The candidates for minor league MVPby Matt Hagen
August 12, 2010
J.P. Arencibia / C / Toronto. Arencibia, at this point, has to be the front runner for 2010 Minor League MVP. He did what he could to help an under-talented Las Vegas 51s team reach respectability by combining Pacific Coast League-leading or near-league-leading offensive numbers across the board with a respectable year's work behind the plate. He's ready for the majors, and Toronto agrees, which may give other candidates a chance to catch up.
Domonic Brown / OF / Philadelphia. Brown's home run total finally materialized to the point where he was considered one of the more dangerous all-around hitters in the minor leagues. Most impressive of all has been his .327 batting average and .980 OPS. He still has work to do, but it appears Philadelphia has other plans for him as they attempt to chase down a pennant.
Randall Delgado / SP / Atlanta. Delgado may have hit a wall with his recent Double-A promotion, which will diminish his case, but there is no disputing the incredible job, especially May through the middle of June, that he did in the Carolina League. At just 20 years old he looked unhittable at times.
Jeremy Hellickson / SP / Tampa Bay. Hellickson enjoyed a consistently excellent and healthy Triple-A season. The big-league club has called upon his services, so his minor league season may be set in stone, but there is no denying that he pitched the best over the long haul of any pitcher in the higher levels of the minor leagues.
Eric Hosmer / 1B / Kansas City. Hosmer is one of the more refined hitters in minor league baseball. His home run numbers might hold back his MVP chances, but, then again, the power in his bat has come alive since his Texas League promotion, with nine home runs over 97 at-bats.
John Lamb / SP / Kansas City. Kansas City's farm system, for the most part (Aaron Crow), enjoyed widespread success from multiple top talents, not just the guys on this list (William Myers). So, the big-league club does have something to hope for. The most surprising results have come from Lamb, who is now looking for unrivaled success at his third stop of the year, among the big boys of the Texas League. The talent has always been there, but he is one of the few young pitchers who is able to do something with it.
Mike Moustakas / 3B / Kansas City. Moustakas obliterated the Texas League over a 66-game stretch before receiving a Triple-A promotion. Since then his bat has cooled. How he adjusts to Triple-A pitching over the final month of the season could make or break his MVP chances.
Michael Pineda / SP / Seattle. Pineda's injury history had plenty to do with it, but before the season started I made the statement that Seattle had the worst crop of minor league arms in baseball. One potential ace can change that in a hurry. His strikeout-to-walk ratio and WHIP alone give him a valid argument for MVP. His 3.67 Pacific Coast League ERA and fly ball rate aren't dropping jaws, however.
Mike Stanton / OF / Florida. Stanton won't win my minor league MVP award, but he deserves recognition for putting up ridiculous numbers over the first two months of the season, leading up to his big-league promotion. If only Florida would have played things conservatively and bumped him up to Triple-A, instead of the majors, for a couple months worth of seasoning, then he might be bringing home the hardware.
Julio Teheran / SP / Atlanta. Teheran has cruised through A-level ball and is now holding his own as a 19-year-old in the Southern League. My gut tells me that if he continues to prove himself with another month's worth of quality Double-A starts he will take home the top prize.
Mike Trout / OF / LA Angels. Trout's torrid start has leveled off, and his California League promotion has gone so-so, but his .362 batting average, .454 OBP, and 45 steals over 312 Midwest League at-bats have put him among the game's top prospects.
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