189 BAA

But not to be outdone by Los Angeles, the Padres have another potential SP2 in the making in Patino who for a long time was the only teenaged pitcher in all of High-A (and then he dropped more jaws in Double-A). His deadly fastball/slider combo paired with a repeatable athletic delivery have opened everyone’s eyes at just how precocious he really is.

RP- Logan Salow (LAD)

43 IP, 1.47 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 41.5 K%, 13 BB%, .237 BAA

A soon-to-be 25-year-old lefty, Salow relies primarily on a slider in the mid 80s to play off his 90-92 fastball. He projects to be a LOOGY.

MVP: MacKenzie Gore

Though Heliot Ramos and Patino have arguments given their age, there’s no toppling Gore from his MVP. He was just too damn dominant while at the level with no blemishes on the profile. There’s an outside chance he debuts sometime in 2020.