2011 All-Minor-League Team

Matt Moore is living up to expectations for the Tampa Bay Rays.

With the minor league regular season over with, it’s time to see who lived up to and who exceeded expectations, as we take a look at the All-Minor-League Team.

Matt Moore, LHP — Rays, 6’2″, age 22

12-3      1.92 ERA      0.95 WHIP      .184 BAA      210K/46BB

Moore was the most dominant pitcher in the minors this season and was at his best on June 16, tossing a no-hitter against Mobile. The depth of pitching the Rays have in their rotation is the only reason Moore didn’t get a call up this season. Ranking at the top in ERA, WHIP, BAA and Ks, Moore was absolutely dominant at tripe-A going 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 79K/18BB in 56.2 IP. He averaged 12.2 K/9 and is armed with one of the best fastballs in the minors, touching upper 90s with great movement.

Tyler Skaggs, LHP — Diamondbacks, 6’4″, age 20

9-6      2.96 ERA      1.11 WHIP      .218 BAA      198K/49BB

Including Saturday’s performance in the Southern League quarterfinals, Skaggs has gone 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 70K/13BB over his last nine starts. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and one of the best hammer curves in the minors, the 20-year-old has ascended quickly through the D-backs system and should fight for a rotation spot next spring. His 11.3 K/9 ratio was among the leaders for starters this season.

Joe Wieland, RHP — Padres, 6’3″, age 21

13-4      1.97 ERA      1.01 WHIP      .234 BAA      150K/21BB

Wieland’s dominant season mirrored that of Moore’s, including a no-hitter of his own on July 29 against his current team. On Wednesday, against his former team, he posted a line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H and 8K/1BB in picking up the win in game one of the Texas League division finals. His 7.1 K/BB ranked second in the minors and he finished fifth in ERA. A fearless tactician on the mound, Wieland should excel at spacious PETCO Park.

Julio Teheran, RHP — Braves, 6’2″, age 20

15-3      2.55 ERA      1.18 WHIP      .232 BAA      122K/48BB

The Braves have one of the best track records in recent memory when it comes to grooming starting pitching. Teheran is the latest and has the talent to be one of the best. He has command of three pitches, and all rate as plus. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with movement. His curve is still getting better and his changeup often gets compared to Johan Santana’s.

Eric Surkamp, LHP — Giants, 6’5″, age 24

11-4      1.94 ERA      1.07 WHIP      .212 BAA      170K/45BB

Surkamp enjoyed a breakout season of sorts by ranking among the leaders in ERA, WHIP and K/9 with 10.3. He won’t blow you away with his fastball, rather embarrass you by mixing all four of his pitches with supreme control. Should add to an already lethal rotation next year in San Francisco.

Travis d’Arnaud, C — Blue Jays, 6’1″, RH, age 22

114 G      .311      72 R      33 2B      1 3B      21 HR      78 RBI      4 SB      .371/.542/.914

Jesus Montero is the big name, and may have the higher ceiling, but d’Arnaud had the better season across the board. Extremely agile and strong-armed behind the plate, he was known more for his defense coming into the season. Has the tools to be an All-Star catcher for the Blue Jays.

Anthony Rizzo, 1B — Padres 6’3″, LH, age 22

93 G      .331      64 R      34 2B      1 3B      26 HR     101 RBI     7 SB      .404/ .652/ 1.056

Offensive numbers tend to get a little inflated playing in the PCL, but it’s hard to ignore what Rizzo did this year. He led the minors in SLG, ranked second in OPS and managed to top 100 RBI while spending two months in the major leagues. At 6’3″, 225 pounds, Rizzo should have no problem hitting at pitcher friendly PETCO Park.

