I received the latest issue of Baseball America in the mail on Saturday and it is the “Best Tools” issue, where managers across all the leagues in both the Majors and Minor League Baseball vote on the best players in their respective leagues.
There are quite a few KC Royals who have made an impression in 2015.
Let’s start in the minors…
While Triple-A Omaha has quite a few hitters producing and pitchers who are holding their own (though their best were traded away), the Storm Chasers lone achievement in the Pacific Coast League is manager Brian Poldberg. He was voted the Best Manager Prospect.
Double-A NW Arkansas was voted as having the best double play tandem in the Texas League, with Angel Franco being named the Best Defensive Second baseman and Raul Mondesi being named the Best Defensive Shortstop.
Mondesi was also named as having the Best Infield Arm. He has committed ten errors in 215 chances.
Franco has since been promoted to Omaha, where he has played second, short, and third. While with the Naturals, Franco committed just one error in 146 chances at second base.
Speedster Terrance Gore was voted as being the TL’s Best and Fastest Baserunner. Before heading to the DL with a sprained ankle (he is expected to come off the DL sometime next week if all goes well), Gore has 33 stolen bases (second in the league) and was caught twice. However, he has not played since July 16th.
Mondesi’s new double play partner, Ramon Torres, was voted as the Carolina League‘s Best Defensive Second baseman. With High-A Wilmington, he committed seven errors in 217 chances (and three errors in 90 chances at shortstop). In 13 games at second base with NWA, Torres has not committed an error.
While the Blue Rocks had the CL’s best pitching staff in the first half, everything has gone south in the second half (due to promotions, injuries, and a current 13-game losing streak). However, Eric Skoglund was voted as having the Best Changeup in the CL and the Best Control.
Unfortunately, Skolgund has not pitched since July 3rd due to an injury. Prior, he was 6-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 starts. Over 84.1 innings, he walked just 11 compared to 66 strikeouts. Opponents did hit .260 against him.
In the first half, Skoglund’s ERA was just 2.74, as it jumped after two starts in the second half (8.2IP, 17H, 10R, 2BB, 8K).
In the South Atlantic League, former Lexington Legend first baseman Ryan O’Hearn was voted the league’s Best Power Prospect. At the time of his promotion, O’Hearn led the league with 19 home runs (and still does).
Unfortunately, the power has not appeared much with the Blue Rocks. O’Hearn hit his second home run last night (in 68 at-bats). He also has just four doubles, but has struck out 25 times.
Now to the big league honors…
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson was named the American League’s Fastest Baserunner. He currently has 19 stole bases (which isn’t first on the Royals, but then again, he doesn’t play every day).
Wade Davis was named as the AL’s Best Reliever. He is 7-1 with a 0.59 ERA in 47 games. He is 9-for-10 in save opportunities. Opponents are hitting just .151 against him and he has struck out 52 in 45.2 innings.
Eric Hosmer was named the AL’s Best Defensive First Baseman. This season, he has just two errors in 935 chances. Alcides Escobar was named the Best Defensive Shortstop. He currently has nine errors in 431 chances. Salvador Perez was named the Best Defensive Catcher. He has two errors in 700 chances. He has allowed three passed balls and 33 wild pitches, while opponents have stolen 47 bases in 71 chances.
Lorenzo Cain was named the Best Defensive Outfielder in a tie with Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier. LoCain has seven errors in 286 chances. He has five assists and turned two double plays.
Esky was named as the AL’s second best Hit-and-Run Artist. His BABIP is currently .307. First was Houston’s Jose Altuve.
Yordano Ventura was named as having the AL’s third best Fastball (behind LAA’s Garrett Richards and the Rays Jake McGee).
In the National League, newly acquired starter Johnny Cueto was named as having the third best Pickoff Move.