CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jackie Bradley Jr. and Adam Duvall played in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Omaha, Neb., last summer. Now they're big league All-Stars.That's an indication of the quality of talent that takes the field in the annual battle between the International League and the Pacific Coast League. There
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jackie Bradley Jr. and Adam Duvall played in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Omaha, Neb., last summer. Now they're big league All-Stars.
That's an indication of the quality of talent that takes the field in the annual battle between the International League and the Pacific Coast League. There are always going to be some 30-and-over guys honored for standout performances in Triple-A, but there will also be plenty of up-and-coming prospects.
Below is a ranking of the 10 best young talents who'll play in Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte. MLB Network will broadcast the game live beginning at 7 p.m. ET. In a parallel of the big league contest, the league that wins the Triple-A contest earns the right to host the Triple-A National Championship Game in September.
1. Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (IL)
Berrios had some uncharacteristic command struggles earlier in the year and got rocked in a four-start trial in Minnesota, but he's back to looking like the guy who led the Minors with 175 strikeouts in 166 1/3 innings a year ago. He has three plus pitches in his 93-95 mph fastball, his curveball and his changeup, and he also has advanced feel for pitching.
2. Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (IL)
Sanchez's big-time right-handed power and arm strength earned him a $3 million bonus when he signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, and he showed off both last offseason by topping the Arizona Fall League in homers (seven) and erasing basestealers (62 percent). He has made strides as a hitter and receiver in the past two years.
3. Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres (PCL)
Renfroe is making a run at the PCL Triple Crown, ranking third in hitting (.335) and leading the league in homers (21) and RBIs (76) as well as runs (68), hits (119), extra-base hits (52) and total bases (217). He fits the right-field profile well with his plus power and arm strength, and he has good athleticism for a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder.
4. Braden Shipley, RHP, D-backs (PCL)
A quality athlete who began his college career as a shortstop, Shipley is similar to Berrios in that he has a strong three-pitch repertoire and good control, though he doesn't miss as many bats. His best offering is a 92-96 mph fastball with life, and his curveball and changeup can be plus offerings at times.
5. Jorge Polanco, 2B/SS, Twins (IL)
Polanco is blocked at second base in Minnesota by Brian Dozier and has a more gifted defensive shortstop in his rearview mirror in 2014 first-round pick Nick Gordon, but Polanco has the tools to be a regular in the big leagues. He has solid hitting ability and speed, and he's beginning to tap into his power and basestealing potential.
6. Mike Clevinger, RHP, Indians (IL)
Clevinger had Tommy John surgery and subsequent mechanical issues in the Angels' system before the Indians stole him in an August 2014 trade for Vinnie Pestano. His stuff and control improved once he reverted to the delivery he used as an amateur, and he now leads the IL with nine wins while working primarily with a 92-95 mph and a slider that shows flashes of becoming a plus pitch.
7. Andrew Knapp, C, Phillies (IL)
An offensive-minded catcher, Knapp displays promising pop from both sides of the plate. He has regained his solid arm strength following Tommy John surgery shortly after he entered pro ball in 2013, and he's working to refine his receiving and game-calling skills.
8. Chad Pinder, SS, Athletics (PCL)
Pinder broke out in 2015, winning the Double-A Texas League MVP Award and playing capable defense at shortstop after shifting over from second base. He has more power than most middle infielders, which along with his strong arm and rangy build, prompts comparisons to J.J. Hardy.
9. Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (PCL)
Though he's somewhat buried in an organization teeming with young position players, Vogelbach has at least plus raw power and a mature approach at the plate, giving him the ability to hit for power and average, while posting high on-base percentages (he tops the PCL with a .426 mark). He won't displace Anthony Rizzo from first base and is best suited for DH duty, so don't be surprised if the Cubs package him in a trade this summer.
10. Carlos Asuaje, 2B, Padres (PCL)
One of three Triple-A All-Stars who played in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, Asuaje outperformed Renfroe and Sanchez by going 2-for-2 with a walk. Part of the Craig Kimbrel trade with the Red Sox last November, his combination of hitting ability, gap power and instincts could make him an everyday second baseman or an offensive utility man.
*Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast*.