The regular season is over for every team in the farm system except for the Billings Mustangs. They have two games remaining this season before the playoffs begin. They’ll join the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Daytona Tortugas as Reds farm teams that made the playoffs. With the season essentially over for everyone, I thought it would be a good time to toss out my picks for an All-Star team among players in the system. This will include players from both full season and short season teams. But, the guys in short season will have to stand out above the guys in full season to make the team.
Catcher: Hendrik Clementina
The 21-year-old catcher hit .268/.327/.497 for the Dayton Dragons in 2018. That came along with 22 doubles, a triple, and 18 home runs in just 96 games played. Behind the plate he threw out 30% of attempted base runners.
First Base: Ibandel Isabel
When you hit 35 home runs in 104 games it’s impressive on it’s own. When you do it in the Florida State League you set records. And that’s what Ibandel Isabel did in 2018, breaking the all-time home run record for the league en-route to hitting .258/.333/.566 on the season for the Daytona Tortugas. To put into perspective how much power that is, it would take the guys ranked 2nd through 6th on the team to put all of their home runs together to outhomer him. By one.
Second Base: Jeter Downs
This was one a bit closer than the other picks. Jeter Downs didn’t lead the organization in OPS at the position, but his overall game got him the slightest of nods. He hit .257/.351/.402 with 23 doubles, 2 triples, and 13 home runs. It was what he did on the bases that got him to take things here, though. He stole 37 bases, leading the organization by a wide margin.
Shortstop: Miguel Hernandez
Most of his season has been with the Greeneville Reds, but once the season ended Miguel Hernandez was promoted to Billings. In 60 games with Greeneville he hit .301/.338/.406 with 16 extra-base hits. He also showed off strong defensive abilities. He’s struggled since moving to Billings, going 2-23, but he’s actually walked more than he’s struck out (3-to-2) since his arrival.
Third Base: Juan Martinez
There are a lot of different ways you could go here. For some reason I’m leaning towards Juan Martinez. Most of his season has been spent with Billings, though he spent two weeks with Greeneville to begin the year. Between his two stops he’s hit .276/.348/.470 with 19 extra-base hits in 55 games played.
Outfielder: Brian O’Grady
As I wrote yesterday in the Reds Minor League mailbag, Brian O’Grady probably saved his career with what he did in 2018. In 2017 he had a sub .700 OPS as a 25-year-old corner player. That’s an area where plenty of guys get released. The Reds held onto O’Grady and he rewarded them. Splitting the year in Double-A and Triple-A he hit .280/.358/.512 in 105 games. And he improved as he moved up, posting a .927 OPS in 42 games with the Bats.
Outfielder: Mariel Bautista
The 20-year-old center fielder has hit .327/.384/.537 for the Billings Mustangs this year. And he’s currently riding a 24-game hit streak, too. It’s been a breakout year for Mariel Bautista in the power department. He’s hit 8 home runs to go with 11 doubles and 4 triples. He’s also stolen 15 bases in 55 games.
Outfielder: Gabriel Guerrero
The final pick among outfielders could go in a lot of different ways. Call me a sucker for the longball, but Gabriel Guerrero hitting 19 of them between Pensacola and Louisville got him the nod in a close race. He hit .293/.328/.474 on the season, adding 24 doubles and 5 triples to go with his 19 home runs. He also threw out 15 baserunners, adding plenty of value with his arm on defense.
Starting Pitcher: Tony Santillan
Splitting time between Daytona and Pensacola, Tony Santillan had a breakout season. He threw 149.0 innings with a 3.08 ERA. And he racked up 134 strikeouts and walked just 38 batters on the season. It was a big improvement in control for a guy who has big time stuff.
Starting Pitcher: Robert Stephenson
While things haven’t gone well for Robert Stephenson in the Major Leagues this season in limited action, he’s performed well in Triple-A. He made 20 starts with a 2.87 ERA in 113.0 innings. He walked 57 batters and had 135 strikeouts to go with 74 hits allowed.
Starting Pitcher: Seth Varner
The left handed pitcher spent most of his season in Pensacola, but made one start for Daytona during the beginning of the year. He made 18 total starts, and had 8 relief appearances. In 125.1 innings he posted a 3.30 ERA with 31 walks and 102 strikeouts.
Relief Pitcher: Ryan Hendrix
23-year-old Ryan Hendrix dominated for the Daytona Tortugas this season. He made 44 appearances and picked up 12 saves. In his 51.0 innings he posted a 1.76 ERA with 26 walks and 79 strikeouts.
Relief Pitcher: Alex Powers
Alex Powers served as the Pensacola closer and he picked up 18 saves on the season. In 39 total appearances he posted a 2.34 ERA in 42.1 innings with 11 walks and he struck out 55 total batters.