2012 Triple-a All-Star Game: 10 Players You Need to Know
While most fans are currently enjoying Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game this evening, in no way does that mean the All-Star action ends tonight.
On Tuesday night in Buffalo, New York, the International and Pacific Coast League will square off in the Triple-A All-Star Game, with home-field advantage on the line for the one-game championship on September 18.
But before the game begins, I thought I’d take a look at 10 players participating in the game who could make their big-league debut later this season and are worth knowing.
Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
.290/.350/.492, 37 XBH (12 3B), 52 RBI, 18 SB (12 CS), 74 K/23 BB (84 G)
A toolsy outfielder with above-average power, Marte has picked it up as of late over the last month and a half. After batting .276 in April and .236 in May, the right-handed hitter batted .325 with 15 extra-base hits in June. He’s still striking out too much and his base-stealing skills are raw; however, he should still receive a call-up later this season.
Matt Harvey, RHP, New York Mets
7-4, 98.1 IP, 3.39 ERA, .234 BAA, 102 K/42 BB (18 GS)
Harvey, the Mets’ No. 2 prospect, struggled to begin the 2012 season, as he frequently missed up in the zone and walked too many batters. However, the right-hander has been dealing as of late, going 4-3 with a 2.72 ERA and 64 K/24 BB in his last 10 starts.
Tyler Cloyd, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
8-1, 89.2 IP, 2.01 ERA, .208 BAA, 60 K/20 BB (14 GS)
The 6’3” right-hander has been dominant since an early-season promotion to Triple-A, allowing only 65 hits and 20 walks over 89.2 innings. Cloyd doesn’t have exceptional stuff, but is able to command his pitches as desired throughout the strike zone. If the Phillies ultimately trade Cole Hamels or need someone to fill in later this season, Cloyd will likely get the call.
Jake Elmore, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks
.382/.465/.518, 81 R, 33 XBH (25 2B), 61 RBI, 25 SB, 32 K/49 BB (79 G)
It’s hard to find a player having a more consistent season than Elmore, who has collected 118 hits in 79 games. Although he doesn’t have much pop, he’s good for plenty of doubles and stolen bases and profiles as a No. 2-type hitter. Unfortunately, his path to the big leagues remains blocked by Aaron Hill.
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
.317/.367/.449, 30 XBH (19 2B), 58 RBI, 70 K/30 BB
Although Hechavarria does square the ball up with some consistency, his plate discipline is still rather raw and has therefore led to too many strikeouts. He’s slick defensively, so if he can put things together at the plate, he may force the Blue Jays to offer him a September call-up.
Josh Vitters, 3B, Chicago Cubs
.302/.356/.509, 39 XBH (13 HR), 48 RBI, 52 K/23 BB (87 G)
After essentially falling off the Cubs’ prospect map, Vitters is enjoying a resurgent season and may be back in line for a late-season call-up. He’s cheating himself less at the plate this season—something that’s always prevented him from reaching his potential.
Ryan Wheeler, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks
.356/.396/.581, 43 XBH (14 HR), 88 RBI, 63 K/25 BB (85 G)
One of the top run-producers in all of the minors this season, Wheeler has driven in a remarkable 88 runs in only 85 games and owns a 1.104 OPS with runners in scoring position. Given the Diamondbacks’ lack of production from their third basemen this season, I’m somewhat surprised that he hasn’t already been promoted.
Wil Myers, OF, Kansas City Royals
.327/.403/.676, 52 XBH (27 HR), 72 RBI, 85 K/40 BB (83 G)
Myers has been absolutely raking this season, making up for lost time after an injury-plagued 2011 campaign. He’s hitting for both average and power, while his plate discipline has improved over the course of the season. He’s knocking on the door in Kansas City and could make his big-league debut before the end of the July.
Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
.374/.456/.520, 101 R, 40 XBH (32 2B), 29 SB, 51 K/38 BB (86 G)
Much like all of his teammates at Reno, Eaton is enjoying a spectacular season at the plate, having scored 101 runs and collected 133 hits in only 86 games. While he’ll tally plenty of doubles, the left-handed hitter rarely jumps the yard. Regardless, he’s demonstrating top-of-the-order potential with his ability to get on base.
Heath Hembree, RHP, San Francisco Giants
1-1, 13 SV, 31 IP, 5.52 ERA, .217 BAA, 26 K/15 BB (32 G)
Although Hembree has been lights-out at times this season for Fresno, he’s also had some ugly blown saves. The hard-throwing right-hander likes to work up in the zone with his mid-90s fastball, using his plus slider as an out pitch. However, he’s quickly learned that it’s much harder to get away with mistakes up in the zone against advanced hitters.