Here are 11 first-half Minor League MVPs

June 25th, 2024

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Spring Training was yesterday. I swear it was yesterday. Yet it feels like overnight the Minor League season is half over.

Full-season Minor League circuits closed out the first half of their 2024 campaign last week with clubs celebrating a first-half division title. You can catch up on the Minor League playoff picture here.

That halfway marker partly explains why you’re seeing so many notable prospects climb up a level around this time of year, and those new challenges give us something fresh to look at heading into the second half. There’s plenty more coming, of course, with the All-Star Futures Game, MLB Draft and Trade Deadline all looming in July.

But while we have this moment on the calendar to reflect, let’s look back at the first few months of the regular season by naming a first-half MVP in each of the 11 full-season Minor League circuits. (Note: Apologies to some players who were promoted so quickly that they didn’t get enough playing time in a specific circuit for consideration.)


International League: James Wood, OF, Rochester (WSH No. 1, MLB No. 4)
Wood, who returned to the Red Wings' lineup last week after missing time with a right hamstring issue, leads the IL in average (.348), OBP (.463) and OPS (1.053). He’s gone deep 10 times and stolen 10 bases in 49 games as well, living up to his massive hype as a power-speed threat.

Pacific Coast League: Adrian Del Castillo, C, Reno (AZ No. 27)
Selected as a hit-first catcher out of Miami in 2021, Del Castillo leads the Minors with 44 extra-base hits (all with Reno), and his 87 total hits and .991 OPS are both tops in the PCL. Sure, playing in Reno has its advantages, but his above-average exit velocities and solid in-zone contact back up the overall numbers.


Eastern League: Agustin Ramirez, C/1B, Somerset (NYY No. 20)
Before Ramirez moved up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last week, he collected 16 homers for Somerset, two more than anyone else at Double-A. He also led the level with his .570 slugging percentage and a .942 OPS, and his propensity for making hard contact outshines his defensive questions behind the dish.

Southern League: Carson Williams, SS, Montgomery (TB No. 2, MLB No. 15)
Williams’ power-speed combination was well-known coming into 2024, and with 11 homers and 19 steals in 55 games, he’s well on track for a third straight 20-20 season. His overall hit tool is improving too, helping him lead the Southern League with 29 extra-base hits and 114 total bases.

Texas League: Deyvison De Los Santos, 1B/3B, Amarillo (AZ No. 14)
De Los Santos misses out on meeting the Texas League qualifying standard because of his May 21 promotion to Triple-A, but there’s little doubt he was the impact hitter of the first half here. His 14 homers are still tied for most in the circuit, and his 205 wRC+ was tops among all of Double-A (minimum 160 plate appearances).


Midwest League: Luke Keaschall, 2B/OF, Cedar Rapids (MIN No. 9)
The 2023 second-rounder won the MWL slash-line Triple Crown with a .335/.457/.544 mark over 44 games, and he was the only qualifier in the circuit with an OPS above 1.000 (albeit just barely at 1.001). He added seven homers while waking more (30) than he struck out (29).

Northwest League: Andrew Pintar, OF, Hillsboro (AZ No. 30)
Beset by injuries both at BYU and in his first full season last year, Pintar got off to a roaring start in the pitcher-friendly NWL this spring, leading the league with a .304 average, .516 SLG and nine homers in 57 games before a promotion to Double-A Amarillo.

South Atlantic League: Charles McAdoo, OF, Greensboro (PIT No. 30)
The margin here between McAdoo (.336/.415/.561, 9 HR, 14 SB, 167 wRC+) and Xavier Isaac (.310/.395/.579, 12 HR, 13 SB, 165 wRC+) is razor thin. But we’ll give the nod here to McAdoo for striking out six percentage points less (21.7 vs. 27.6) before his promotion to Double-A Altoona.


California League: Lazaro Montes, OF, Modesto (SEA No. 4, MLB No. 82)
The 19-year-old got a quick and productive spin in the Cal League last year and has gone right back to dominating in 2024 as the circuit leader in slugging (.527), OPS (.938), hits (79), homers (13), extra-base hits (28) and total bases (135) over 65 games.

Carolina League: Angel Genao, INF, Lynchburg (CLE No. 11)
Genao’s .341 average and .553 slugging percentage remain tops among all Single-A qualifiers even after he’s spent his last 15 games with High-A Lake County. He had 23 extra-base hits and 12 steals over his 44 games at the lowest full-season level.

Florida State League: Miguel Villarroel, INF, Palm Beach (Not ranked among STL Top 30)
Selected by St. Louis in the Minor League phase of last offseason’s Rule 5 Draft, Villarroel leads the FSL with a .335 average and has 20 more hits than anyone else in the circuit with 86. His 24 stolen bases in 25 attempts over 64 games put him over the top here.