On Wednesday at SI.com, Sports Illustrated‘s Jay Jaffe listed five potential impact rookies for each of the major leagues this year. Seven of them played in the Midwest League.
Four of the five players listed for the American League are former Midwest Leaguers: Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, Tampa Bay Rays LHP Blake Snell, Twins RHP Jose Berrios and Houston Astros first baseman A.J. Reed. Three of the National League players — Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner — are ex-Midwest Leaguers.
My point here and whenever I write posts like this one? You may see a future star plying his trade in the Midwest League before he gets called up to The Show. Here’s how each of the above players did in the MWL:
Buxton was the Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year in 2013, when he batted .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Snell pitched for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2013 and part of 2014. In 2013 he went 4-9 with a 4.27 ERA, 106 strikeouts and 73 walks in 99 innings (23 starts). In his eight MWL starts in 2014, he went 3-2 with a 1.79 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 19 walks in 40.1 innings.
Berrios pitched for the Kernels in 2013, going 7-7 with a 3.99 ERA, 100 strikeouts and 40 walks in 103.2 innings (19 starts).
Reed batted .272 with 7 HR and 24 RBI in 34 games with the 2014 Quad Cities River Bandits.
Seager batted .309 with 12 HR and 57 RBI in 74 games with the 2013 Great Lakes Loons.
Arcia batted .251 with 4 HR, 39 RBI and 20 SB in 120 games for the 2013 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Turner batted .369 with 4 HR, 22 RBI and 14 SB in 46 games with the 2014 Fort Wayne TinCaps.