The Triple-A All-Star game will be played tomorrow, July 13, at 7 pm EST. You can watch it live on MLB Network and MiLB.tv. And, while it lacks the prospect punch of the Futures Game (or the All-Star games of the lower levels), there are still plenty of players to check-out for both prospect hounds and the inquisitive fantasy baseball player. You can find the complete rosters here. In the interim, here are the players to watch:
Jose Berrios - Twins, RHP
Berrios struggled mightily in his first stint in the Majors, finding himself back in Triple-A after just four starts (though, to be fair, only one was truly awful). He remains a top prospect nevertheless, placing 11th on our midseason list, 17th on Baseball Prospectus’s, and 20th on Baseball America’s. He’ll get another shot soon.
Brian Goodwin - Nationals, OF
The conversion of Trea Turner to CF shows that the Nationals are ready to make a change, as they should be given the awful production the team has received from the position this year (a combine .221/.268/.333, mostly from Michael Taylor and Ben Revere). However, it may also indicate that they aren’t terribly high on Goodwin, despite his solid production this season (though, he has slumped a bit in July).
Andrew Knapp - Phillies, C
Knapp broke out in a big way last season, batting .360/.419/.631 with 11 HR in half a season at Double-A, and was largely viewed as a fringe top-100 player. His bat has come back to earth in 2016 (he’s hitting .264/.334/.398 with 7 HR in 290 PA), but he still looks like a solid hitter - particularly for a catcher. And, with Carlos Ruiz on his way out, we will likely see Knapp in the Majors sooner rather than later.
Jorge Polanco - Twins, SS
Polanco has been up and down this year, spending about two weeks in the Majors across three separate call-ups. He hit .231/.344/.462 with a home run and a steal in his limited MLB action (32 PA), and is hitting .283/.352/.476 with 7 HR and 3 SB in Triple-A. It’s strange seeing him blocked by the overachieving Eduardo Nunez and the replacement-level Eduardo Escobar, as he is likely the Twins best option at short in the short and medium term.
Hunter Renfroe - Padres, OF
El Paso is a great place to hit, and Renfroe is making the most of it - he’s batting .335/.362/.611 with 21 HR in 373 PA, sitting in the top-ten in the PCL in most offensive categories. His somewhat free-swinging approach may not fly once he makes the move to Petco and the NL West, but his power is a legitimate plus tool.
Gary Sanchez - Yankees, C
The Eternal Prospect has continued to impress at Triple-A, batting .286/.328/.489 with 9 HR in 247 PA (and 5 SB in 5 attempts). Sanchez was called-up for a one-game stint earlier in the season, and he did miss some time with an injury. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees handle him going forward - be it as a trade chip, or a back-up (the uninspiring Austin Romine should not be blocking him).
Braden Shipley - Diamondbacks, SP
Shipley was a consensus top-hundred prospect heading into 2016, peaking at 38 on BP’s list. He has been a bit disappointing this season, pitching to a 3.85 ERA with just 5.6 K/9 in 112.1 IP, and slipped noticeably once the calendar turned to June (4.68 ERA, 4.0 K/9, 1.8 K/BB). Reno is a high-offense environment, which explains some of his struggles, but it is important to see how Shipley adjusts going forward. With some improvements, he could be in the mix for a cup of coffee later in the Summer.
Dan Vogelbach - Cubs, 1B
With the Cubs said to be scouring the market for a reliever, Vogelbach may well be on his way out the door as one of the most advanced hitters in the team’s farm system. He is essentially a man without a position, as he is subpar at first, but his bat would play nicely at DH. Vogelbach is currently batting .312/.426/.547 with 15 HR in 345 PA, and he’s a career .289/.389/.485 hitter as a professional.
N.B. - Aaron Judge of the Yankees would have made this list had he not been placed on the DL with a knee injury. He was batting .328/.463/.630 with 9 HR in 149 PA after his awful month of May, when he had a .598 OPS.