2015 Hi-A California League All-Stars – UTR Hitters

I’m hoping you took the time to read our previews of the 54th annual Florida State League All-Star game, highlighting the UTR prospects chosen to represent their respective organizations.  Well, it’s the California League’s turn, as they’ll compete against the Carolina League All-Stars on June 23rd at LoanMart Stadium, the home of HiA Dodger affiliate the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Yesterday Jim provided a great breakdown of both the California and Carolina League UTR All-Star pitchers in this years matchup. If you haven’t taken a look yet, click here.  It’s my turn to provide to you the California League All-Star hitters lineup, with the Carolina League to follow soon.

  • Catcher:
    • Stephen McGee – Inland Empire 66ers (LAA)  –  24 yo;  –  As far as UTR criteria goes, two of the three Cal League catchers invited to take part in the All-Star bonanza do not qualify. Twenty-seven year old Alex Burg (High Desert – SEA) and Kyle Farmer (Rancho Cucamonga – LAD); who’ll celebrate his 25th birthday in mid-August.  That leaves McGee, a 2013 – 9th round pick out of Florida State. McGee has always supplied ample defense behind the plate, however this season his padded stats add credence to the Cal League inflation theory. He came into the Cal League this season toting a .220 batting average in 117 games (over the 2 previous seasons). So here’s hoping the 6’3″- 230 lb. righty can lock down a great rest of the season. He’s not long for UTR.
  • First base
    • Cody Bellinger – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (LAD)  –  19 yo;
    • A.J. Reed – Lancaster JetHawks (HOU)  –  22 yo;
    • Both Bellinger and Reed overstep UTR criteria as draftees taken in the 5th round or earlier in their respective drafts. (Bollinger in the 4th round – 2013; Reed in the 2nd round – 2014) However, both do qualify based on their median ranking within each organizations top prospect lists (lower than a #10 ranking); and were UTR Organizational All-Star choices this past off-season.  At 19 years-old, Bellinger is having a career year; and some would say it’s Cal League inflation, but I beg to differ. My data shows Bellinger has increased his overall production since his debut which is rare (within my work), especially for a teenager in HiA. Bollinger came into 2015 batting .268 with a 49% extra base percentage in 98 games. This season, he’s batting .278 with a 53% extra base percentage. Looks to me like he’s just getting started. Reed is a plain and simple beast currently ranking within the Cal League top five in hits, home runs, RBi’s, OPS and total bases.
  • Second Base
    • Austin Slater – San Jose (SF)  –  22 yo;  –  Jim pokes fun at me when I use the word ‘enigma” when discussing a prospect. Slater, a 2014 – 8th rounder out of Stanford is just that. Maybe one could sum him up with the “no glaring tools, provides average defense, and can really really hit.” profile. You can’t put a black or white label on the guy. He just hits and defensively the 6’2″ – 215 lb. righty can play all over the diamond.  If he can find a permanent defensive home and improve there defensively, he could be a one of those sleepers that sneak up on you undetected and then be gone after it’s too late.
    • Brandon Trinkwon – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (LAD)  –  23 yo;  –  The 2013 – 7th round pick out of Cal State Santa Barbara simply has ‘future utility infielder” written all over him.
  • Third base
    • Ryan McMahon – Modesto Nuts (COL)  –  20 yo;  –  (2013 – 2nd round – Mater Dei HS (CA)
  • Shortstop
    • David “Jack” Mayfield – Lancaster JetHawks (HOU)  –  24 yo;  –  Had it not been for the fact that the 5’11” – 190 lb. Texan went un-drafted after his senior season at the University of Oklahoma in 2013, I might have passed on him. He’ll be 25 soon after the 2015 regular season concludes, yet he’s held his own with less than exceptional statistics since his pro debut. With 2B Jose Altuve and SS Carlos Correa solidifying the middle of the infield for years to come, Mayfield’s career .278 batting average and less-than-average defense, he’s sitting on being a career organizational filler unless he’s traded.
  • Outfield
    • Hunter Cole – San Jose Giants (SF)  –  22 yo;  –  Cole is definitely one of those prospects that (even for us here at UTRMInors), can sneak up on you without even noticing. I initially questioned Cole’s inclusion on the All-Star roster, until I took a much closer look. Which happened to be the day he pounded out a 4-4 performance (his first 4-hit game since April 11th) vs. High Desert; making my June 12th UTR HOD post.   The 6’1″ – 180 lb. righty sits within the Cal League Top 10 in triples, batting, on-base percentage and OPS.
    • Daniel Palka – Visalia Rawhide (ARI)  –  23 yo;  –  The 2013 – 3rd rounder out of Georgia Tech has been a regular contributor to my UTR HOD posts this season.  Palka is one of the league leaders in doubles and (surprisingly) stolen bases. Not too shabby for a 6’1″ – 220 lb. first baseman with 39 career minor league homers.
    • Jordan Patterson – Modesto Nuts (COL)  –  23 yo;  –  Sometimes I find myself juggling between the UTR frame of mind and the fantasy sleeper mindset.  The line is thin, but it definitely exists. Patterson is proof.  Patterson is on the brink of UTR criteria, but he can’t be ignored because I think he has enough game to wiggle his way into fantasy relevance someday. Running my numbers on the 2013 – 4th rounder out of South Alabama shows that this season might be a Cal League upturn, but for the most part, Patterson has only amplified skills that have been present since his 2013 debut. He’ll never win a Gold Glove, but he’s a career .291 hitter (865 at-bats) and has posted extra-base percentages of .37% (’13), .33% (’14) and .52% so far this season.
    • Brett Phillips – Lancaster JetHawks (HOU)  –  21 yo;  –  The 2012 – 6th rounder from Seminole HS (FL) is the clear cut, top statistical choice to lead the Cal League All-Star outfielders.  Phillips could very well lock down Cal League MVP honors this season. He currently leads the league in hits, runs scored, total bases; and ranks within the top five in OPS and slugging percentage. Sounds like an All-Star to me.
    • Ryan Cordell – High Desert Mavericks (TEX)  –  23 yo;  – If you take some time to look down through the UTRMInors.com archives, you’d see I’ve had a UTR crush on Cordell for quite some time. All the 2013 – 11th rounder out of Liberty University (VA) has done since his pro debut with Short Season Spokane is hit. After his 2013 debut, I tabbed him my 2014 “Breakout pick and he didn’t disappoint. He combined to hit .318 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 21 stolen bases between LoA Hickory and HiA Myrtle Beach; which made him a lock as a 2014 Organizational All-Star.  He brings to the All-Star game a near career. 300 batting average, power, speed and as versatile a defensive glove there is in all of HiA ball. I love this kid and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in Texas within the next year or two.

 

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This entry was posted in 2015, 2015 League All Star Games, Hitters, June. Bookmark the permalink.

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