Billy Hamilton, 2B — Reds, 6’1″, SW, age 21

135 G      .278      99 R      18 2B      9 3B      3 HR      50 RBI      103 SB      .340/.360/.700

The stolen base total is not a typo. Hamilton’s 103, by far, led the minors this season, and were the most by anyone since Chris Morris stole 111 for Peoria in 2001. He found his groove after the All-Star break, hitting .318 with a .382 OBP in 69 games, showing the ability to be a dangerous leadoff hitter at the next level. Defensively, his range and strong arm should allow him to stay at his current position.

Jurickson Profar, SS — Rangers, 6’3″ SW, Age 18

115 G      .286      86 R      37 2B      8 3B      12 HR      65 RBI      23 SB      .390/.493/.883

Profar is younger than Bryce Harper and had a better season than the best prospect in the minors. Another kid who was known more for his defense coming into the season, Profar turned heads by mashing the ball all year. Already 6’3″, the power numbers should increase as his body fills out. His 65 BB to only 63 Ks shows remarkable plate discipline for a player his age.

Jedd Gyorko, 3B — Padres, 5’11″, RH, age 22

140 G      .333      119 R      47 2B      2 3B      25 HR      114 RBI      12 SB      .400/.552/.952

Selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, Gyorko was said to have one of the most advanced bats in the draft. He showed exactly that by posting monstrous numbers across the board for two leagues this season. He will most likely end up in a corner outfield spot due to his lack of range at third, but the Padres will find a way to get his bat into their line up.

Mike Trout, OF — Angels, 6’2″, RH, age 20

91 G      .326      82 R      18 2B      13 3B      11 HR      38 RBI      33 SB      .414/.544/.958

Trout was named Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America. He is everything you want on both sides of the ball. His defense is gold-glove ready now, and he could be the fastest player in the majors right now. The power is coming, and when it does, Trout should be one of the most explosive and exciting players in the game and a complete nightmare for opposing pitchers.

Gary Brown, OF — Giants, 6’1″, RH, age 22

131 G      .336      82 R      34 2B      13 3B      14 HR      80 RBI      53 SB      .407/.519/.925

Kind of a Mike Trout clone, Brown doesn’t possess the defensive abilities that Trout does, but he should be able to post offensive numbers similar to him. Blessed with plus speed, Brown is a gap hitter who sprays the ball over the field. Some have compared him to a prime Aaron Rowand.

Bryce Harper, OF — Nationals, 6’3″ LH, age 18

109 G      .297      63 R      24 2B      2 3B      17 HR      58 RBI      26 SB      .392/.501/.894

The hype machine held his own during his first taste of professional ball. After tearing up class-A, hitting .318, 14 HR, 46 RBI, 19 SB, .977 OPS over 72 games, he struggled a bit with the competition at double-A. As the youngest player in the league, he finished .256, 3 HR, 12 RBI, .724 OPS in 37 games, although he started to heat it up in his last 10 games, posting a .949 OPS with 2 HR and 7 RBI before a hamstring injury ended his season. Look for Harper to get a serious look from the Nationals if he impresses during spring training.

Paul Goldchmidt, DH — Diamondbacks 6’3″ RH, age 23

103 G      .306      84 R      21 2B      3 3B      30 HR      94 RBI      9 SB      .435/.626/1.061

Goldschmidt earned a job with the Diamondbacks this season by obliterating the ball in the minors. He ranked first in OPS and was leading in home runs before his promotion. At 6’3″, 245 pounds, he should be a big-time run producer and contend for home run titles for years. His .435 OBP also shows he doesn’t get cheated at the plate.

Christian Yelich, UT — Marlins, 6’4″, LH, age 19

122 G      .312      73 R      32 2B      1 3B      15 HR      77 RBI      32 SB      .388/.484/.871

I may be stretching it by adding a utility spot, but Yelich’s season is too hard too ignore. The Marlins first-round pick in last year’s draft (23rd overall), Yelich is a true five-tool player who is just scratching the surface of his potential. Projects to a high average hitter and, with his frame, could develop some serious power. Combine that with plus speed and a canon arm, the Marlins have a future superstar on their hands.

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